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Centene (CNC) Dips More Than Broader Markets: What You Should Know

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In the latest trading session, Centene (CNC - Free Report) closed at $142.31, marking a -0.93% move from the previous day. This change lagged the S&P 500's 0.92% loss on the day. Meanwhile, the Dow lost 0.77%, and the Nasdaq, a tech-heavy index, lost 1.65%.

Prior to today's trading, shares of the healthcare company had gained 3.4% over the past month. This has outpaced the Medical sector's loss of 0.56% and the S&P 500's loss of 2.56% in that time.

Wall Street will be looking for positivity from CNC as it approaches its next earnings report date. This is expected to be February 5, 2019. The company is expected to report EPS of $1.33, up 37.11% from the prior-year quarter. Meanwhile, our latest consensus estimate is calling for revenue of $16.35 billion, up 27.64% from the prior-year quarter.

Looking at the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates suggest analysts are expecting earnings of $7.05 per share and revenue of $59.96 billion. These totals would mark changes of +40.16% and +23.93%, respectively, from last year.

Investors might also notice recent changes to analyst estimates for CNC. These revisions typically reflect the latest short-term business trends, which can change frequently. As such, positive estimate revisions reflect analyst optimism about the company's business and profitability.

Based on our research, we believe these estimate revisions are directly related to near-team stock moves. Investors can capitalize on this by using the Zacks Rank. This model considers these estimate changes and provides a simple, actionable rating system.

The Zacks Rank system ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell). It has a remarkable, outside-audited track record of success, with #1 stocks delivering an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Within the past 30 days, our consensus EPS projection has moved 0.53% lower. CNC is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold).

Investors should also note CNC's current valuation metrics, including its Forward P/E ratio of 20.39. Its industry sports an average Forward P/E of 19.05, so we one might conclude that CNC is trading at a premium comparatively.

Also, we should mention that CNC has a PEG ratio of 1.36. This popular metric is similar to the widely-known P/E ratio, with the difference being that the PEG ratio also takes into account the company's expected earnings growth rate. The Medical - HMOs industry currently had an average PEG ratio of 1.42 as of yesterday's close.

The Medical - HMOs industry is part of the Medical sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 57, which puts it in the top 22% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our individual industry groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.

You can find more information on all of these metrics, and much more, on Zacks.com.




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