UnitedHealth Group Inc Stock Buy Recommendation Reiterated (UNH)

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of B+ . The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year, impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income, revenue growth and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market's overall trend during that period and the fact that the company's earnings growth has been robust. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • UNITEDHEALTH GROUP INC has improved earnings per share by 28.2% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, UNITEDHEALTH GROUP INC increased its bottom line by earning $4.72 versus $4.10 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.25 versus $4.72).
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly outperformed against the S&P 500 and exceeded that of the Health Care Providers & Services industry average. The net income increased by 22.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $1,271.00 million to $1,557.00 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 13.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.0%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Health Care Providers & Services industry and the overall market, UNITEDHEALTH GROUP INC's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated operates as a diversified health and well-being company in the United States. UnitedHealth Group has a market cap of $55.53 billion and is part of the health care sector and health services industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.4, below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 7.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

You can view the full UnitedHealth Group Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

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