Investors are on the edge of their collective seats, hoping that UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) will top analyst expectations for the fifth consecutive quarter. The company will unveil its latest earnings on Tuesday, Oct. 18. UnitedHealth Group designs products, provides services, and applies technologies that improve access to health and well-being services.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Analysts strongly back UnitedHealth Group, with 16 of 20 rating it a buy and the remainder rating it a hold. Analysts like UnitedHealth Group better than competitor WellPoint overall. Analysts still rate the stock a moderate buy, but they are a bit more wary about it compared to three months ago.
  • Revenue forecasts: On average, analysts predict $25.45 billion in revenue this quarter. That would represent a rise of 7.5% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street earnings expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of $1.12 per share. Estimates range from $1.05 to $1.19.

What our community says:
CAPS All-Stars are solidly behind the stock with 98% giving it an "outperform" rating. The community at large concurs with the All-Stars with 95.6% awarding it a rating of "outperform." Fools are bullish on UnitedHealth Group and haven't been shy with their opinions lately, logging 1,042 posts in the past 30 days. UnitedHealth Group has a bullish CAPS rating of five out of five stars that is about on par with the Fool community assessment.

UnitedHealth Group's profit has risen year over year by an average of 14.9% over the past five quarters. Revenue has now gone up for three straight quarters.

Now let's look at how efficient management is at running the business. Traditionally, margins represent the efficiency with which companies capture portions of sales dollars. The following table shows net margins over the past four quarters.






Net Margin





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