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What's in Store for Cerner (CERN) This Earnings Season?

Cerner Corporation CERN is expected to report first-quarter 2016 results on May 5. Last quarter, the company reported earnings of 58 cents per share, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a nickel.

Notably, the company’s results compared favorably with the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the last four quarters, with an average beat of 1.87%.



Let's see how things are shaping up for this quarter.

Factors at Play

For the first quarter of 2016, Cerner forecasts revenues between $1.15 billion and $1.2 billion. The mid-point of the guided range reflects 18% year-over-year growth. The company also projects new business bookings between $1.15 billion and $1.25 billion.

Adjusted earnings (before share-based compensation expense and acquisition-related adjustments) are expected in the range of 52 cents to 54 cents. At mid-point, this reflects 18% growth on a year-over-year basis.

We believe that Cerner’s strong product portfolio will help it boost its customer base. The frequent contract wins reflect growing traction. Moreover, the company has strong growth opportunities in the revenue cycle management (RCM) and ambulatory market.

However, the HCIT market is highly competitive which exerts considerable pressure on both pricing and margins. Moreover, a growing proportion of low-margin services and technology resale may affect margins. Meanwhile, stringent hospital budgets continue to exert pressure on pricing, which is an added concern.

Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Cerner is likely to beat earnings this quarter. That is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) for this to happen. That is not the case here as you will see below.

Zacks ESP: Cerner has an Earnings ESP of 0.00%. This is because both the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate stand at 49 cents.

Zacks Rank: Cerner carries a Zacks Rank #4. Note that we caution against stocks with a Zacks Ranks #4 and #5 (Sell-rated stocks) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions.

Stocks to Consider

Here are a few stocks worth considering that, per our model, have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter:

Quality Systems QSII, with an Earnings ESP of +6.25% and a Zacks Rank #2.

Becton, Dickinson and Company BDX, with an Earnings ESP of +1.99% and a Zacks Rank #2.

The Cooper Companies COO, with an Earnings ESP of +.52% and a Zacks Rank #2.
 

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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
 
CERNER CORP (CERN): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
QUALITY SYS (QSII): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
BECTON DICKINSO (BDX): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
COOPER COS (COO): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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