Analyst Note| Julie Utterback |
UnitedHealth's strong results continued in the fourth quarter, and for the full year, the company exceeded our expectations on a free cash flow basis while coming in about as we expected in other key metrics. On this robust cash flow generation, we plan to raise our fair value estimate by the midsingle digits on a percentage basis. After our fair value estimate change, UnitedHealth shares will probably remain slightly overvalued. Our economic moat rating, which remains narrow, recognizes the long-term policy risks the company faces primarily in medical insurance and pharmacy benefit management, although the shares appear to be benefiting from a particularly benign period of policy risk currently.