U.S. Markets open in 5 hrs 4 mins

Here's Why You Should Hold on to Cerner (CERN) Stock for Now

Zacks Equity Research

A slew of developments and a strong view for 2019 are working in favor of Cerner Corporation CERN at present. However, an intensely competitive industry is concerning.

Over the past year, the Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock has lost 3.1% against the industry's 7.2% rally. The current level also compares unfavorably with the S&P 500 index’s 4.6% gain.

What’s Deterring the Stock?

Cerner faces cutthroat competition from Healthcare IT bigwigs like athenahealth and Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, which might affect both pricing and margins.

Additionally, for the first quarter of 2019, business bookings are expected in the range of $1.10-$1.30 billion. The midpoint of this range reflects a 14% decline year over year.

 

Why Should You Retain Cerner?

Developments

Cerner has been witnessing a slew of developments in recent times.

Recently, the company expanded its reach in the Alabama rural health care market through a new collaboration with the Escambia County Healthcare Authority. Notably, D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital in Brewton and Atmore Community Hospital in Atmore are to switch to the Cerner Millennium EHR (Electronic Health Record) platform.

Last month, Massachusetts-based Sturdy Memorial Hospital signed a seven-year agreement to upgrade its EHR with Cerner Millennium.

Additionally, Florida-based BayCare Health System is using Cerner’s advanced technologies and services to increase access to care and improve the health status of its patients.

View Strong

For the first quarter of 2019, Cerner expects revenues between $1.37 billion and $1.42 billion. Adjusted earnings per share are expected in the band of 60-62 cents.

For 2019, revenues are expected between $5.65 billion and $5.85 billion. Adjusted earnings per share are expected between $2.57 and $2.67.

Which Way Are Estimates Treading?

For the first quarter, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings is pegged at 62 cents, reflecting a year-over-year increase of 6.9%. The same for revenues is pinned at $1.39 billion, showing an increase of 7.6% year over year.

For 2019, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues is pinned at $5.75 billion, mirroring growth of 7.1%. The same for earnings stands at $2.62, indicating growth of 6.9% from the previous year.

Cerner Corporation Price and Consensus

Cerner Corporation Price and Consensus | Cerner Corporation Quote

Key Picks

A few better-ranked stocks in the broader medical space are Penumbra, Inc. PEN, Veeva Systems VEEV and DexCom. Inc. DXCM. Notably, each of these stocks currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Penumbra’s long-term earnings growth rate is expected at 20.9%.

Veeva System’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 14.8%.

DexCom’s next-quarter earnings per share are projected to grow 120%.

This Could Be the Fastest Way to Grow Wealth in 2019

Research indicates one sector is poised to deliver a crop of the best-performing stocks you'll find anywhere in the market. Breaking news in this space frequently creates quick double- and triple-digit profit opportunities.

These companies are changing the world – and owning their stocks could transform your portfolio in 2019 and beyond. Recent trades from this sector have generated +98%, +119% and +164% gains in as little as 1 month.

Click here to see these breakthrough stocks now >>


Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
 
Veeva Systems Inc. (VEEV) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Cerner Corporation (CERN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Penumbra, Inc. (PEN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
DexCom, Inc. (DXCM) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
 
Zacks Investment Research