Buy Today: UnitedHealth Group Inc's Buy Recommendation Reiterated

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of A. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • UNH's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 4.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.5%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 36.40% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, UNH should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • UNITEDHEALTH GROUP INC has improved earnings per share by 10.2% 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 $5.28 versus $4.72 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($5.50 versus $5.28).
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.53, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Despite the fact that UNH's debt-to-equity ratio is low, the quick ratio, which is currently 0.64, displays a potential problem in covering short-term cash needs.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness 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 $75.7 billion and is part of the health care sector and health services industry. Shares are up 37.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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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