Back to top

Image: Bigstock

What's in Store for HCA Healthcare's (HCA) Q4 Earnings?

Read MoreHide Full Article

HCA Healthcare, Inc. (HCA - Free Report) is scheduled to release fourth-quarter 2019 results on Jan 28. In the last reported quarter, the company reported adjusted earnings of $2.23 per share, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 4.2%. Moreover, the bottom line inched up 3.2% year over year on the back of higher revenues.

Let’s see, how things are shaping up prior to this announcement.

The company’s fourth-quarter earnings are likely to have been supported by a solid revenue stream on higher admissions and licensed beds. These factors have been driving its results over the last few quarters, a trend that most likely continued in the to-be-reported quarter.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in the quarter to be reported is pegged at $3.06, indicating a 2.3% increase from the year-ago reported figure.

The company’s top line is expected to have been boosted by growth in admissions in the fourth quarter. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues stands at $13.3 billion, suggesting an 8.5% rise from the prior-year reported number.

The consensus mark for the total number of hospitals implies a 2.8% improvement from the year-earlier reported figure, attributable to strategic acquisitions made by HCA Healthcare.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for admissions and equivalent admissions hints at respective growth of 7% and 5.8% from the year-ago reported numbers, driven by network expansion moves by HCA Healthcare.

The consensus estimate for fourth-quarter patient days indicates a 6.6% upside from the year-ago reported number.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the licensed number of beds is pegged at 48.6 million, implying a 3% improvement from the prior-year reported figure. This uptrend might have been boosted by the rising number of hospitals.

Share repurchases made by the company in the to-be-reported quarter are likely to have aided its bottom line.

HCA Healthcare’s steady generation of cash flow is also likely to be seen in the to-be-reported results.

However, the company might have slightly taken a hit from elevated expenses because of growth-related investments and operating costs.

What the Quantitative Model States

Our proven model doesn’t conclusively predict an earnings beat for HCA Healthcare this time around. This is because the stock needs to have the right combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) to increase the odds of a positive surprise. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Earnings ESP: HCA Healthcare has an Earnings ESP of 0.00%. This is because both the Most Accurate Estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate are pegged at $3.06. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they are reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

HCA Healthcare, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

Zacks Rank: HCA Healthcare has a Zacks Rank of #3, which increases the predictive power of ESP. However, its 0.00% Earnings ESP makes surprise prediction difficult.

Stocks to Consider

Some stocks worth considering from the medical sector with the perfect mix of elements to surpass estimates in the next releases are as follows:

Humana Inc. (HUM - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +0.15% and a Zacks Rank of 3. The company is set to report fourth-quarter earnings numbers on Feb 5.

Molina Healthcare, Inc (MOH - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +0.48%. This Zacks #3 Ranked company is set to report fourth-quarter earnings performance on Feb 10.

Teladoc Health, Inc. (TDOC - Free Report) is slated to release fourth-quarter financial figures on Feb 26. The stock has an Earnings ESP of +17.56% and is #3 Ranked.

The Hottest Tech Mega-Trend of All

Last year, it generated $24 billion in global revenues. By 2020, it's predicted to blast through the roof to $77.6 billion. Famed investor Mark Cuban says it will produce "the world's first trillionaires," but that should still leave plenty of money for regular investors who make the right trades early.

See Zacks' 3 Best Stocks to Play This Trend >>