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Centene (CNC) to Report Q1 Earnings: What's in the Cards?

Centene Corporation CNC is slated to release first-quarter 2021 results on Apr 27, before the opening bell.

Q1 Estimates

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s first-quarter earnings per share is pegged at $1.65, indicating an improvement of 91.9% from the prior-year quarter. The consensus mark for revenues stands at $29.4 billion, which suggests growth of 12.8% from the year-ago reported number.

Factors to Note

The company’s to-be-reported quarter performance is likely to have benefited from higher premiums, an expanding specialty pharmacy platform and rise in membership stemming from new programs and contract renewals.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s premiums is pegged at $26.6 billion, which indicates an improvement of 14.4% from the prior-year quarter.

Moreover, Centene’s first-quarter performance is likely to have recieved a boost from its leading nationwide position in offering government sponsored healthcare. While the company expects higher enrolment in its Medicare Advantage business in the to-be-reported quarter, the Health Insurance Marketplace business is likely to witness an improving performance on the back of persistent pricing discipline and higher retention rates.

The consensus estimate for total membership by line of business suggests growth of 6.8% from the year-ago quarter’s reported figure.

While the company anticipates COVID-related utilization to remain at higher levels in the to-be-reported quarter, it expects reduction in traditional utilization. Also, higher testing and treatment costs linked with the pandemic coupled with constant investments pursued in automation and technology developments might have led to escalated costs in the to-be-reported quarter.

Earnings Surprise History

The company has a decent earnings surprise history. Its bottom line beat estimates in two of the trailing four quarters and missed the remaining two. It has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 4.34%, on average. This is depicted in the chart below:

Centene Corporation Price and EPS Surprise

Centene Corporation price-eps-surprise | Centene Corporation Quote

What Our Quantitative Model Predicts

The proven Zacks model does not conclusively predict an earnings beat for Centene this time around. The combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the odds of an earnings beat. But that’s not the case here.

Earnings ESP: Centene has an Earnings ESP of 0.00%. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Zacks Rank: Centene carries a Zacks Rank #3. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Stocks to Consider

Some stocks worth considering from the medical space with the perfect mix of elements to surpass estimates in their upcoming releases.

Pacira BioSciences, Inc. PCRX has an Earnings ESP of +3.80% and a Zacks Rank #2, presently.

Emergent BioSolutions Inc. EBS has an Earnings ESP of +1.55% and a Zacks Rank #3.

Hologic, Inc. HOLX has an Earnings ESP of +0.05% and a Zacks Rank #3 at present.

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Hologic, Inc. (HOLX): Free Stock Analysis Report
Emergent Biosolutions Inc. (EBS): Free Stock Analysis Report
Pacira BioSciences, Inc. (PCRX): Free Stock Analysis Report
Centene Corporation (CNC): Free Stock Analysis Report
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