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

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In the latest trading session, Centene (CNC - Free Report) closed at $61.93, marking a +0.1% move from the previous day. The stock lagged the S&P 500's daily gain of 0.49%. Elsewhere, the Dow gained 0.28%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 0.43%.

Prior to today's trading, shares of the healthcare company had gained 3.65% over the past month. This has lagged the Medical sector's gain of 5.22% and outpaced the S&P 500's gain of 2.9% in that time.

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 $0.73, up 5.8% from the prior-year quarter. Our most recent consensus estimate is calling for quarterly revenue of $18.49 billion, up 11.67% from the year-ago period.

Looking at the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates suggest analysts are expecting earnings of $4.42 per share and revenue of $74.30 billion. These totals would mark changes of +24.86% and +23.59%, respectively, from last year.

Investors should also note any recent changes to analyst estimates for CNC. These revisions typically reflect the latest short-term business trends, which can change frequently. As a result, we can interpret positive estimate revisions as a good sign for the company's business outlook.

Our research shows that these estimate changes are directly correlated with near-term stock prices. 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.

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 remained stagnant. CNC is currently a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Looking at its valuation, CNC is holding a Forward P/E ratio of 13.99. For comparison, its industry has an average Forward P/E of 19.98, which means CNC is trading at a discount to the group.

We can also see that CNC currently has a PEG ratio of 0.99. This metric is used similarly to the famous P/E ratio, but the PEG ratio also takes into account the stock's expected earnings growth rate. CNC's industry had an average PEG ratio of 1.24 as of yesterday's close.

The Medical - HMOs industry is part of the Medical sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 54, 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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