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Why Healthways Shares Jumped

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Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Healthways (NASDAQ: HWAY  ) , a specialized health-service provider, jumped as much as 20% after the company reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings results.

So what: For the quarter, Healthways reported flat year-over-year revenue of $165.2 million and a loss per share of $0.12. Shares popped considering that the Street had been expecting a loss of $0.15 per share. Further, the company sees revenue of $710 million to $750 million and EPS of $0.25-$0.35 in 2013, which was right in line with expectations. Like we've witnessed many other companies of late, Healthways expects the second-half of the year to be significantly better than the first half.

Now what: I understand that Healthways beat by $0.03 and met the Street's full-year guidance, but I'm having a hard time digesting a 20% move higher in the share price. Its revenue growth estimates for the current year only translate out to 8% at the midpoint, yet its forward P/E for 2014 is a frothy 23. Until I see more consistent growth, Healthways is a specialty health-services provider I'd suggest leaving on the shelf.

Craving more input? Start by adding Healthways to your free and personalized watchlist so you can keep up on the latest news with the company.

While you can certainly make huge gains in health-service providers like Healthways, the best investing approach is to choose great companies and stick with them for the long term. The Motley Fool's free report "3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich" names stocks that could help you build long-term wealth and retire well, along with some winning wealth-building strategies that every investor should be aware of. Click here now to keep reading.

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9/27/2016 4:00 PM
HWAY $25.86 Up +0.26 +1.02%
Healthways CAPS Rating: ***