Centene (CNC) closed at $53.10 in the latest trading session, marking a -0.24% move from the prior day. This move lagged the S&P 500's daily gain of 0.36%. Meanwhile, the Dow gained 0.01%, and the Nasdaq, a tech-heavy index, added 0.27%.
Prior to today's trading, shares of the healthcare company had lost 4.02% over the past month. This has lagged the Medical sector's loss of 1.21% and the S&P 500's gain of 3.98% in that time.
Investors will be hoping for strength from CNC as it approaches its nex t earnings release, which is expected to be July 23, 2019. On that day, CNC is projected to report earnings of $1.25 per share, which would represent year-over-year growth of 38.89%. Meanwhile, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenue is projecting net sales of $17.98 billion, up 26.76% from the year-ago period.
Looking at the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates suggest analysts are expecting earnings of $4.37 per share and revenue of $73.26 billion. These totals would mark changes of +23.45% and +21.87%, respectively, from last year.
It is also important to note the recent changes to analyst estimates for CNC. Recent revisions tend to reflect the latest near-term business trends. As a result, we can interpret positive estimate revisions as a good sign for the company's business outlook.
Research indicates that these estimate revisions are directly correlated with near-term share price momentum. Investors can capitalize on this by using the Zacks Rank. This model considers these estimate changes and provides a simple, actionable rating system.
The Zacks Rank system, which ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Within the past 30 days, our consensus EPS projection has moved 0.15% lower. CNC currently has a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold).
Valuation is also important, so investors should note that CNC has a Forward P/E ratio of 12.19 right now. Its industry sports an average Forward P/E of 15.97, so we one might conclude that CNC is trading at a discount comparatively.
It is also worth noting that CNC currently has a PEG ratio of 0.9. This popular metric is similar to the widely-known P/E ratio, with the difference being that the PEG ratio also takes into account the company's expected earnings growth rate. The Medical - HMOs industry currently had an average PEG ratio of 1.09 as of yesterday's close.
The Medical - HMOs industry is part of the Medical sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 33, which puts it in the top 13% of all 250+ industries.
The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our individual industry groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.
To follow CNC in the coming trading sessions, be sure to utilize Zacks.com.
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