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Tickers in this Article: CERN
When Cerner (Nasdaq:CERN) releases its second quarter earnings on Thursday, July 26, 2012, it is expected to report earnings that are up 21.4% from a year ago. The consensus estimate is 51 cents per share, up from earnings of 42 cents per share a year ago.

Investors should care about a company's quarterly earnings because it shows the state of the business over the past 90 days and provides guidance for the following 90 days. SEE: Can Earnings Guidance Accurately Predict The Future?

What to Expect: Analysts are projecting earnings of $2.18 per share for the fiscal year.

Cerner is expected to beat last year's reported revenue of $524.2 million and come in at $638.1 million for the quarter. For the fiscal year, expected revenue is $2.62 billion.

Company Performance: Over the past four quarters, Cerner has reported double-digit revenue growth. The average revenue increase has been 23%. The most recent quarter marked the biggest jump of 30.4%.

Perhaps one of the most widely-used stock analysis tools is the price-to-earnings ratio, or P/E. High P/E stocks could be "growth" stocks, while low PE stocks may be "value" stocks. SEE: Can Investors Trust the P/E Ratio?

Over the past quarter, the stock price has risen to $77.02 from $72.76 on April 25, 2012. Cerner's worst recent stretch was when its stock price fell $7.21 per share between June 19, 2012 and June 21, 2012.

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