UnitedHealth stock: buy or sell?

UNH stock price: $244.71 -0.40% At close on August 19th, 2019

Updated on:
August 19th, 2019


Shares of UnitedHealth declined a disappointing -0.40% and closed at $244.71.

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated operates as a diversified health care company in the United States. It operates through four segments: UnitedHealthcare, OptumHealth, OptumInsight, and OptumRx.

Should I buy UnitedHealth stock?

Make a decision about when to buy or sell stocks is one of the hardest parts of being a trader or investor. Following a trading strategy helps to make decisions easier, quicker and with less hesitations. At Stocks2.com, we like to use very simple but trusted and powerful trend following trading strategies. Simple things usually work the best.

Currently, UnitedHealth stock doesn't match any of these trading strategies, so our recommendation is not to buy.

Buy setupElegible
New all-time highNo
New 52 week highNo
Price crossing up 200d MANo
100d MA crossing up 200d MANo
This is not a selling recommendation at all, just it's not the best moment to buy if you follow any of these trading strategies.

Is UnitedHealth stock a buy?

Everyday, hundreds of stock ratings are published by financial analysts to indicate a particular stock's attractiveness. At Stocks2.com, we gathered 15 ratings published for UNH stock in the last 30 days.

The general sentiment of these ratings is bullish for UNH stock, with 12 positive ratings.
Is UNH a good stock to buy?
DateAnalyst / BrokerPrevious ratingCurrent rating
2019-7-19Raymond Jamesn/aBuy
2019-7-12Morgan Stanleyn/aOverweight
2019-4-23UBS Groupn/aNeutral
2019-4-17SunTrust Banksn/aBuy
2019-4-17Raymond JamesStrong-BuyStrong-Buy
2019-4-17Morgan StanleyOverweightOverweight
2019-4-17Bank of American/aBuy
2019-2-8Credit Suisse Groupn/aBuy
2019-1-15Cantor Fitzgeraldn/aBuy
2019-1-11Cleveland Researchn/aBuy

UnitedHealth stock analysis

Daily outlook

UnitedHealth ended today at $244.71 and declined a disappointing -0.40%.

Shares of UnitedHealth closed today at $244.71 and declined a disappointing -0.40%. Since July 11th when SMA50d and SMA100d crossed up, UNH price slipped $-2.77 per share (-1.12%).

UNH stock chart (daily)

Weekly outlook

UnitedHealth stayed steady a lame -0.40% this week. For 5 weeks in a row, price slid and lost a -4.49%. Early July UNH boosted an astounding 7.11% in just one week.

From a weekly outlook, UNH marked an uptrend of rising tops and rising bottoms. Since its last top by mid July at $268.69, price slid and bounced up back from $241.26. Breaking down under $241.26 would cancel the current uptrend and it might test lower supports. Note that $268.69 might act as a resistance line. Since price and 40-weeks moving average lines crossed down late July, UNH fell $-8.23 per share (-3.25%). Trading stocks that are under the 40-weeks (that is, 200-days) moving average mark is not recommended by many experts, as it indicates that the stock has not enough institutional support. Far behind is the all-time high UnitedHealth recorded early December and since then the price is -14.31% below that top.

UNH stock chart (weekly)

UnitedHealth stock price history

UnitedHealth IPO was on October 17th, 1984 at $0.11 per share1. Since then, UNH stock surged a 222,363.60%, with an average of 6,540.10% per year. If you had invested right after UNH's IPO a $1,000 in UnitedHealth stock in 1984, it would worth $2,223,636.00 today.

1: Adjusted price after possible price splits or reverse-splits.

UnitedHealth stock historical price chart

UNH stock reached all-time highs on December with a price of $285.58.

UnitedHealth stock price target is $289.10

Predicting the price evolution of a stock or any financial instrument in a reliable and repeatable way is probably impossible. However, financial institutions invest time and resources to provide the most accurated estimations to help investors to make their decisions. You should not follow the analysts' UNH stock price predictions in the hope that they will be met as they may be wrong and not met. We have 11 price targets for UnitedHealth stock published in the last month:
UNH stock price predictions
DateAnalyst / BrokerActionPrevious targetCurrent targetDiff
2019-7-19Raymond JamesRaises Target$265.00$300.0013.2%
2019-7-12Morgan StanleyRaises Target$285.00$298.004.6%
2019-4-17SunTrust BanksLowers Targetn/a$300.00-
2019-4-17Raymond JamesLowers Target$310.00$265.00-14.5%
2019-4-17Morgan StanleyLowers Target$315.00$285.00-9.5%
2019-4-17CitigroupLowers Target$288.00$247.00-14.2%
2019-4-17BarclaysLowers Target$290.00$270.00-6.9%
2019-4-17Bank of AmericaLowers Target$320.00$290.00-9.4%
2019-2-8Credit Suisse GroupReiteratesn/a$310.00-
2019-1-16OppenheimerRaises Target$300.00$305.001.7%
2019-1-15Cantor FitzgeraldReiteratesn/a$310.00-
(in average)$296.60$289.10-3.0%
The price prediction for UnitedHealth stock is $289.10, moving in a range between $310.00 and $247.00. In average, analysts' outlook on UNH price forecast is negative, reducing the prediction by a -3.00% from previous estimations.

Financials and fundamental analysis

Earnings date and Earnings per Share

After presenting its last earnings report on April, UnitedHealth escalated a more than good 10.11%. Unfortunately, reported EPS is not yet available in our database.
UNH earnings date and EPS evolution
QuarterReporting dateEstimated EPSActual EPSSurprise

Annual financial results

In 2018, UnitedHealth annual revenues rocketed an exceptional 12.36% to $224,871.00 million dollars from $200,136.00 marked in 2017. Nevertheless, its profit margin (compared to revenues) stayed stable to 5.33%, that is $11,986.00 million.

UnitedHealth fiscal year ends in December, and to evaluate its evolution since then, we estimate annual sales and income figures by adding results from the last 4 quarters. This is called TTM (or Twelve Trailing Months). So, UnitedHealth TTM sales up to March 2019 were $229,884.00 and income $12,617.00 million USD. When comparing this TTM figures with the last reported annuality, we can review UnitedHealth business evolution since December 2018: Annual turnover up to March, compared to lastest yearly report, stepped up a tiny 2.23%. Slightly worse, profit margin (net income/revenues) remained steady at 5.33%.

UNH annual Sales and Income evolution
2013$122,500 M-$5,630 M4.6%-
2014$130,474 M6.51%$5,619 M4.3%-0.20%
2015$156,397 M19.87%$5,813 M3.7%3.45%
2016$184,012 M17.66%$7,017 M3.8%20.71%
2017$200,136 M8.76%$10,558 M5.3%50.46%
2018$224,871 M12.36%$11,986 M5.3%13.53%
TTM $229,884 M2.23%$12,617 M5.5%5.26%

Quarterly financial results

UnitedHealth reported $59,903.00 million in sales for 2019-Q1, a 3.15% improvement compared to previous quarter. Reported quarter income marked $3,467.00 million with a profit margin of 5.79%. Profit margin remained constant a 0.55% compared to previous quarter when profit margin was 5.23%. When comparing sales to same quarter last year, UnitedHealth sales marked a wonderful gain and jumped a 9.13%. Looking back to recent quarterly results, UnitedHealth posted 7 positive quarters in a row.
UNH quarterly Sales and Income evolution
2017-Q2$50,050 M-$2,280 M4.6%-
2017-Q3$50,320 M0.54%$2,490 M4.9%9.21%
2017-Q4$52,061 M3.46%$3,617 M6.9%45.26%
2018-Q1$54,890 M5.43%$2,836 M5.2%-21.59%
2018-Q2$55,731 M1.53%$2,922 M5.2%3.03%
2018-Q3$56,174 M0.79%$3,188 M5.7%9.10%
2018-Q4$58,076 M3.39%$3,040 M5.2%-4.64%
2019-Q1$59,903 M3.15%$3,467 M5.8%14.05%

UnitedHealth ownership

When you are planning to buy shares of a company, it's worth to review its ownership structure.

UnitedHealth shares owned by insiders (that is, founders, CEO, CTO, main executives or other management staff) currently counts a 0.59% of all shares.

Bearish positions for UNH stock account 0.00%, no big difference from last month.

The following table compares ownership indicators for other stocks related to UnitedHealth:

Market cap$232.6 B$70.3 B$8.2 B$40.3 B
Total shares950.3 M257.2 M173.6 M135.0 M
Float shares941.0 M255.3 M408.0 M134.7 M
  - Institutional holdings (%)88.2%91.4%92.3%96.4%
  - Insider holdings (%)0.6%0.2%2.4%0.2%
Shares in short selling0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%

UnitedHealth summary

Monday, August 19th, 2019
Day range$244.09 - $248.49
Previous close$245.69
Session gain-0.40%
Average true range$5.78
50d mov avg$249.71
100d mov avg$243.74
200d mov avg$250.23
Daily patternlt03a
Weekly pattern lb03a

UnitedHealth performance

To better understand UnitedHealth performance you must becnhmark its gains with other related stocks in same sector or industry. We compared UnitedHealth against Anthem, Centene and Humana in the following table:

UnitedHealth competitors

We picked a few stocks to conform a list of UnitedHealth competitors to watch if you are interested in investing in UNH:

Latest UnitedHealth stock news