UnitedHealth Group Rises as Analysts Boost Price Target

UnitedHealth Group is climbing Wednesday after two analysts increase their share price targets for the health benefits company.
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UnitedHealth Group (UNH) - Get Report rose 1.3% to $293.60 Wednesday after two analysts increased their price targets on shares of the health benefits company.

Credit Suisse analyst A.J. Rice raised his price target on the stock to $330 from $320 to include the benefit from the repeal of the health insurer fee (HIF) in 2021. Rice has an outperform rating on the stock. 

The health insurer fee is one of several fees intended to help fund implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The fee, which applies only to insured business, was suspended for the 2017 and 2019 calendar years.

Separately, Bernstein raised its price target on shares of the Minnetonka, Minnesota-based company to $366 from $291, while maintaining its outperform rating.

In October, UnitedHealth posted stronger-than-expected third-quarter earnings and raised its full-year profit forecasts, as Optum revenue continues to pace top-line growth for the biggest U.S. healthcare insurance company.

UnitedHealth said adjusted earnings for the quarter were $3.88 a share, up 13.7% from the same period last year and ahead of Wall Street's consensus forecast of $3.75. Revenue rose 7% to $60.4 billion, topping analysts' estimates of $59.8 billion.

Regarding the full year, UnitedHealth said it sees adjusted earnings in the region of $14.90 to $15 a share, up 10 cents from the prior upgraded forecast from the summer, or 15 cents at the midpoint.

Last month, UnitedHealth agreed to pay $4 a share to buy specialty pharmacy and infusion services provider Diplomat Pharmacy (DPLO) - Get Report.

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