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Tickers in this Article: MCK
When McKesson (NYSE:MCK) releases its first quarter earnings on Thursday, July 26, 2012, it is expected to report earnings that are up 17.3% from a year ago. The consensus estimate is $1.49 per share, up from earnings of $1.27 per share a year ago.

Earnings season is important to investors because it shows how much profit is left in the company's hand after deducting costs from revenue. SEE: How To Decode A Company's Earnings Reports

What to Expect: For the fiscal year, analysts are expecting earnings of $7.23 per share.

McKesson is expected to beat last year's reported revenue of $29.98 billion and come in at $31.06 billion for the quarter. For the fiscal year, expected revenue is $125.54 billion.

Company Performance: These last four quarters have marked revenue growth. It rose 9.9% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, 9.2% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year, 9.7% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year and 9.2% in the first quarter of the last fiscal year.

The company's earnings have been rising for the last eight quarters, and for the last four, net income has increased year-over-year by an average of 25.9%.

A company's price/earnings ratio (P/E ratio) provides a measure of how expensive or cheap a stock is. High P/E stocks could be "growth" stocks, while low PE stocks may be "value" stocks. SEE: Can Investors Trust the P/E Ratio?

The stock price has risen from $91.38 on April 25, 2012 to $95.34 over the past quarter. McKesson's best recent streak was when its price gained $4.65 per share between June 25, 2012 and July 3, 2012.

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