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TheStreet Open House

3 Health Care Buys for 2012

Stocks in this article: UNH WLP CVS

UnitedHealth Group

The majority of Wall Street is bullish UnitedHealth Group (UNH - Get Report) with 19 of the 24 analysts covering the stock at either strong buy (9) or buy (10), and the median 12-month price target sitting at $58, according to Thomson Reuters data. That implies potential upside of 13% from Tuesday's close at $51.35.

The company is the strongest large-cap recommendation of Stifel Nicolaus analyst Tom Carroll, who says the Minnetonka, Minn.-based health care services company is attractive because it's diversifying away from just health insurance.

UnitedHealth has beaten Wall Street's earnings expectations in the first three quarters of this past fiscal year, delivering an average upside surprise of nearly 22%. The company is slated to report its fiscal fourth-quarter results on Jan. 19 with the average analysts' estimate calling for a profit of $1.02 a share in the December-ending period on revenue of $25.69 billion.

TheStreet Ratings rates UnitedHealth Group at A+ and considers the stock a buy with a $63.68 price target.

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