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7 Health Care Stocks for 2012

6. UnitedHealth Group (UNH - Get Report) is a diversified health and well-being company offering a broad spectrum of products and services through two distinct platforms: United Health Care and Optum. It serves more than 75 million people worldwide.

Revenue generated during the third quarter 2011 was $25.2 billion, up 6.8% from $23.6 billion same in the 2010 quarter. Diluted net earnings per share increased to $1.17 from $1.14 per common share. Optum generated 22% higher revenue, year-over-year. During the quarter, the company served an additional 220,000 customers and 1.4 million people year-to-date. The company recently paid a quarterly dividend of 16.25 cents per share.

Recently, UNH agreed to acquire XL Health, a sponsor of Medicare Advantage health plans, with a focus on Medicare recipients with special needs. The company has announced that it will invest $8.6 million in Antelope Valley Healthcare District to help deliver quality health care services to residents in the Los Angeles County.

Of the 25 analysts covering the stock, 84% recommend a buy and rest suggest a hold. The stock's average 12-month price target is $59.56, or 16% above the current price, according a Bloomberg consensus.

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