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Analysts’ Recommendations for UNH, Pre-4Q17 Earnings Announcement

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Analysts’ recommendations for UnitedHealth Group

Headquartered in Minnesota, Fortune 500 member UnitedHealth Group (UNH) is the world’s largest healthcare company based on revenue, which totaled ~$184 billion for UNH in fiscal 2016. The company is set to announce its 4Q17 and fiscal 2017 earnings results on January 16, 2018. Let’s take a look at analysts’ recommendations and target prices for the stock ahead of the company’s earnings release.

As of January 12, 2018, of 23 Reuters-surveyed analysts covering UnitedHealth Group stock, 22 recommended “buy” or “strong buy,” and one recommended “hold.” There were no “sell” recommendations.

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Target prices

Wall Street analysts’ 12-month target price for UnitedHealth Group stock is $249.70 per share, implying a potential return of ~10.8% based on its closing price of $225.40 on January 11, 2018. On January 12, 2018, analysts’ 12-month target prices for peers Aetna (AET), Anthem (ANTM), and CVS Health (CVS) were $199.20, $254.40, and $87.10 per share, respectively, representing potential upsides of approximately 8.2%, 8.3%, and 10.2% for 12-month investments in these stocks.

Recommendation revisions and updates

On January 3, 2018, Goldman Sachs initiated coverage on UNH stock with a “buy” rating and a target price of $269 per share, and on December 27, 2017, Credit Suisse reaffirmed its “buy” rating on UNH stock. On December 25, 2017, Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated its “buy” rating on the stock and assigned a target price of $235.

Investors could consider the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI) for diversified exposure to UnitedHealth Group. VTI invests ~0.79% of its portfolio in UNH.

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