UNH’s recent stock performance
On April 12, 2018, UnitedHealth Group (UNH) closed at $224.75. The stock reached a 52-week high on January 29, 2018, and a 52-week low on April 12, 2017. Since then, the stock has risen significantly, by ~36%. UNH is currently trading higher than its 50-day and 200-day moving averages of $224.46 and $219.34, respectively.
Factors affecting UNH stock
UnitedHealth Group is set to report its 1Q18 earnings results on April 17, 2018. The stock rose ~3.8% on April 2, 2018, triggered by the announcement of the launch of a blockchain program by UnitedHealth Group, Multiplan, Humana (HUM), and Quest (DGX) to improve data quality. On March 22, 2018, UNH stock fell, along with several other healthcare companies, due to US-China trade war concerns.
On January 16, 2018, the company reported its fiscal 4Q17 and 2017 earnings results, which surpassed analysts’ estimates. The company also provided strong 2018 guidance during the earnings release. UNH stock rose ~2.3% during pre-market trading and closed ~1.9% higher. The company registered strong profits in fiscal 4Q17, exceeding analysts’ estimates. Triggered by the strong earnings, a number of analysts covering UNH stock increased their target prices following the earnings results. The stock rose over the following weeks, reaching a 52-week high on January 29, 2018.
However, several healthcare stocks fell on January 30, 2018, as a partnership between Berkshire Hathaway, Amazon, and JPMorgan Chase for reducing employee healthcare costs was announced. UNH has risen ~1.7% this year and ~16.2% in the past six months.
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