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

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Centene (CNC) closed at $83.35 in the latest trading session, marking a +0.13% move from the prior day. The stock lagged the S&P 500's daily gain of 0.95%. Meanwhile, the Dow gained 0.8%, and the Nasdaq, a tech-heavy index, lost 0.25%.

Coming into today, shares of the healthcare company had gained 5.11% in the past month. In that same time, the Medical sector gained 0.31%, while the S&P 500 gained 0.1%.

Wall Street will be looking for positivity from Centene as it approaches its next earnings report date. In that report, analysts expect Centene to post earnings of $1.51 per share. This would mark year-over-year growth of 20.8%. Our most recent consensus estimate is calling for quarterly revenue of $35.34 billion, up 13.92% from the year-ago period.

Looking at the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates suggest analysts are expecting earnings of $5.49 per share and revenue of $141.55 billion. These totals would mark changes of +6.6% and +12.36%, respectively, from last year.

It is also important to note the recent changes to analyst estimates for Centene. 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.

Our research shows that these estimate changes are directly correlated with near-term stock prices. 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, 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. The Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 0.34% higher within the past month. Centene is holding a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold) right now.

Looking at its valuation, Centene is holding a Forward P/E ratio of 15.15. This valuation marks a discount compared to its industry's average Forward P/E of 17.08.

It is also worth noting that CNC currently has a PEG ratio of 1.07. 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. CNC's industry had an average PEG ratio of 1.18 as of yesterday's close.

The Medical - HMOs industry is part of the Medical sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 82, which puts it in the top 33% 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.

To follow CNC in the coming trading sessions, be sure to utilize Zacks.com.


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