Icon PLC (ICLR) Soars 4.3%: Is Further Upside Left in the Stock?

Icon PLC ICLR shares soared 4.3% in the last trading session to close at $322.92. The move was backed by solid volume with far more shares changing hands than in a normal session. This compares to the stock's 2.6% gain over the past four weeks.

ICON scored a strong price rise, driven by optimism surrounding the company’s recent 2024 Investor Day presentation held in New York City. In addition, the company updated its full year financial outlook to incorporate the positive impact of recent debt refinancing. The adjusted earnings per share for 2024 is revised to $14.75-$15.25 from the previous range of $14.65-$15.15. This represents a 15.3%-19.2% improvement from the 2023 comparable figure.

This contract research organization is expected to post quarterly earnings of $3.62 per share in its upcoming report, which represents a year-over-year change of +16.4%. Revenues are expected to be $2.13 billion, up 5.5% from the year-ago quarter.

Earnings and revenue growth expectations certainly give a good sense of the potential strength in a stock, but empirical research shows that trends in earnings estimate revisions are strongly correlated with near-term stock price movements.

For Icon PLC, the consensus EPS estimate for the quarter has remained unchanged over the last 30 days. And a stock's price usually doesn't keep moving higher in the absence of any trend in earnings estimate revisions. So, make sure to keep an eye on ICLR going forward to see if this recent jump can turn into more strength down the road.

The stock currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks here >>>>

Icon PLC is a member of the Zacks Medical Services industry. One other stock in the same industry, Elevance Health ELV, finished the last trading session 0.4% higher at $507.34. ELV has returned -3.7% over the past month.

For Elevance Health, the consensus EPS estimate for the upcoming report has remained unchanged over the past month at $10.02. This represents a change of +10.8% from what the company reported a year ago. Elevance Health currently has a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold).

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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.

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