UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) is expected to report Q4 earnings on Jan. 17. Here's what Wall Street wants to see:

The 10-second takeaway
Comparing the upcoming quarter to the prior-year quarter, average analyst estimates predict UnitedHealth Group's revenues will expand 9.0% and EPS will increase 1.7%.

The average estimate for revenue is $28.25 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $1.19.

Revenue details
Last quarter, UnitedHealth Group recorded revenue of $27.30 billion. GAAP reported sales were 8.0% higher than the prior-year quarter's $25.28 billion.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

EPS details
Last quarter, EPS came in at $1.50. GAAP EPS of $1.50 for Q3 were 28% higher than the prior-year quarter's $1.17 per share.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

Recent performance
For the preceding quarter, gross margin was 28.7%, 150 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 9.6%, 140 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 5.7%, 70 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead

The full year's average estimate for revenue is $110.04 billion. The average EPS estimate is $5.27.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a five-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 3,321 members out of 3,474 rating the stock outperform, and 153 members rating it underperform. Among 1,008 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 986 give UnitedHealth Group a green thumbs-up, and 22 give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on UnitedHealth Group is outperform, with an average price target of $67.98.

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