Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings (NYSE: LH) is expected to report Q3 earnings around Oct. 18. Here's what Wall Street wants to see:

The 10-second takeaway
Comparing the upcoming quarter to the prior-year quarter, average analyst estimates predict Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings's revenues will expand 2.4% and EPS will grow 17.6%.

The average estimate for revenue is $1.44 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $1.74.

Revenue details
Last quarter, Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings tallied revenue of $1.42 billion. GAAP reported sales were 1.4% higher than the prior-year quarter's $1.40 billion.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

EPS details
Last quarter, non-GAAP EPS came in at $1.77. GAAP EPS of $1.56 for Q2 were 30% higher than the prior-year quarter's $1.20 per share.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

Recent performance
For the preceding quarter, gross margin was 40.7%, 120 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 19.6%, 20 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 10.8%, 200 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead

The full year's average estimate for revenue is $5.69 billion. The average EPS estimate is $6.96.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a five-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 680 members out of 700 rating the stock outperform, and 20 members rating it underperform. Among 203 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 201 give Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings a green thumbs-up, and two give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings is hold, with an average price target of $95.66.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.