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Cerner Beats 4th Quarter Estimates; Guides Lower

Cerner  Healthcare information technology provider Cerner Corp. (NASDAQ: CERN – $55.46) said fourth quarter revenue was $1.175 billion, an increase of 27% compared to $926 million in the year-ago period.  Full-year revenue was $4.43 billion, up 30% compared to 2014. Bookings in the period were $1.35 billion, an increase of 16% compared to last year’s fourth quarter. Adjusted net earnings came in at $212.3 million, from $163.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2014, and equal to $0.61 per share an increase of 30% percent vs. a year-ago.  Analysts’ consensus estimate for Cerner’s fourth quarter was $0.57/share.  For the full year 2015, adjusted net per share earnings were $2.11 vs. 2014 results of $1.65. Cerner also reported operating cash flow of $353.1 million for the period and total backlog of future revenue of $14.2 billion, up 34% over the year-ago quarter. The company is still in the process of integrating its Siemens’ Health Services acquisition completed early last year.  Looking ahead, the company now projects revenue for 2016 of $4.9 to $5.1 billion, compared with its earlier view of more than $5 billion in revenue, but it re-affirmed its profit estimate of $2.30 to $2.40 per share, much in line with Street estimates. Investors were taken back by the new guidance, however, and the shares fell sharply in after-hours trading. Nonetheless, positions are worth holding for the longer-term on the expected growth in information technology spending by hospitals for clinical and management information systems, assuming that Cerner can successfully get its arms around the new Health Services business.


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