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Why athenahealth, Inc Shares Sank Today

By Brian Orelli, PhD – Jul 22, 2016 at 12:38PM

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Double-digit revenue growth fell short of expectations.

Image source: Getty Images.

What: athenahealth (ATHN) is down 12% at 12:00 p.m. ET after releasing earnings after market close on Thursday.

So what: As fellow Fool Keith Speights pointed out, on the surface, it wasn't exactly a horrible quarter for the electronic healthcare records company. Sales were up 37% year over year and the company continues to sign up new doctors to use its services, providing future sales.

But investors were clearly looking for more. Two of athenahealth's product lines, athenaCollector and athenaCommunicator, saw growth slowing in the first quarter, which probably contributed to today's response to the earnings report.

The net loss of $1.9 million compared to a $9.3 million profit in the year-ago quarter doesn't look so great, but last year's numbers contain a $21 million gain on the sale of marketable securities. Subtract that out from the year-ago quarter and the numbers look much better, with athenahealth losing less money and not too far from being profitable on a GAAP basis.

Now what: Management reaffirmed its 2016 guidance, noting that it expects revenue to "be at or above the mid-point of the $1,085 million to $1,115 million guidance range." Likewise, adjusted earnings per share -- which subtracts out stock-based compensation, arguably not a one-time expense -- should be in the top half of the previously announced range of $1.65 to $1.85 per share.

Brian Orelli has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends athenahealth. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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