Express Scripts Holding First Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Express Scripts Holding Company (NASDAQ:ESRX) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, May 10, 2012. Express Scripts is a pharmacy benefit management company, providing services like retail network pharmacy management and patient care contact centers to its clients in North America.

Express Scripts Holding Company Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is for net income of 77 cents per share, a rise of 16.7% from the company’s actual earnings for the year-ago quarter. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 80 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at 77 cents during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting profit of $3.65 per share, a rise of 22.9% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: The company fell short of estimates last quarter after topping forecasts the quarter prior. In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, it reported net income of 82 cents per share against a mean estimate of 85 cents. Two quarters ago, it beat expectations by one cent with profit of 79 cents.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts predict a rise of 3.4% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $11.47 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on this stock, with 18 analysts rating it as a buy, none rating it as a sell and two rating it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, profit fell 11.9% to $290.4 million (60 cents a share) from $329.6 million (61 cents a share) the year earlier, missing analyst expectations. Revenue rose 7.1% to $12.1 billion from $11.29 billion.

Key Stats:

After last quarter’s profit drop broke a string of income increases, this earnings announcement is definitely a chance for a rebound. Net income rose 25.5% in the first quarter of the last fiscal year, 15.3% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year and 7.7% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year before declining in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

On the top line, the company is looking to build on three-straight revenue increases heading into this earnings announcement. Revenue increased 0.6% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year and 2.8% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year before climbing again in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year of the last fiscal year.

Stock Price Performance: Between February 8, 2012 and May 4, 2012, the stock price rose $3.45 (6.8%), from $50.78 to $54.23. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between December 28, 2011 and January 9, 2012, when shares rose for eight straight days, increasing 13.7% (+$6) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between July 7, 2011 and July 18, 2011 when shares fell for eight straight days, dropping 5.7% (-$3.11) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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