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HCA Holdings (HCA) Stock Sinks As Market Gains: What You Should Know

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HCA Holdings (HCA - Free Report) closed the most recent trading day at $134.81, moving -0.21% from the previous trading session. This change lagged the S&P 500's daily gain of 0.3%. Meanwhile, the Dow 0%, and the Nasdaq, a tech-heavy index, added 0.92%.

Prior to today's trading, shares of the hospital operator had gained 6.57% over the past month. This has outpaced the Medical sector's loss of 2.5% and the S&P 500's loss of 4.06% in that time.

Investors will be hoping for strength from HCA as it approaches its next earnings release, which is expected to be January 29, 2019. The company is expected to report EPS of $2.58, up 21.7% from the prior-year quarter. Meanwhile, our latest consensus estimate is calling for revenue of $12.16 billion, up 5.2% from the prior-year quarter.

Looking at the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates suggest analysts are expecting earnings of $9.35 per share and revenue of $46.53 billion. These totals would mark changes of +41.88% and +6.69%, respectively, from last year.

Any recent changes to analyst estimates for HCA should also be noted by investors. Recent revisions tend to reflect the latest near-term business trends. As such, positive estimate revisions reflect analyst optimism about the company's business and profitability.

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 ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Over the past month, the Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 1.23% higher. HCA is currently a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Valuation is also important, so investors should note that HCA has a Forward P/E ratio of 14.42 right now. This represents a premium compared to its industry's average Forward P/E of 13.84.

It is also worth noting that HCA currently has a PEG ratio of 1.18. 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 - Hospital industry currently had an average PEG ratio of 1.18 as of yesterday's close.

The Medical - Hospital industry is part of the Medical sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 204, which puts it in the bottom 21% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank includes is listed in order from best to worst in terms of the average Zacks Rank of the individual companies within each of these sectors. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.

Be sure to follow all of these stock-moving metrics, and many more, on

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