UnitedHealth Ups Dividend 30%, Renews Share Buyback Program

Financial News Network
May 26, 2011 AT 4:49 PM
UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) announced today a dividend of $0.16 per share, to be paid on June 21, 2011, to all shareholders of record of UnitedHealth Group common stock as of the close of business on June 7, 2011.That's a 30% increase over the previous dividend of $0.12, and represents an annual yield of 1.4%, based on the stock's closing price yesterday of $47.96.The board also renewed the company's share repurchase program, authorizing the purchase of 110 million shares over time. Since last February, the company has repurchased about 92 million shares.David S. Wichmann, executive vice president and chief financial officer, UnitedHealth Group, stated, "These actions reflect continued growth in our benefits and services businesses, where we have increased both the number of people we serve and the ways and places in which we engage with and support the health system. We intend to continue to provide dividend payments based on our underlying business performance, while the share repurchase program continues to be a longstanding means of returning shareholders' capital to them."UnitedHealth has a potential upside of 17.4% based on a current price of $47.96 and an average consensus analyst price target of $56.32.