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Centene (CNC) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know

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Centene (CNC - Free Report) closed at $57.45 in the latest trading session, marking a +1.57% move from the prior day. The stock outpaced the S&P 500's daily gain of 1.47%. Meanwhile, the Dow gained 0.79%, and the Nasdaq, a tech-heavy index, added 2.02%.

Prior to today's trading, shares of the healthcare company had lost 11.5% over the past month. This has lagged the Medical sector's gain of 1.05% and the S&P 500's gain of 1.5% 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 April 23, 2019. On that day, CNC is projected to report earnings of $1.32 per share, which would represent year-over-year growth of 21.1%. Our most recent consensus estimate is calling for quarterly revenue of $17.57 billion, up 33.18% from the year-ago period.

For the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates are projecting earnings of $4.23 per share and revenue of $70.83 billion, which would represent changes of +19.49% and +17.83%, respectively, from the prior year.

It is also important to note the recent changes to analyst estimates for CNC. Recent revisions tend to reflect the latest 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. 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 0.49% higher. CNC is currently a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Digging into valuation, CNC currently has a Forward P/E ratio of 13.37. Its industry sports an average Forward P/E of 15.39, so we one might conclude that CNC is trading at a discount comparatively.

Meanwhile, CNC's PEG ratio is currently 1. 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. CNC's industry had an average PEG ratio of 1.12 as of yesterday's close.

The Medical - HMOs industry is part of the Medical sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 19, putting it in the top 8% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our 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.

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




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