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Centene (CNC) Gains But Lags Market: What You Should Know

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Centene (CNC - Free Report) closed the most recent trading day at $54.19, moving +0.56% from the previous trading session. This move lagged the S&P 500's daily gain of 1.05%. Meanwhile, the Dow gained 1.02%, and the Nasdaq, a tech-heavy index, added 1.66%.

Coming into today, shares of the healthcare company had lost 1.55% in the past month. In that same time, the Medical sector lost 1.73%, while the S&P 500 lost 2.76%.

Wall Street will be looking for positivity from CNC as it approaches its next earnings report date. The company is expected to report EPS of $1.26, up 40% from the prior-year quarter. Our most recent consensus estimate is calling for quarterly revenue of $17.99 billion, up 26.85% from the year-ago period.

Looking at the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates suggest analysts are expecting earnings of $4.37 per share and revenue of $73.26 billion. These totals would mark changes of +23.45% and +21.87%, respectively, from last year.

It is also important to note the recent changes to analyst estimates for CNC. These revisions typically reflect the latest short-term business trends, which can change frequently. 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. 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. The Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 0.05% lower within the past month. 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 12.32. For comparison, its industry has an average Forward P/E of 14.29, which means CNC is trading at a discount to the group.

Investors should also note that CNC has a PEG ratio of 0.91 right now. 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. The Medical - HMOs was holding an average PEG ratio of 1.03 at yesterday's closing price.

The Medical - HMOs industry is part of the Medical sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 16, which puts it in the top 7% 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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