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UnitedHealth Reports Strong Q4 Results, Reaffirms 2022 Guidance

Healthcare stock UnitedHealth Group, Inc. (NYSE: UNH) closed 0.3% up on Wednesday after the company reported solid financial results for the fourth quarter of 2021.

Based out of Minnesota, UnitedHealth offers healthcare and insurance products and services.

Adjusted earnings per share (EPS) stood at $4.48 during the quarter, compared to $2.52 in the previous year and analysts’ expectations of $4.31.

Revenues totaled $73.74 billion, higher than $65.47 billion reported in the fourth quarter of 2020 and the Street’s estimate of $72.75 billion.

UnitedHealthcare segment’s revenues increased to $56.4 billion from $50.3 billion in the year-ago quarter, and revenues of Optum segment amounted to $41.1 billion, up from $35.9 billion last year.

2022 Guidance

The company has reaffirmed its guidance for 2022 and continues to expect adjusted EPS in the range of $21.10 to $21.60 and revenues to range between $317 billion and $320 billion.

The consensus estimate for adjusted earnings stands at $21.65 per share.

The CEO of UNH, Andrew Witty, said, “Our strong 2021 performance and confident growth outlook for 2022 and beyond reflect the accelerating innovation and expanding capabilities across Optum and UnitedHealthcare.”

Wall Street’s Take

Following the announcement of the results, Bank of America Securities analyst Kevin Fischbeck maintained a Buy rating on the stock with a price target of $574.20 (24.2% upside potential).

Additionally, Ann Hynes of Mizuho Securities reiterated a Buy rating on UnitedHealth with a $550 price target (19% upside potential).

Overall, the stock has a Strong Buy consensus rating based on 15 Buys and 3 Holds. The average UNH stock forecast of $524.78 implies 13.5% upside potential. Shares have gained 32.1% over the past year.

Positive Sentiment

TipRanks’ Stock Investors tool shows that investors currently have a Very Positive stance on UnitedHealth, with 7.4% of investors on TipRanks increasing their exposure to the stock over the past 30 days.

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