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HCA Healthcare (HCA) Dips More Than Broader Markets: What You Should Know

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HCA Healthcare (HCA) closed the most recent trading day at $206.95, moving -1.64% from the previous trading session. This change lagged the S&P 500's daily loss of 0.75%.

Heading into today, shares of the hospital operator had lost 2.73% over the past month, lagging the Medical sector's gain of 0.21% and the S&P 500's gain of 0.32% in that time.

Wall Street will be looking for positivity from HCA Healthcare as it approaches its next earnings report date. In that report, analysts expect HCA Healthcare to post earnings of $3.94 per share. This would mark a year-over-year decline of 9.84%. Meanwhile, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenue is projecting net sales of $14.88 billion, up 3.06% from the year-ago period.

HCA's full-year Zacks Consensus Estimates are calling for earnings of $17.15 per share and revenue of $60.91 billion. These results would represent year-over-year changes of -2% and +3.68%, respectively.

Any recent changes to analyst estimates for HCA Healthcare should also be noted by investors. Recent revisions tend to reflect the latest near-term business trends. 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, 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. Within the past 30 days, our consensus EPS projection has moved 0.01% higher. HCA Healthcare currently has a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold).

Valuation is also important, so investors should note that HCA Healthcare has a Forward P/E ratio of 12.27 right now. This represents a premium compared to its industry's average Forward P/E of 10.8.

Meanwhile, HCA's PEG ratio is currently 1.34. 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. The Medical - Hospital was holding an average PEG ratio of 1.6 at yesterday's closing price.

The Medical - Hospital industry is part of the Medical sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 181, putting it in the bottom 29% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our 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.

Be sure to follow all of these stock-moving metrics, and many more, on Zacks.com.

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