Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings Third Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings (NYSE:LH) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, October 20, 2011. 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 $1.60 per share, a rise of 8.8% 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 $1.62. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at $1.60 during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 5.5% versus last year to $6.31.

Past Earnings Performance: Last quarter, the company beat estimates by 2 cents, coming in at net income of $1.64 a share versus the estimate of profit of $1.62 a share. It marked the fourth straight quarter of beating estimates.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $1.41 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 10.2% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $5.56 billion for the year, a rise of 11.2% from last year’s revenue of $5 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings as nine analysts rate it as a buy, one rates it as a sell and 10 rate it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the second quarter, profit fell 20% to $122.9 million ($1.20 a share) from $153.7 million ($1.46 a share) the year earlier, but exceeded analyst expectations. Revenue rose 13.3% to $1.4 billion from $1.24 billion.

Key Stats:

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue rose 14.6% in the first quarter from the year earlier, climbed 11.2% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year from the year-ago quarter and 7.7% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year.

The company has seen net income fall in each of the last three quarters. Net income fell 4.2% in the first quarter and 7.6% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

Competitors to Watch: Quest Diagnostics Inc. (NYSE:DGX), Orchid Cellmark, Inc. (NASDAQ:ORCH), Clarient, Inc. (NASDAQ:CLRT), Bio-Reference Laboratories, Inc. (NASDAQ:BRLI), Psychemedics Corp. (NASDAQ:PMD), MEDTOX Scientific, Inc. (NASDAQ:MTOX), Enzo Biochem, Inc. (NYSE:ENZ), RadNet Inc. (NASDAQ:RDNT), Interleukin Genetics, Inc (ILIU), and NeoGenomics, Inc. (NGNM).

Stock Price Performance: During July 21, 2011 to October 14, 2011, the stock price had fallen $14.01 (-14.8%) from $94.47 to $80.46. 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. Shares are down $7.46 (-8.5%) year to date.

(Source: Xignite Financials)

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