Tag Archives: UNH

Best Cheap Stocks For 2022

Solana (CRYPTO: SOL), often described as an Ethereum (CRYPTO: ETH) killer, continues to rally despite major cryptocurrencies taking a beating on Tuesday.

What Happened: The token of the project focused on decentralized apps, decentralized finance, and scalability traded 3.48% higher at $178.57 even as the global cryptocurrency market cap fell 10.92% to $2.1 trillion. 

See Also: How To Buy Solana (SOL)

Against Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) and Ethereum (CRYPTO: ETH), SOL rose 15.12% and 15.33% respectively over 24 hours.

In the last seven days, SOL has risen 61.3%, while the gain over a 30-day period was 382.71%

SOL has soared an eye-popping 9,280.70% so far this year putting it behind just Telcoin (CRYPTO: TEL) and Axie Infinity (CRYPTO: AXS) in terms of year-to-date gains and significantly ahead of Dogecoin (CRYPTO: DOGE).

Why It Matters: Solana saw relatively high interest on Twitter at press time just behind BTC, ETH, and Elrond (CRYPTO: EGLD). 'Crypto Twitter' has been in awe of Solana’s meteoric rise in recent days.

See Also: Solana Flips Dogecoin To Become World's 7th Largest Crypto: What's Going On?

Investor Lark Davis noted on the social media platform that SOL was an ETH competitor “gunning for market share” with “dirt cheap fees.”

Best Cheap Stocks For 2022: Express-1 Expedited Solutions Inc.(XPO)

XPO Logistics, Inc. provides third-party logistics services using a network of relationships with ground, sea, and air carriers in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. It operates in three segments: Express-1, Concert Group Logistics, and Bounce Logistics. The Express-1 segment offers ground expedited surface transportation services for freight. It operates a fleet ranging from cargo vans to semi tractor trailer units. The Concert Group Logistics segment provides domestic and international freight forwarding services through a network of independently owned stations. Its domestic freight forwarding services include air charter, expedites, and time sensitive services, as well as cost sensitive services comprising deferred delivery, less than truckload, and full truck load services; and international freight forwarding services consist of on-board courier and air charters, time sensitive services, less-than-container and full-container-loads, and vessel charters. This segm ent also offers documentation on international shipments, customs clearance and banking, trade show shipment management, time definite and customized product distributions, reverse logistics and on site asset recovery projects, installation coordination, freight optimization, and diversity compliance support services. The Bounce Logistics segment provides premium freight brokerage services for truckload shipments. The company serves approximately 4,000 retail, commercial, manufacturing, and industrial customers through 6 U.S. operations centers and 22 agent locations. It offers its services to the automotive manufacturing, automotive components and supplies, commercial printing, durable goods manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, food and consumer products, and high tech sectors. The company was formerly known as Express-1 Expedited Solutions, Inc. and changed its name to XPO Logistics, Inc. in September 2011. XPO Logistics, Inc. was founded in 1989 and is based in Buchanan, Michi gan.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By ]

    Breakups are a great way for companies to unlock a lot of value, Cramer reminded viewers. That's certainly been the case with XPO Logistics  (XPO) – Get Report, which recently spun off GXO Logistics  (GXO) – Get Report, and with the former L Brands, which split itself into Victoria's Secret  (VSCO) – Get Report and Bath & Body Works  (BBWI) – Get Report.

  • [By Jeremy Bowman (TMFHobo)]

    There’s a lot going on with XPO Logistics (NYSE:XPO) these days.

    The transportation company just spun off its contract logistics division, GXO Logistics (NYSE:GXO), making it easier for investors to value the stock compared with less-than-truckload peers like Old Dominion and Saia. XPO also just posted record results in its second-quarter earnings report, showing the company is benefiting from the economic reopening.

Best Cheap Stocks For 2022: Sirius XM Radio Inc.(SIRI)

Sirius XM Radio Inc. provides satellite radio services in the United States and Canada. It broadcasts a programming lineup of approximately 135 channels of commercial-free music, sports, news and information, talk and entertainment, traffic, and weather on subscription fee basis through two satellite radio systems in the United States; and holds an interest in the satellite radio services offered in Canada. The company also simulcasts music and selected non-music channels over the Internet; and offers applications to allow consumers to access its Internet services on mobile devices. As of December 31, 2010, it had 20,190,964 subscribers. In addition, the company designs, establishes specifications, sources or specifies parts and components, and manages various aspects of the logistics and production of satellite radios; licenses its technology to various electronics manufacturers to develop, manufacture, and distribute radios under various brands; and imports radios distri buted through its Websites. The company?s satellite radios are primarily distributed through automakers, retailers, and its Websites. Further, it provides music services for commercial establishments; a satellite television service to offer music channels as part of certain programming packages on the DISH Network satellite television service; music and comedy channels to mobile phone users through mobile phone carriers; Backseat TV, a service offering television content designed primarily for children in the backseat of vehicles; Travel Link, a suite of data services that include graphical weather, fuel prices, sports schedules and scores, and movie listings; and real-time traffic and weather services. The company was formerly known as Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. and changed its name to Sirius XM Radio Inc. in August 2008. Sirius XM Radio Inc. was founded in 1990 and is headquartered in New York, New York.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Sean Williams]

    Another no-brainer acquisition that would make sense for Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway is satellite radio operator Sirius XM Holdings (NASDAQ:SIRI). It’s worth pointing out that Berkshire Hathaway already owns 137.92 million shares of Sirius XM, or about 2.9% of all outstanding shares.

  • [By Joe Tenebruso]

    Sirius XM Holdings (NASDAQ:SIRI) and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) dominate their respective corners of the entertainment industry. As they’ve risen to power over the last decade, they’ve earned fortunes for investors along the way.

  • [By Rick Munarriz]

    A lot can happen to a stock in just a couple of weeks. There were 275.5 million shares ofSirius XM Holdings (NASDAQ:SIRI)sold short at the end of January, the largest number of bearish bets placed on the satellite radio provider in more than a year. Two weeks later, short interest fell to 174.7 million shares, a fresh 52-week low in pessimism.

Best Cheap Stocks For 2022: S&P GSCI(GD)

General Dynamics Corporation, an aerospace and defense company, provides business aviation; combat vehicles, weapons systems, and munitions; military and commercial shipbuilding; and communications and information technology products and services worldwide. Its Aerospace group designs, manufactures, and outfits various large and mid-cabin business-jet aircraft; provides maintenance, repair work, fixed-based operations, and aircraft management services; and performs aircraft completions for aircraft. The company?s Combat Systems group offers tracked and wheeled military vehicles, weapons systems, and munitions. Its product lines include wheeled combat and tactical vehicles; battle tanks and infantry vehicles; munitions and propellant; rockets and gun systems; and axle and drivetrain components and aftermarket parts. This group also manufactures and supplies engineered axles, suspensions, and brakes for heavy-load vehicles for military and commercial customers. The company Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Lou Whiteman]

    There’s more at stake for Huntington Ingalls and fellow shipbuilder General Dynamics (NYSE:GD) beyond the $6.5 billion in lost refueling revenue. A modern aircraft carrier does not sail alone but rather relies on a large number of escorts and affiliated ships that also need to be acquired and staffed. There is also the expense of finding pilots for the large number of planes that are housed on a carrier.

  • [By Logan Wallace]

    WARNING: “General Dynamics Co. (GD) Stake Lowered by ETRADE Capital Management LLC” was first reported by Ticker Report and is owned by of Ticker Report. If you are accessing this report on another site, it was illegally stolen and reposted in violation of United States and international copyright and trademark legislation. The legal version of this report can be viewed at www.tickerreport.com/banking-finance/4200512/general-dynamics-co-gd-stake-lowered-by-etrade-capital-management-llc.html.

  • [By Lou Whiteman]

    The Saudi THAAD deal appears safe, but other contractors have not been as fortunate. General Dynamics (NYSE:GD) in January warned investors that cash flow generated by the company’s land-systems business was “significantly impacted” by diplomatic issues between Canada and an unnamed customer. Though the company offered few other details, General Dynamics in December launched a public campaignagainst attempts by Canadian government officials to block a $13 billion sale of Canada-made armored vehicles to the Saudis.

  • [By Lou Whiteman]

    It could also slow down efforts led by Raytheon (NYSE:RTN) and Lockheed Martin to modernize missile defense and stunt work being done at Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC), Boeing (NYSE:BA), General Dynamics (NYSE:GD), and others to modernize the U.S. nuclear triad.

Best Cheap Stocks For 2022: Rent-A-Center Inc.(RCII)

Rent-A-Center, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, primarily engages in leasing household durable goods to customers on a rent-to-own basis. The company?s stores offer durable products, such as consumer electronics, appliances, computers, and furniture and accessories under flexible rental purchase agreements that allow the customer to obtain ownership of the merchandise at the conclusion of an agreed upon rental period. It also provides merchandise on an installment sales basis in its stores. As of December 31, 2010, the company operated 3,008 company-owned stores in the United States, and in Canada, Puerto Rico, and Mexico, including 42 retail installment sales stores under the names ?Get It Now? and ?Home Choice?; and 18 rent-to-own stores located in Canada under the ?Rent-A-Centre? name. It also operates 209 franchised rent-to-own stores in 32 states under the ColorTyme trade name; and 384 kiosk locations under the ?RAC Acceptance? model. In addition, the company, th rough its ColorTyme?s franchised stores, offers custom rims and tires for sale or rental under the trade names ?RimTyme? or ?ColorTyme Custom Wheels?. Rent-A-Center, Inc. was founded in 1986 and is headquartered in Plano, Texas.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Garrett Baldwin]

    There’s no guesswork involved, and the best part is – it’ll only take you 10 minutes per day! Click here now to start this once-in-a-lifetime journey…

    Stocks to Watch Today: KHC, HD, JWN, M, AAPL
    Kraft Heinz Co. (NYSE: KHC) is still licking its wounds after an abysmal earnings report on Thursday and a weak 2019 outlook. The consumer goods giant is looking to reshape its business as consumer tastes continue to evolve. According to reports, the firm – backed heavily by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc.(NYSE: BRK.A) – is considering a deal to sell its Maxwell House brand. Warren Buffett is also affecting shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL). Although AAPL stock added 0.4% in pre-market hours, Buffett said he would not purchase more shares of the company stock at these levels. However, should AAPL stock pull back in the near future, the “Oracle of Omaha” would consider purchasing more. Earnings season may be winding down, but concerns about the U.S. brick-and-mortar retail industry are always high. This week, Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD), Nordstrom Inc.(NYSE: JWN), and Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M) will report earnings from the holiday quarter. Look for earnings reports from American States Water Co.(NYSE: AWR), Chatham Lodging Trust (NYSE: CLDT), EPR Properties (NYSE: EPR), Etsy Inc. (NASDAQ: ETSY), Life Storage Inc.(NYSE: LSI), Mosaic Co. (NYSE: MOS), Oneok Inc. (NYSE: OKE), Potbelly Corp. (NASDAQ: PBPB), Preferred Apartment Communities Inc. (NYSE: APTS), Rent-A-Center Inc. (NASDAQ: RCII), Shake Shack Inc. (NYSE: SHAK), and Tenet Healthcare Corp. (NYSE: THC).

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  • [By Ethan Ryder]

    Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Rent-A-Center (RCII)

    For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

  • [By Ethan Ryder]

    ValuEngine upgraded shares of Rent-A-Center (NASDAQ:RCII) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Tuesday.

    A number of other research firms have also issued reports on RCII. TheStreet upgraded shares of Rent-A-Center from a d+ rating to a c- rating in a research note on Monday, July 9th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Rent-A-Center from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, August 3rd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Rent-A-Center from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $17.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, July 4th. Janney Montgomery Scott lowered shares of Rent-A-Center from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research note on Monday, June 18th. Finally, Northcoast Research lowered shares of Rent-A-Center from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 19th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Rent-A-Center presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $11.00.

Best Cheap Stocks For 2022: UnitedHealth Group Incorporated(UNH)

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated provides healthcare services in the United States. Its Health Benefits segment offers consumer-oriented health benefit plans and services to national employers, public sector employers, mid-sized employers, small businesses, and individuals; and non-employer based insurance options for purchase by individuals. It also provides health and well-being services for individuals aged 50 and older; and for services dealing with chronic disease and other specialized issues for older individuals, as well as health plans for the beneficiaries of acute and long-term care Medicaid plans. This segment offers its services through a network of 730,000 physicians and other health care professionals, and 5,300 hospitals. Its OptumHealth segment provides health, financial, and ancillary services and products that assist consumers through personalized health management solutions; benefit administration, and clinical and network management; health-based financi al services; behavioral solutions; and specialty benefits, such as dental, vision, life, critical illness, short-term disability, and stop-loss product offerings. The company?s Ingenix segment offers database and data management services, software products, publications, consulting and actuarial services, business process outsourcing services, and pharmaceutical data consulting and research services. Its Prescription Solutions segment provides integrated pharmacy benefit management services comprising retail network pharmacy contracting and management, claims processing, mail order pharmacy services, specialty pharmacy, benefit design consultation, rebate contracting and management, drug utilization review, formulary management programs, disease therapy management, and adherence programs to employer groups, union trusts, managed care organizations, Medicare-contracted plans, Medicaid plans, and third party administrators. The company was founded in 1974 and is based in Minne tonka, Minnesota.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By ]

    The 60 or so holdings in this fund are a simple listing of the healthcare stocks that are present in the broader S&P 500 Index. These companies are then weighted by size, so familiar names like Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), UnitedHealth Group (UNH) and Pfizer (PFE) top the list of components.

  • [By ]

    If you want to follow that constant increase in spending, then why not focus on this sector? FSPHX provides a simple and diversified way to do so. The fund owns about 120 total stocks, with top holdings right now including insurance giant UnitedHealthGroup (UNH), as well as mid-sized vascular device company Penumbra (PEN).

  • [By Faizan Farooque]

    Nevertheless, JPMorgan is a bellwether for the U.S. economy. As consumer spending comes roaring back to life, JPM is a safe stock to have in your portfolio.

    UnitedHealth Group (UNH) Source: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

    UnitedHealth Group is a data-driven healthcare enterprise comprised of Optum, its pharmacy and care delivery division, and UnitedHealth, the nation’s largest health insurer. Overall, the group oversees 140 million patients who produce approximately 1.5 trillion transactions per year. That is a big data pool, which is leveraged to improve medical care.

7 Strong Mega-Cap Stocks to Snap Up For Dividends and Growth

Though the stock market continues to ride high in 2021, the meatiest headlines have been made by growth stocks and exciting meme plays. While triple-digit gains have been made, these riskier picks. And investors cannot afford to get complacent. So, a case can be made for investing in mega-cap stocks in the current economic climate.

One of the easiest ways to fireproof your portfolio is to invest in mega-cap stocks dominating their respective markets. Yes, the price momentum of these mature companies with large market capitalizations does not compare favorably with the likes of Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) or Robinhood (NASDAQ:HOOD). But they will continue to pay dividends to their shareholders and progress at a nice pace because of their established positions.

Here are seven mega-cap stocks that are solid investments that will provide you with comfort when market volatility is high and economic uncertainty is on the rise:

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Mastercard (NYSE:MA) JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH)

Investors in these stocks can look forward to healthy dividends and stock growth besides. Let’s dive in.

Mega-Cap Stocks to Buy: Morgan Stanley (MS) The logo for Morgan Stanley is displayed on the side of a building.Source: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

The novel coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc on lower-income Americans but didn’t seem to impact the finances of ultra-high net worth individuals and institutions very much at all. For example, investment banking giant Morgan Stanley had about $4 trillion of client assets and nearly 70,000 employees at the end of 2020.

Full-year net revenues climbed to a record $48.2 billion compared to $41.4 billion a year ago. Net income was $11 billion ($6.46 per diluted share) versus $9 billion ($5.19 per diluted share) a year ago.

The bank’s strength has traditionally been its equities-trading franchise — the biggest in the world. That segment had yet another great year: equity sales and  net trading revenues increased 22% year on year.

In mid-July, the investment bank reported another stellar quarter, reporting net revenues of $14.8 billion compared with $13.7 billion a year ago. EPS of $1.85 a share handily beat the consensus estimate of $1.65 estimate per share.

Morgan Stanley’s equities trading once again topped estimates handsomely, producing $2.83 billion in revenue to beat analyst estimates by $400 million. Its two other significant divisions, wealth management and investment management, also surpassed expectations.

One other important area to consider when investing in MS stock is its dividend. The banking colossus has hiked its distribution for seven consecutive years, with a three-year growth rate of 32.6%. That’s a very healthy payout to go along with steady upward price momentum.

Alibaba (BABA) Alibaba Group (BABA) headquarters sign located in Hangzhou ChinaSource: Kevin Chen Photography / Shutterstock.com

Alibaba is the world’s largest online retail website. In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021, annual gross merchandise volume (GMV) transacted on Alibaba’s e-commerce market places in China reached approximately 7.49 trillion yuan. Alibaba’s revenue subsequently grew in the June quarter by 22%. Plus the company’s retail operations grew by 14% and cloud revenues were up 29%.

But it has been a challenging year for BABA stock. Shares of the e-commerce giant are down 10.8% in the last month as Chinese regulatory activity takes a steep toll on the stock.

Two events are of particular importance. Last November, Chinese regulators halted the initial public offering of Ant Group, the operator of the Alipay mobile payment service and Alibaba Group’s sister company.

Ant Group was poised to raise $35 billion in the world’s largest-ever IPO. On the bright side, according to a member of the board of directors, it will “not be too long” before Ant Group can resume its suspended IPO.

The other big regulatory development was a $2.8 billion fine levied against the Chinese tech giant for antitrust violations, leading to a net loss in the March quarter of 5.47 billion yuan, its first operating loss as a public company.

Overall though, BABA remains a very strong enterprise. My colleague Dana Blankenhorn does a great job explaining how omnipresent the Jack Ma-founded company is in China in an insightful article. You are essentially dealing with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Microsoft and MasterCard rolled into one.

Yes, the regulatory activity in China, much like the U.S. and Europe, will ramp up. But considering its size and strength, any dips are a massive buying opportunity.

PayPal (PYPL) PayPal (PYPL) logo overlays daylight photo of corporate buildingSource: JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock.com

PayPal provides electronic payment solutions to merchants and consumers, with a focus on online transactions. In 2020, PayPal’s total payment volume or TPV grew by around one-third year-on-year, as the digital payment provider increased exponentially during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

However, the San Jose, California-based company recently missed second quarter revenue estimates amid former parent eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) switching to another payment processor. As a result, the stock dipped, providing you with a great opportunity to invest in this one.

At the end of 2020, PayPal had 377 million active accounts, including 29 million merchant accounts. It also owns Xoom, an international money transfer business and Venmo, a person-to-person payment platform, both of which are doing exceedingly well.

And despite the tough quarterly results, there is plenty to smile about if you are a PayPal stockholder. The company added 11.4 million new active accounts in the second quarter for a total of 403 million active accounts.

Revenue grew 19% year over year in the quarter that ended June 30. Total payment volume jumped 40% to $311 billion, while the Venmo app, which started supporting cryptocurrency services in April, saw payment volume jump 58% to $58 billion.

Compared to several mega-cap stocks, PYPL has excellent price momentum behind it.

Microsoft (MSFT) Image of corporate building with Microsoft (MSFT) logo above the entrance.Source: NYCStock / Shutterstock.com

The original darling of the dot com bubble remains a very strong name in the tech world. Microsoft doesn’t grab as many headlines as it used to, but this is a tech giant that has grown exponentially in the last five years. And it has diversified its business into several segments with robust recurring revenues.

Microsoft recently reported Q4 FY 2021 earnings, once again handily beating expectations. Adjusted EPS rose 48.6% over the year-ago period and revenue surpassed analyst estimates, up 21.3% compared to the year-ago quarter.

Microsoft’s Azure cloud revenue jumped 51% year-over-year, exceeding expectations. The platform now has a roughly 20% share of the $150 billion global cloud market as of the end of Q1 2021. second only to Amazon Web Services in terms of global cloud market share.

The Azure cloud platform is more than 200 products and services, a suite of tools and services developers can use for networking, storage, mobile and web application services, artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and other computing needs. Azure is key to Microsoft’s future, with recession-proof revenue streams and stable recurring fees.

 

Overall, with three broad divisions, including diverse businesses such as legacy Microsoft Office, SQL Server, Skype and LinkedIn, there is hardly any facet of your life that doesn’t connect with an MSFT product.

Mastercard (MA) A close-up shot of Mastercard (MA) credit or debit cards.Source: Alexander Yakimov / Shutterstock.com

Mastercard has rewarded investors handsomely over the years. The stock has outperformed the S&P 500 by 177.1% and its sector by 190.2% in the past five years on a dividend-adjusted basis.

But lately, all the headlines are reserved for PayPal, an excellent stock in its own merits. MA won’t grow nearly as fast as PayPal. However, Mastercard is also an interesting way to play the growing digital payment trend. As things get back to normal, people will start traveling more and cross-border card transactions will increase, benefitting Mastercard massively.

Most recently, Mastercard surpassed sales and earnings estimates for the second quarter. The company reported $4.5 billion in revenues, beating estimates by 3.7%. EPS of $2.08 a share also beat the $1.74 expected by Wall Street analysts.

International transactions, Mastercard’s bread and butter, rose 33% in local currency from the June 2020 quarter. This was due to a strong increase in domestic card spending and gains in cross-border purchases as countries reopen for travel and business.

PayPal won’t see the same tailwinds because it is doesn’t benefit the same way from pent-up travel demand. It makes MA a slightly better reopening play in my eyes.

JPMorgan Chase (JPM) A sign for JP Morgan Chase & Co (JPM).Source: Bjorn Bakstad / Shutterstock.com

Although banks had a rough 2020, some fared better than others.

America’s biggest bank, JPMorgan, reported net revenue of $29.2 billion and $29.1 billion for the fourth and third quarters of 2020. Considering the steep fall in interest rates and the overall depressed economic atmosphere, these are excellent numbers.

More recently, the banking giant posted a 155% jump in second-quarter profits as the U.S. economy continued to rebound.

Trading revenue fell 28% from last year’s record-breaking levels. But a surge in deal-making and the release of $3 billion set aside to cover feared pandemic losses more than made up for it.

Looking ahead, the country’s largest bank offered a muted outlook. It warned that low-interest rates, weak loan demand and a slowdown in trading will weigh down results in the forthcoming quarters.

“We have bright spots in certain pockets and the consumer spend trends are encouraging,” Chief Financial Officer Jeremy Barnum spoke on a call.

However, he warned that corporate clients and consumers have a lot of cash at their disposal due to substantial stimulus funds and low interest rates. Hence, core lending revenues might not benefit this year from the broader recovery.

Nevertheless, JPMorgan is a bellwether for the U.S. economy. As consumer spending comes roaring back to life, JPM is a safe stock to have in your portfolio.

UnitedHealth Group (UNH) The UnitedHealth (UNH) headquarters in Minnetonka, Minnesota.Source: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

UnitedHealth Group is a data-driven healthcare enterprise comprised of Optum, its pharmacy and care delivery division, and UnitedHealth, the nation’s largest health insurer. Overall, the group oversees 140 million patients who produce approximately 1.5 trillion transactions per year. That is a big data pool, which is leveraged to improve medical care.

For instance, the company immediately rescheduled 4,000 appointments to virtual telemedicine visits at the pandemic’s start. As soon as trends emerge, Optum analyses them and acts on the newly emerged patterns. This gives it an edge over more traditional companies and platforms.

Over the last five years, the tech-focused healthcare company has seen earnings increase by 18.8%, while sales jumped 9.0%. For more than ten years, the company has hiked the dividend consistently; the distribution has grown by 24.5% during this time.

In summary, UnitedHealth is an asset-light business. It pays a handsome dividend and has grown exponentially in the last five years. If you want a great defensive pick for your portfolio, look no further.

On the publication date, Faizan Farooque did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Faizan Farooque is a contributing author for InvestorPlace.com and numerous other financial sites. Faizan has several years of experience analyzing the stock market and was a former data journalist at S&P Global Market Intelligence. His passion is to help the average investor make more informed decisions regarding their portfolio.