2 Healthcare Stocks Preparing to Release Earnings to Shareholders

St. Jude Medical, Inc. (NYSE:STJ) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, January 25, 2012. The average estimate of analysts is for profit of 84 cents per share, a rise of 12% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. The average estimate is the same as three months ago. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate was unchanged. It also has not changed during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 8.6% versus last year to $3.27.

The company has beaten estimates the last four quarters and is coming off a quarter where it topped forecasts by 2 cents, reporting net income of 78 cents per share against a mean estimate of profit of 76 cents per share. Analysts are projecting a rise of 3.7% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $1.4 billion.

Competitors to Watch: Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE:MDT), Boston Scientific Corp. (NYSE:BSX), Edwards Lifesciences Corp (NYSE:EW), Hansen Medical, Inc. (NASDAQ:HNSN), Greatbatch Inc. (NYSE:GB), AtriCure Inc. (NASDAQ:ATRC), Volcano Corporation (NASDAQ:VOLC), C.R. Bard, Inc. (NYSE:BCR), and Stereotaxis, Inc. (NASDAQ:STXS).

WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE:WLP) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, January 25, 2012. The average estimate of analysts is for profit of $1.11 per share, a decline of 16.5% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from $1.17. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at $1.11 during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting net income of $7.09 per share, a rise of 5.2% from last year.

The company has beaten estimates the last four quarters and is coming off a quarter where it topped forecasts by 11 cents, reporting profit of $1.77 per share against a mean estimate of net income of $1.66 per share. Analysts are projecting a rise of 6.9% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $15.41 billion.

Competitors to Watch: CIGNA Corporation (NYSE:CI), Humana Inc. (NYSE:HUM), UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH), Aetna Inc. (NYSE:AET), Universal American Corp. (NYSE:UAM), Health Net, Inc. (NYSE:HNT), HealthSpring, Inc (NYSE:HS), Molina Healthcare, Inc. (NYSE:MOH), Coventry Health Care, Inc. (NYSE:CVH), and Triple-S Management Corp. (NYSE:GTS).