In the latest trading session, HCA Holdings (HCA - Free Report) closed at $143.95, marking a +1.64% move from the previous day. This change outpaced the S&P 500's 0.92% loss on the day. At the same time, the Dow lost 0.77%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 1.65%.
Heading into today, shares of the hospital operator had gained 6.95% over the past month, outpacing 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 HCA as it approaches its next earnings report date. This is expected to be January 29, 2019. On that day, HCA is projected to report earnings of $2.58 per share, which would represent year-over-year growth of 21.7%. Meanwhile, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenue is projecting net sales of $12.16 billion, up 5.2% from the year-ago period.
For the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates are projecting earnings of $9.35 per share and revenue of $46.53 billion, which would represent changes of +41.88% and +6.69%, respectively, from the prior year.
It is also important to note the recent changes to analyst estimates for HCA. These revisions help to show the ever-changing nature of near-term business trends. With this in mind, we can consider positive estimate revisions a sign of optimism about the company's business outlook.
Based on our research, we believe these estimate revisions are directly related to near-team stock moves. We developed the Zacks Rank to capitalize on this phenomenon. Our system takes these estimate changes into account and delivers a clear, actionable rating model.
Ranging from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), the Zacks Rank system has a proven, outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks returning an average of +25% annually since 1988. The Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 1.23% higher within the past month. HCA currently has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).
Investors should also note HCA's current valuation metrics, including its Forward P/E ratio of 15.15. This valuation marks a premium compared to its industry's average Forward P/E of 14.6.
Also, we should mention that HCA has a PEG ratio of 1.24. The PEG ratio is similar to the widely-used P/E ratio, but this metric also takes the company's expected earnings growth rate into account. HCA's industry had an average PEG ratio of 1.3 as of yesterday's close.
The Medical - Hospital industry is part of the Medical sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 180, which puts it in the bottom 30% 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.
To follow HCA in the coming trading sessions, be sure to utilize Zacks.com.