UnitedHealth Group Stock

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Contributor, Benzinga
January 3, 2022

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) is the world's largest healthcare company. The multinational firm manages healthcare and insurance, providing medical benefits such as improved access and affordability to people in all 50 U.S. states and more than 130 other countries.

Based in Minnetonka, Minnesota, the company was founded in 1977 by Richard T. Burke, who serves as chairman, and has since become a healthcare powerhouse. It operates two divisions: UnitedHealthcare, which offers a full range of health benefits, and Optum, which delivers care aided by technology and data.

How To Buy UnitedHealth Group Stock

If you already work with a brokerage account, buying shares in UnitedHealth Group is as simple as searching for the company, opening a trade ticket and buying the number of shares you want. However, if you do not have an account, you can follow the steps below. 

Step 1: Pick a brokerage.

A broker acts as a middle man between you and the stock exchange (in this case, the New York Stock Exchange). You, the customer, place an order via the broker to buy a stock, and the broker carries out the instructions. 

In return, the broker will, in most cases, charge you a fee for services. Of course, these fees will vary depending on the broker you select. Therefore, a key component of the process is to research costs and other aspects before setting up an account.

Step 2: Decide how many shares you want.

Once you have chosen a broker, you need to fund your account and decide how many shares to purchase. Make sure to understand the risk you want to take and the percentage of your account attributed to UnitedHealth Group. 

Many investors will start with a small investment, adding consistently to the initial position over time. However, before you make your purchase, consider how you will enter the market. 

Step 3: Choose your order type.

Now you need to decide on how your position is executed. Different order types exist, but the two main you need to know are market and limit orders. 

Market orders mean you acquire the shares at a price decided by the market. Or, in other words, you buy at the current market price (the price provided by your broker). Using market orders results in a high chance your order will be filled. 

Limit orders mean that you decide at what price to purchase the shares. You can determine at what price you acquire the stock, but you face the risk that the order won’t be filled if the price doesn’t hit your predetermined level. 

Step 4: Execute your trade. 

Once you have completed the required steps to put you in a position to buy the shares, all that is left to do is buy the shares. Once the trade ticket has been opened and the required fields have been completed, the final thing to do is click “buy.” After that, you can monitor the stock and your other positions by navigating to the correct tab on your brokerage platform.

Where To Buy UnitedHealth

Finding a broker can be a challenging task because of the variety of choices. The broker you choose must be regulated. Researching brokers can be a long process, but to save you time, Benzinga has compiled a list of the best brokers that offer UnitedHealth shares.

UNH Stock History and Value

An impressive year from UnitedHealth has seen the company’s share price surge to record highs. Despite a slight wobble in its shares during the height of the pandemic, UnitedHealth has shown consistent growth throughout the year as it plays a role in assisting with the COVID-19 pandemic response.

In the last week, UnitedHealth shares reached highs of $483.03. Additionally, 2021 has seen the stock rally 36.72%. Looking ahead to 2022, the stock could see further gains as the company is forecasting strong growth.

UnitedHealth said revenue will surpass $300 billion next year for the first time. The company’s earnings per share (EPS) range for 2022 is forecasted to be $21.10 to $21.60 per share on revenue between $317 billion and $320 billion.

UNH shares made solid gains in 2021, continuing the historical trend. The company’s current market cap is $465.63 billion, and when combining historical trends with current forecasts, it is hard to argue against investors who believe the stock will continue to rise. 

UnitedHealth: What Analysts Are Saying

Comparing analysts' views on the stock will help provide a better understanding of both sides of the bullish and bearish divide. For example, in recent weeks, UnitedHealth has received upgrades on its price target from numerous investors after its most recent investor day.

Bear Case

In reaction to UnitedhHealth’s investor day and earnings projections, there have been minimal bearish reports from analysts. In addition, analysts have kept buy ratings on the stock moving into 2022.

Truist Bull Case

Truist Financial analyst David MacDonald raised its price target on UnitedHealth to $520 from $500, keeping a Buy rating on the shares.The recent upbeat investor day for UnitedHealth showcased highly integrated, complementary platforms, MacDonald reported. In addition, MacDonald noted the strong fiscal 2022 outlook, referencing encouraging membership growth.

Finally, the company’s sizable balance sheet and robust free cash flow remain a crucial differentiator in McDonald’s eyes.

A Bearish Case

With analyst commentary on the company being almost entirely bullish, no recent bear cases have been provided. However, according to Benzinga Pro, someone with a lot of money to spend has taken a bearish stance on UnitedHealth Group. A big position showed up on the publicly available options history that Benzinga Pro tracks.

Pros and Cons of UnitedHealth


  • A healthcare giant: UnitedHealth has been a leading healthcare service for some time, and with its projections for next year, it's hard to see it being overtaken. This provides stability as its track record backs its substantial growth.
  • Earnings: In addition to fiscal 2022 projections, UnitedHealth also raised its full fiscal 2021 EPS view to $18.75 to $18.90 from $18.65 to $18.90. Revenue is also predicted to increase to $287 billion.
  • Covid response: With the coronavirus remaining an essential topic of discussion for the economy, UnitedHealth’s response was beneficial, including funding to India of more than 2,500 oxygen concentrators and playing an integral role through its vaccination program and testing facilities.


  • After research into the company, the negatives found are minimal. Even the most recent outlook from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS), which initiated a Buy rating, revealed analysts are bullish on the near- and long-term stating that UNH “drives earnings power” through OptumCare.

Is UnitedHealth a Buy, Sell or Hold?

UnitedHealth Group shares and revenue have shown consistent improvements over the past few years, with no lasting impact from the pandemic. After an impressive and upbeat investors’ day, the company has seen its price target raised by several investment firms, signaling positive upcoming earnings. 

The leading healthcare firm will see benefits to its two segments — UnitedHealthcare and Optum — as employment in the U.S. grows, resulting in more insurance packages. It is difficult to provide a sufficient bear case for the market leader as it heads into the new year — despite the recent large bearish bet.

Frequently Asked Questions


What companies are under UnitedHealth Group?


The company operates through two main segments: UnitedHealthcare and Optum. Optum is then split into OptumHealth, OptumInsight and OptumRx.


Is UnitedHealthcare a government organization?


No, state governments have contracts with private insurance companies such as UnitedHealthcare to provide health coverage for beneficiaries. Its government-sponsored health plan operates under UnitedHealthcare Community Plan.

About Sam Boughedda, Stock Market Analyst

He is an expert in the following spaces: stock market news writing, analysis, and research.