UnitedHealth Group Third Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

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S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) will unveil its latest earnings on Tuesday, October 16, 2012. UnitedHealth Group designs products, provides services and applies technologies that improve access to health and well-being services.

UnitedHealth Group Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for net income of $1.25 per share, a rise of 6.8% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from $1.27. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at $1.25 during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting profit of $5.04 per share, a rise of 6.6% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: The company has beaten estimates the last four quarters and is coming off a quarter where it topped forecasts by 8 cents, reporting net income of $1.27 per share against a mean estimate of profit of $1.19 per share.

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Stock Price Performance: Between August 14, 2012 and October 10, 2012, the stock price had risen $5.14 (9.9%), from $51.97 to $57.11. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between February 6, 2012 and February 16, 2012, when shares rose for nine straight days, increasing 6.8% (+$3.50) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between May 10, 2012 and May 18, 2012 when shares fell for seven straight days, dropping 2.4% (-$1.30) over that span.

Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a rise of 9.1% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $27.58 billion.

A Look Back: In the second quarter, profit rose 5.5% to $1.34 billion ($1.27 a share) from $1.27 billion ($1.16 a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 8% to $27.27 billion from $25.23 billion.

Key Stats:

After experiencing income increases the last three quarters, the company is hoping to keep the good news coming with this earnings announcement. Net income rose 20.6% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year and 3.1% in the first quarter before increasing again in the second quarter.

On the top line, the company is looking to build on four-straight revenue increases heading into this earnings announcement. Revenue rose 6.8% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year, 7.8% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year and 7.3% in the first quarter before increasing again in the second quarter.

Analyst Ratings: With 14 analysts rating the stock a buy, none rating it a sell and four rating the stock a hold, there are indications of a bullish stance by analysts.

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(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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