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What Are Analysts Recommending for CNC and UNH?

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Stock price movements

On April 5, Centene (CNC) closed at $55.84, 4.26% higher than its previous closing price, 12.67% higher than its 52-week low of $49.56, and 25.04% below its 52-week high of $74.49. The company’s market capitalization is $22.96 billion, and its PE, forward PE, PS (price-to-sales), and PB (price-to-book) ratios were 23.99x, 11.57x, 0.38x, and 2.10x, respectively.

Since its fourth-quarter earnings release on February 5, Centene stock has dropped by 12.39% from $63.74 on February 5 to $55.84 on April 5. In the fourth quarter, the company reported revenues of $16.56 billion, a YoY rise of 29.31% and above the consensus estimate by $183.23 million. The company reported non-GAAP EPS of $0.69 in the fourth quarter, a YoY rise of 42.27% and above the consensus estimate by $0.03. On February 8, Centene issued a press release announcing a 2:1 stock split as a 100% dividend to shareholders.

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On April 5, UnitedHealth Group (UNH) closed at $248.78, 0.56% higher than its previous closing price, 12.22% higher than its 52-week low of $221.69, and 13.60% below its 52-week high of $287.94. The company’s market capitalization is $237.38 billion, and its PE, forward PE, PS (price-to-sales), and PB (price-to-book) ratios were 20.40x, 14.97x, 1.05x, and 4.63x, respectively.

Since its fourth-quarter earnings release on January 15, UnitedHealth Group’s stock has dropped by 2.78% from $255.89 on January 15 to $248.78 on April 5. In the fourth quarter, the company reported revenues of $58.42 billion, a YoY rise of 12.21% and higher than the consensus estimate by $404.88 million. The company reported non-GAAP EPS of $3.28 in the fourth quarter, a YoY rise of 26.64% and higher than the consensus estimate by $0.06.

Analysts’ recommendations and target price

The 12-month consensus recommendation for both Centene and UnitedHealth Group is a “buy.” Of the 18 analysts covering Centene, seven recommend a “strong buy,” eight recommend a “buy,” and three recommend a “hold.” The 12-month target price is $78.25, 40.13% higher than its closing price on April 5. The highest target price estimate for the company is $90 and the lowest is $63.

Of the 25 analysts covering UnitedHealth Group, 11 recommend a “strong buy,” 13 recommend a “buy,” and one analyst recommends a “hold.” The 12-month target price is $307.17, 23.47% higher than its closing price on April 5. The highest target price estimate for the company is $345 and the lowest is $288.

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