Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings (NYSE:LH) will unveil its latest earnings on Friday, February 10, 2012. Laboratory Corporation of America provides testing services used by the medical profession in patient diagnosis and in the monitoring and treatment of disease.

Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of $1.53 per share, a rise of 4.8% 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 5.4% versus last year to $6.30.

Past Earnings Performance: Last quarter, the company beat estimates by one cent, coming in at net income of $1.61 a share versus the estimate of profit of $1.60 a share. It marked the fourth straight quarter of beating estimates.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a rise of 6.2% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $1.38 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts seem relatively indifferent about Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings with 11 of 21 analysts surveyed maintaining a hold rating.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit fell 4.1% to $134.3 million ($1.31 a share) from $140 million ($1.34 a share) the year earlier, but exceeded analyst expectations. Revenue rose 10% to $1.4 billion from $1.28 billion.

Key Stats:

The company has enjoyed double-digit year-over-year percentage revenue growth for the past four quarters. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of 12.3%, with the biggest boost coming in the first quarter when revenue rose 14.6% from the year earlier quarter.

While the company has been profitable for the last eight quarters, income has fallen year over year by an average of 9% over the past four quarters. The quarter hit the hardest was the second quarter, that saw a 20% drop.

Stock Price Performance: During November 9, 2011 to February 7, 2012, the stock price had risen $11.25 (13.9%) from $80.70 to $91.95. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between March 23, 2011 and April 6, 2011 when shares rose for 11-straight days, rising 7.9% (+$6.87) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between July 19, 2011 and July 27, 2011 when shares fell for seven-straight days, falling 7% (-$6.82) over that span.

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

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To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at

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