What's in the Cards for Centene's (CNC) Earnings in Q2?

Centene Corporation  CNC is slated to release second-quarter 2021 results on Jul 27, before the opening bell.

Q2 Estimates

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s second-quarter earnings per share is pegged at $1.41, indicating a 41.3% drop from the prior-year quarter’s reported figure. The consensus mark for revenues stands at $30.1 billion, which suggests growth of 8.7% from the year-ago quarter’s reported number.

Factors to Note

Centene’s performance for the to-be-reported quarter is likely to have suffered steep expenses, stemming from higher medical costs, selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses, amortization of acquired intangible assets and a premium tax expense.

Revenues are likely to have gained from better premiums, growth in the Health Insurance Marketplace business and expansions plus new programs across many states. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s premiums is pegged at $27.3 billion, which indicates an improvement of 10.1% from the prior-year quarter’s reported figure.

Centene’s second-quarter performance is expected to have received a boost from its leading nationwide position in offering government sponsored healthcare. The company is likely to have witnessed higher enrolment in its Medicare Advantage business in the to-be-reported quarter. Its Health Insurance Marketplace business might have witnessed an improving performance on the back of consistent pricing discipline and higher retention rates.

Medical membership of the company has been rising over the past several quarters on contract wins and expansion across different regions. The consensus estimate for total membership suggests growth of 1.9% from the year-ago quarter’s reported figure.

The company anticipates below historical averages in traditional utilization for the second quarter.

Earnings Surprise History

The company has a decent earnings surprise history. Its bottom line beat estimates in two of the trailing four quarters and missed the same in the remaining two, the average surprise being 7.96%. This is depicted in the chart below:

What Our Quantitative Model Predicts

The proven Zacks model does not conclusively predict an earnings beat for Centene this time around. The combination of a positive  Earnings ESP  and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the odds of an earnings beat. But that’s not the case here.

Earnings ESP:  Centene has an Earnings ESP of -13.63%. This is because the Most Accurate Estimate is pegged at $1.22, lower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.41. 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 price-eps-surprise | Centene Corporation Quote

Zacks Rank:  Centene carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Stocks to Consider

Some stocks worth considering from the medical space with the perfect mix of elements to surpass estimates in their upcoming releases are as follows.

The Joint Corp. JYNT has an Earnings ESP of +150.00% and a Zacks Rank #3, currently.

The Ensign Group, Inc. ENSG has an Earnings ESP of +1.14% and a Zacks Rank of 3, presently.

AmerisourceBergen Corporation ABC has an Earnings ESP of +2.20% and a Zacks Rank of 3, presently.

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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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