Have you been searching for a stock that might be well-positioned to maintain its earnings-beat streak in its upcoming report? It is worth considering Cigna (CI), which belongs to the Zacks Insurance - Multi line industry.
This health insurer has an established record of topping earnings estimates, especially when looking at the previous two reports. The company boasts an average surprise for the past two quarters of 3.38%.
For the most recent quarter, Cigna was expected to post earnings of $4.19 per share, but it reported $4.31 per share instead, representing a surprise of 2.86%. For the previous quarter, the consensus estimate was $4.37 per share, while it actually produced $4.54 per share, a surprise of 3.89%.
Price and EPS Surprise
For Cigna, estimates have been trending higher, thanks in part to this earnings surprise history. And when you look at the stock's positive Zacks Earnings ESP (Expected Surprise Prediction), it's a great indicator of a future earnings beat, especially when combined with its solid Zacks Rank.
Our research shows that stocks with the combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) or better produce a positive surprise nearly 70% of the time. In other words, if you have 10 stocks with this combination, the number of stocks that beat the consensus estimate could be as high as seven.
The Zacks Earnings ESP compares the Most Accurate Estimate to the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter; the Most Accurate Estimate is a version of the Zacks Consensus whose definition is related to change. The idea here is that analysts revising their estimates right before an earnings release have the latest information, which could potentially be more accurate than what they and others contributing to the consensus had predicted earlier.
Cigna has an Earnings ESP of +2.80% at the moment, suggesting that analysts have grown bullish on its near-term earnings potential. When you combine this positive Earnings ESP with the stock's Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), it shows that another beat is possibly around the corner. The company's next earnings report is expected to be released on April 30, 2020.
Investors should note, however, that a negative Earnings ESP reading is not indicative of an earnings miss, but a negative value does reduce the predictive power of this metric.
Many companies end up beating the consensus EPS estimate, though this is not the only reason why their shares gain. Additionally, some stocks may remain stable even if they end up missing the consensus estimate.
Because of this, it's really important to check a company's Earnings ESP ahead of its quarterly release to increase the odds of success. Make sure to utilize our Earnings ESP Filter to uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they've reported.
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Cigna Corporation (CI): Free Stock Analysis Report
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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.