Earnings in the Spotlight for Centene Corporation (NYSE:CNC)

As earnings season comes into focus, active investors may be wondering which companies will beat estimates and which ones will miss when the earnings numbers are posted. Looking at shares of Centene Corporation (NYSE:CNC), we note that the current quarter consensus EPS estimate is 0.98. This estimate is comprised of 9 sell-side analysts polled by Zacks Research. For the previous quarter, the company posted a quarterly EPS of 1.34. Earnings per share is the segment of profit for a company that is allocated to every outstanding share of a company’s common stock. Earnings per share numbers can serve as an indicator for the profitability of a particular company. 

One of the biggest mistakes that can plague the individual investor is not setting up an overall investment plan. Investors may want to start out be setting up an outline of overall goals. Having goals can eventually make the day to day investing decisions at little bit easier over time. Once a plan is in place, investors can then spend more time focusing on the proper stocks to add to the portfolio. Dedicating time for extensive stock research may not be easy, but it may put the investor in a better position. Some investors will go to greater lengths, such as making sure that they have a good reason behind every buy or sell decision. This process may seem unnecessary to some, but it may help the investor stay focused when the market gets choppy and tough decisions need to be made.

Let’s shift the focus and look at some historical stock price action on shares of Centene Corporation (NYSE:CNC). After a recent market scan, we have seen that the stock has been trading near the $47.78 level. Investors may also be tracking the current stock price in relation to its 52-week high and low. The 52-week high is currently sitting at $73.44, and the 52-week low is $47.01. When the stock starts moving towards the 52-week high or 52-week low, investors may pay added attention to see if there will be a breakthrough that level. Over the last 12 weeks, the stock has moved -15.85%. Since the beginning of the calendar year, we can see that shares have changed -17.12%. Over the past 4 weeks, shares have moved -10.24%. Over the previous 5 sessions, the stock has moved -2.41%.

Sell-side Street analysts often offer stock ratings for companies that they cover. Based on analysts polled by Zacks Research, the present average broker rating on shares of Centene Corporation (NYSE:CNC) is presently 1.05. This average rating includes analysts who have given Sell, Buy and Hold ratings on the equity. This rating uses a numerical recommendation scale from 1 to 5. A score of 1 would represent a Buy recommendation, and a score of 5 would indicate a Sell recommendation. Out of all the analysts providing recommendations, 11 have rated the stock a Strong Buy or Buy, based on data provided by Zacks Research.

Taking a look at some target price information, we note that shares of Centene Corporation (NYSE:CNC) presently have an average target price of $75.5. This is the consensus target price using estimates offered by analysts polled by Zacks Research. Sell-side analysts can calculate price target projections using various methods. Many investors will track stock target prices, especially when analysts make changes to the target. A thorough research report will generally give detailed reasoning for a certain target projection. Some investors may watch sell-side targets very closely and use the data to help with their own stock research.

Looking at the current landscape of the equity market, investors may be doing some bargain hunting for stocks to add to the portfolio. Many sharp investors will welcome temporary market dips which may provide plenty of buying opportunities. Being prepared for these types of opportunities can help the investor make quick decisions in the midst of a downturn. As we move closer to the close of the year, investors will be closely watching the next round of company earnings reports. Even if the individual investor chooses to trade conservatively during earnings, they can still do the necessary research and have stocks lined up to purchase when the time is right.

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