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HCA Healthcare (HCA) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know

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HCA Healthcare (HCA) closed the most recent trading day at $207.52, moving +1.32% from the previous trading session. This change outpaced the S&P 500's 0.95% gain on the day. At the same time, the Dow added 0.8%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.25%.

Prior to today's trading, shares of the hospital operator had lost 8.6% over the past month. This has lagged the Medical sector's gain of 0.31% and the S&P 500's gain of 0.1% in that time.

HCA Healthcare will be looking to display strength as it nears its next earnings release. On that day, HCA Healthcare is projected to report earnings of $3.94 per share, which would represent a year-over-year decline of 9.84%. Meanwhile, our latest consensus estimate is calling for revenue of $14.88 billion, up 3.06% from the prior-year quarter.

Looking at the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates suggest analysts are expecting earnings of $17.15 per share and revenue of $60.91 billion. These totals would mark changes of -2% and +3.68%, respectively, from last year.

It is also important to note the recent changes to analyst estimates for HCA Healthcare. Recent revisions tend to reflect the latest near-term business trends. As such, positive estimate revisions reflect analyst optimism about the company's business and profitability.

Based on our research, we believe these estimate revisions are directly related to near-team stock moves. 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 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. Over the past month, the Zacks Consensus EPS estimate remained stagnant. HCA Healthcare is currently a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Valuation is also important, so investors should note that HCA Healthcare has a Forward P/E ratio of 11.94 right now. For comparison, its industry has an average Forward P/E of 10.65, which means HCA Healthcare is trading at a premium to the group.

It is also worth noting that HCA currently has a PEG ratio of 1.31. 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. The Medical - Hospital industry currently had an average PEG ratio of 1.57 as of yesterday's close.

The Medical - Hospital industry is part of the Medical sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 207, putting it in the bottom 19% 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.

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


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