UnitedHealth Stock Lifts Sector After Earnings

UNH is surging, though it hasn't quite recovered from the cyber attack earlier this month

Deputy Editor
Apr 16, 2024 at 10:30 AM
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Shares of UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) are surging today, after the blue-chip healthcare name's first-quarter results beat estimates, despite a cyberattack that is projected to cost the company up to $1.6 billion this year. At last glance, UNH was up 6.3% at $473.75, earlier as high as $479.95 and sending sector peers higher. 

The stock has yet to completely recover its early-April bear gap, which occurred after the cyber event, though today's pop has helping remove it further from its April 12 two-year low of $436.38. Since the start of the year, the equity is down roughly 10%. 

So far in the options pits, UnitedHealth stock has seen 22,000 calls and 16,000 puts exchanged, which is seven times the options volume typically seen at this point. The April 480 call is the most popular, followed by the April 485 call, with new positions opening at the latter. 

Analysts have yet to chime in after the upbeat earnings report, though it's not that surprising considering 20 of the 21 in coverage already carry a "buy" or better rating, with just one a tepid "hold." Plus, the 12-month consensus price target of $574.52 is a 20% premium to current levels. 

 

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