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Select Medical Holdings (SEM - Free Report) posts four straight positive earnings surprises, sees estimates for 2012 move higher making it a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy).

Company Description

Select Medical Holdings Corporation, through its subsidiaries, operates specialty hospitals and outpatient rehabilitation clinics. The company's Specialty Hospital segment offers long-term acute care hospital services and inpatient acute rehabilitative hospital care services. The company is headquartered in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.

Four straight Beats Lead to Stock Appreciation

SEM has topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the last four quarters with the average surprise coming in on average 16% ahead of expectations. These beats have ranged from a high of $0.6 down to $0.01 on two occasions.

The surprise of $0.01 for the June 2011 quarter and September 2011 quarters saw negative reactions by the stock. The beat of $0.04 in the March 2011 quarter saw a positive move of less than 1%.

SEM Recently Reported Earnings

On February 23, 2012 the company reported revenue of $718 million $38 million ahead of estimates and up from $637 million in the year ago period. In addition, earnings per share came in at $0.25 up from $0.13 posted a year ago and $0.06 ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The stock moved higher by 5% following the report.

Earnings Estimates Bumped Up

Following the most recent earnings report, analysts bumped up their earnings estimates for 2012. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2012 EPS moved from $0.86 in October 2011 to the current level of $0.90.


SEM has a low valuation in both absolute and relative terms. Price to forward earnings of 9.2x is quite low, and lower than the industry average of 10.5x. The trailing PE multiple of 9.9x is also lower than the industry average of 11.8x. The price to book multiple also shows SEM trading at a discount as does the price to sales multiple. These low multiples could be the catalyst that gets more than just aggressive growth investors into the stock.

The Chart

A quick look at the chart shows the stock stuck in the $8 - $9 range for the last few months. The stock is holding above its 200 day moving average line, suggesting that a break out is probably not too far off. SEM is a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy).

Select Medical Holdings - ticker SEM>

Brian Bolan is the Aggressive Growth Stock Strategist for He is also the Editor in charge of the Zacks Home Run Investor service

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