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Cerner (CERN) to Report Q1 Earnings: What's in the Offing?

Zacks Equity Research

Cerner Corporation’s CERN first-quarter 2019 results are scheduled to release on Apr 25. In the last reported quarter, the company’s earnings were in-line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Further, it has an average four-quarter positive surprise of 0.83%.

Let’s take a look at how things are shaping up prior to this announcement.

Which Way Are Q1 Estimates Treading?

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for first-quarter earnings is pegged at 61 cents, suggesting an improvement of 5.2% from the year-ago quarter. The same for revenues is pegged at $1.39 billion, indicating a rise of 7.5% from the year-ago reported figure.

Bookings to Decline in Q1

Management at Cerner expects bookings revenues between $1.1 billion and $1.3 billion in the first quarter. The mid-point of this range reflects a 14% decrease compared with the company’s much higher-than-normal level of large long-term bookings in the prior-year quarter. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for first quarter bookings is pegged at $1.32 billion, indicating a decline of 5.7% from the year-ago quarter. Notably, softness in bookings might impact the company’s revenue growth.

However, the company anticipates witnessing bookings growth in 2019, in terms of long-term bookings, on the back of several large, long-term deals that are in the pipeline in this time period.

Factors to Influence Q1

In the first quarter, the company is expected to witness top-line growth, backed by the anticipated increase in revenues across professional as well as managed services segments, and support and maintenance business line. Notably, the company expects revenues to range between $1.37 billion and $1.42 billion in the first quarter. The midpoint of this range reflects growth of 8% from the year-ago quarter.

Given the structural and process changes that are being made by the company, Cerner is likely to become more focused and efficient, which in turn might increase predictability and profitability. In fact, adjusted earnings per share are expected in the band of 60-62 cents. The mid-point of this range is 5% higher than the year-ago quarter.

Cerner Corporation Price and EPS Surprise

 

Cerner Corporation Price and EPS Surprise | Cerner Corporation Quote

Further, strong contributions from the key areas, namely Population Health, Revenue Cycle and IT Works are likely to drive the company’s overall performance. Moreover, better-than-expected non-U.S. revenues are likely to have contributed to the overall results in the to-be-reported quarter.

However, the company is likely to have experienced contraction in gross and operating margins in the first quarter primarily owing to headwinds like non-cash software amortization and depreciation, traditional software revenue growth challenges.

Here’s What the Quantitative Model Predicts:

Our proven Zacks model clearly shows that a company with a solid Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) has good chances of beating estimates if it also has a positive Earnings ESP. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Cerner has a Zacks Rank #2 and an Earnings ESP of +1.05%, the combination makes us reasonably confident of an earnings beat.

Please note that we caution against stocks with a Zacks Rank #4 or 5 (Sell rated) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions.

Other Stocks Worth a Look

Here are a few other stocks worth considering from the broader medical space as these too have the right combination of elements to beat on earnings this time around.

Medidata Solutions, Inc. MDSO has an Earnings ESP of +12.31% and a Zacks Rank #3.

Invitae Corporation NVTA has an Earnings ESP of +2.84% and a Zacks Rank #3.

Cardinal Health, Inc. CAH has an Earnings ESP of +1.13% and a Zacks Rank #3.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

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