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Why HCA Healthcare (HCA) Outpaced the Stock Market Today

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In the latest market close, HCA Healthcare (HCA - Free Report) reached $310.31, with a +1.7% movement compared to the previous day. The stock's performance was ahead of the S&P 500's daily gain of 0.87%. On the other hand, the Dow registered a gain of 0.67%, and the technology-centric Nasdaq increased by 1.11%.

Prior to today's trading, shares of the hospital operator had lost 7.53% over the past month. This has lagged the Medical sector's loss of 6.67% and the S&P 500's loss of 3.97% in that time.

The upcoming earnings release of HCA Healthcare will be of great interest to investors. The company's earnings report is expected on April 26, 2024. The company's earnings per share (EPS) are projected to be $5.01, reflecting a 1.62% increase from the same quarter last year. Meanwhile, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenue is projecting net sales of $16.84 billion, up 8.04% from the year-ago period.

For the annual period, the Zacks Consensus Estimates anticipate earnings of $20.58 per share and a revenue of $69.03 billion, signifying shifts of +8.26% and +6.25%, respectively, from the last year.

Additionally, investors should keep an eye on any recent revisions to analyst forecasts for HCA Healthcare. These latest adjustments often mirror the shifting dynamics of short-term business patterns. Consequently, upward revisions in estimates express analysts' positivity towards the company's business operations and its ability to generate profits.

Our research shows that these estimate changes are directly correlated with near-term stock prices. To benefit from this, we have developed the Zacks Rank, a proprietary model which takes these estimate changes into account and provides an actionable rating system.

The Zacks Rank system, which varies between #1 (Strong Buy) and #5 (Strong Sell), carries an impressive track record of exceeding expectations, confirmed by external audits, with stocks at #1 delivering an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Over the past month, the Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 0.43% higher. HCA Healthcare currently has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).

Looking at valuation, HCA Healthcare is presently trading at a Forward P/E ratio of 14.82. This indicates a premium in contrast to its industry's Forward P/E of 14.81.

Meanwhile, HCA's PEG ratio is currently 1.47. The PEG ratio bears resemblance to the frequently used P/E ratio, but this parameter also includes the company's expected earnings growth trajectory. The Medical - Hospital was holding an average PEG ratio of 1.77 at yesterday's closing price.

The Medical - Hospital industry is part of the Medical sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 100, putting it in the top 40% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank assesses the vigor of our specific industry groups by computing the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks incorporated in the groups. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.

Remember to apply to follow these and more stock-moving metrics during the upcoming trading sessions.

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