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Weak Estimates but history supports a beat

13 July 2021

United Health Group Inc (#UnitedHealth ) is the second largest healthcare company in the world and the most diversified healthcare company in the US; it provides a wide range of healthcare products and services like healthcare coverage and benefit services and also applies technologies to improve access to health and wellbeing services through its 4 subsidiaries – UnitedHealthCare, OptumHealth, OptumInsight and OptumRX – with over 330,000 employees across the world. Ranked 5th in the Fortune 500 with a market cap of $384.66B, the health care giant is set to release its Q2 2021 earnings report this Thursday (July 15) before market open.

#UnitedHealth is expected to post quarterly earnings of $4.40 EPS, down 38.2% y/y, and revenue of $69.55B, up 11.9% y/y, according to Zack’s consensus estimate. Despite this mixed expectation and the Zack’s Most Accurate Estimate unchanged at $4.40 EPS, indicating no revisions by analysts, the company has managed to maintain a #2 buy on the Zack ranking. Over the last 4 quarters, #UNH has beat the consensus Earnings/share every single time, with the latest release beating estimates by 20.14%  ($5.31 EPS  against $4.42 EPS expected),, which  puts focus on the deviation from expectation for the release. Although the unprecedented amount of monetary stimulus and low interest rates should prove supportive for companies like #UnitedHealth, 22 analysts from Yahoo finance research estimate a buy and strong buy bias on the share price while Trefis values the 44 year old company at $422, above the current market price.

Technically, #UnitedHealth maintains a bullish trend, having risen almost 16% from 2020 highs to create a fresh ATH around $425; it is currently trading around $416 (above the 20 SMA and 50 SMA). May highs at $418 serve as the immediate resistance level and if broken, the $425 ATH will be the next stop if expectations are beat by a good variance. Technically, the next key Fibonacci levels the 261.8 (from the January-February decline) and the 161.8 (from the May-June decline) creates a new target  zone $445-453.

On the other hand, a miss in the numbers could see the share price dip from these high levels – an excuse for profit taking – towards the 20 SMA and 50.0-38.2 Fib zone at $405-400. Below here is the June low at $385, the April low at $360 and the 2021 low from February at $320.


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