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Healthcare Stock Q4 Earnings Slated on Feb 7: CNC, WCG, MD

We are halfway through the fourth-quarter earnings season with nearly 55% members of the elite S&P 500 Index having reported quarterly results so far. According to the latest Earnings Preview , the performance of the 275 index members that have already reported their financial numbers this quarter point to total earnings growth of 6.9% on 4.2% higher revenues. The beat ratio is strong with 68% companies surpassing bottom-line expectations and 54.5% outperforming on the top line.

Healthcare, under the Medical umbrella, is one of the seven sectors in the S&P 500 group. So far, 57.4% of the total Medical sector companies have reported fourth-quarter results. The beat ratio is strong with 80.6% companies surpassing bottom-line expectations and 54.8% outperforming on the revenue front.

Healthcare includes diversified industries like health maintenance organizations (HMOs) popularly known as health insurers, clinical, laboratories and diagnostics research, medical equipment, hospitals, telehealth services and more.

In the HMO subsector, factors like a disappointing public exchange business, an increasing medical ratio, and the robust government business will majorly affect earnings. Most insurers incurred losses from this business in the first nine months of the year and the trend is unlikely to reverse this quarter.

Nevertheless, HMO industry players are likely to have witnessed an increase in premium from government businesses - Medicare, Medicare Advantage and Medicaid. A surge in the baby boomer population has led to higher demand for these policies.

In addition, the quarter saw an increase in the number of enrollees in the Medicare, Medicaid and Medicare Advantage business lines. However, this upside might have been partly offset by a decline in membership on the public exchange business.

Here we take a sneak peek at three healthcare stocks scheduled to report fourth-quarter figures on Feb 7:

Centene Corp.CNC provides managed care programs and related services to individuals receiving benefits under Medicaid, including Supplemental Security Income, and the State Children's Health Insurance Program. Last quarter, Centene missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 3.48%. This time again, the company is unlikely to come up with a beat as it has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) and an Earnings ESP of -0.89%. The Most Accurate estimate stands at $1.11 per share, a penny below the Zacks Consensus Estimate. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they're reported with our Earnings ESP Filter .

Centene Corporation Price and EPS Surprise

Centene Corporation Price and EPS Surprise | Centene Corporation Quote

WellCare Health Plans, Inc.WCG provides managed care services targeted exclusively atgovernment-sponsored healthcare programs, focusing on Medicaid and Medicare.

Last quarter, WellCare Health beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 46.85%. But this time, the company is unlikely to come up with a beat. WellCare Health an Earnings ESP of 0.00% as the Most Accurate estimate is the same as the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 53 cents per share. This makes our surprise [prediction difficult although the company has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .

WellCare Health Plans, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

WellCare Health Plans, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise | WellCare Health Plans, Inc. Quote

Mednax, Inc.MD , formerly Pediatrix Medical Group, Inc. is a healthcare services company that focuses on physician services for newborn, maternal-fetal, pediatric subspecialty and anesthesia care. The company, through its subsidiaries, provides these services in the United States and Puerto Rico. In addition, MEDNAX engages in clinical research, monitoring clinical outcomes, and implementing clinical initiatives. Last quarter, Mednax beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 1.9%. But this time it is unlikely to come up with a beat as it has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and an Earnings ESP of 0.00%. Both the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate are pegged at $1.00 per share.

Mednax, Inc Price and EPS Surprise

Mednax, Inc Price and EPS Surprise | Mednax, Inc Quote

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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