Merit Financial Group LLC Boosts Position in UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH)

Merit Financial Group LLC lifted its holdings in shares of UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNHGet Rating) by 33.4% in the 1st quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 1,708 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock after purchasing an additional 428 shares during the quarter. Merit Financial Group LLC’s holdings in UnitedHealth Group were worth $871,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of UNH. Signature Estate & Investment Advisors LLC lifted its position in UnitedHealth Group by 1.2% in the first quarter. Signature Estate & Investment Advisors LLC now owns 1,606 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock valued at $820,000 after purchasing an additional 19 shares during the last quarter. Steph & Co. raised its holdings in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 1.6% during the first quarter. Steph & Co. now owns 1,290 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock valued at $658,000 after acquiring an additional 20 shares in the last quarter. First City Capital Management Inc. grew its stake in UnitedHealth Group by 1.5% in the first quarter. First City Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,350 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $688,000 after purchasing an additional 20 shares during the period. Griffin Asset Management Inc. grew its stake in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 0.3% in the first quarter. Griffin Asset Management Inc. now owns 6,695 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $3,414,000 after acquiring an additional 21 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Physicians Financial Services Inc. grew its stake in shares of UnitedHealth Group by 5.2% in the first quarter. Physicians Financial Services Inc. now owns 424 shares of the healthcare conglomerate’s stock worth $216,000 after acquiring an additional 21 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 87.25% of the company’s stock.

Insider Activity

In other news, CAO Thomas E. Roos sold 465 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $542.37, for a total value of $252,202.05. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief accounting officer now owns 34,786 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $18,866,882.82. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. In related news, CAO Thomas E. Roos sold 465 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $542.37, for a total value of $252,202.05. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief accounting officer now owns 34,786 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $18,866,882.82. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CEO Andrew Witty sold 11,376 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $527.90, for a total value of $6,005,390.40. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 76,559 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $40,415,496.10. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 140,324 shares of company stock valued at $75,086,185 in the last quarter. 0.40% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Analyst Ratings Changes

A number of research firms have recently commented on UNH. Mizuho increased their target price on UnitedHealth Group from $550.00 to $600.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 10th. Sanford C. Bernstein downgraded UnitedHealth Group from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $561.00 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Thursday, May 26th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Loop Capital started coverage on UnitedHealth Group in a report on Thursday, June 16th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $575.00 target price for the company. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft lifted their target price on UnitedHealth Group from $556.00 to $569.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday. Finally, Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on UnitedHealth Group from $570.00 to $587.00 in a report on Monday, July 18th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, sixteen have assigned a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. According to data from MarketBeat.com, the stock presently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $585.65.

UnitedHealth Group Trading Up 1.1 %

UNH opened at $527.51 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $493.42 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.55, a PEG ratio of 1.62 and a beta of 0.76. The company has a current ratio of 0.77, a quick ratio of 0.77 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.60. UnitedHealth Group Incorporated has a 12 month low of $383.12 and a 12 month high of $553.29. The stock has a fifty day moving average price of $528.59 and a 200-day moving average price of $509.42.

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNHGet Rating) last announced its earnings results on Friday, July 15th. The healthcare conglomerate reported $5.57 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $5.24 by $0.33. UnitedHealth Group had a return on equity of 25.45% and a net margin of 5.95%. The firm had revenue of $80.33 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $79.68 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $4.70 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.6% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that UnitedHealth Group Incorporated will post 21.85 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

UnitedHealth Group Announces Dividend

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 20th. Stockholders of record on Monday, September 12th will be issued a $1.65 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, September 9th. This represents a $6.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.25%. UnitedHealth Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 34.46%.

About UnitedHealth Group

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UnitedHealth Group Incorporated operates as a diversified health care company in the United States. It operates through four segments: UnitedHealthcare, Optum Health, Optum Insight, and Optum Rx. The UnitedHealthcare segment offers consumer-oriented health benefit plans and services for national employers, public sector employers, mid-sized employers, small businesses, and individuals; health care coverage and well-being services to individuals age 50 and older addressing their needs for preventive and acute health care services, as well as services dealing with chronic disease and other specialized issues for older individuals; Medicaid plans, children's health insurance and health care programs; health and dental benefits; and hospital and clinical services.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH)

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