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Why HealthStream Shares Plunged

By Sean Williams - Oct 23, 2012 at 3:03PM

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Is this meaningful or just another movement?

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 Internet-based health-care learning solutions company HealthStream (HSTM 1.48%) shed as much as 10% in intraday trading after the company reported its third-quarter earnings results.

So what: For the quarter, HealthStream reported a profit of $0.07 on a 28% rise in revenue to $26.4 million. While sales surpassed Wall Street's expectations, profit fell shy of expectations by $0.01. Its HealthStream Learning segment provided the biggest sales boost, rising 35%, with management forecast operating income growth of 18% to 22% over the prior-year period. The drop in EPS compared to last year can be blamed on higher operating expenses.

Now what: Today's drop is a combination of HealthStream missing by $0.01 and the fact that it's valued at a pricey 66 times forward earnings. Look for HealthStream's learning segment to continue to be the primary growth driver for the company over the near term, but temper your expectations given that the valuation here is already frothy.

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

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