Leading healthcare information technology (HCIT) solutions
) reported third quarter earnings per share of 56 cents, beating
the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny and surpassing the
year-ago earnings of 45 cents per share. Net income surged 25.4%
year over year to $98.9 million.
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Revenues in the third quarter rose 18% year over year to $676.5
million, well ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $654
Revenues increased on the back of growth in Support, Maintenance
and Services (up 16.4% to $432.3 million), robust System sales
(up 21.8% to $229.9 million) and higher revenues from Reimbursed
Travel (up 24.4% to about $14.3 million).
Bookings and Revenue Backlog
Bookings came in at $769.9 million, up 18% year over year, a
record high for the company in any third quarter. Total revenue
backlog came to $6.79 billion, up 20% year over year, including
$6.06 billion of contract backlog and $724 million of support and
Gross margin decreased 100 basis points to 77.9% in the third
quarter. Operating margin improved roughly 70 basis points to
21.8% in the quarter.
Balance Sheet & Cash flow
Cerner exited the third quarter with cash, cash equivalents and
short-term investment of $1,039 million, up 37.6% on a
year-over-year basis. Long-term debt and other obligations
climbed 42.7% year over year to $141.7 million in the quarter.
Cash flow from operations was $182.2 million in the quarter, up
41.1% year over year. Free cash flow increased almost 24% year
over year to $104.8 million.
For the fourth quarter of 2012, Cerner forecasts revenues in a
band of $670 million and $700 million. The company envisages
adjusted earnings per share before share based compensation
expense, in the range of 62 cents to 64 cents. Fresh bookings are
estimated between $925 million and $975 million. Cerner expects
stock-based compensation to be dilutive to its earnings by about
4 cents for the fourth quarter.
For 2012, Cerner increased its forecast revenues in the range of
$2.63 billion and $2.66 billion compared with the earlier range
of $2.575 billion to $2.625 billion. The company also narrowed
its expected adjusted earnings per share, before share based
compensation expense, to be in the neighborhood of $2.34 and
$2.36 compared with the earlier range of $2.32 to $2.36. Cerner
projects stock-based compensation costs to dilute 2012 earnings
by about 13 cents to 14 cents.
Cerner remains the trend setter among pure-play, publicly traded
healthcare IT (HCIT) vendors. We believe Cerner has positioned
itself as one of the better placed clinical technology vendors to
benefit from high HCIT spending over the next few years. The
company is diversified not only on a global basis but serves both
hospitals and ambulatory outfits. Its integrated solutions have
captured market share.
We believe long-term investors may consider Cerner, which serves
a sizeable installed hospital base. It requires composite
clinically-focused applications complying with 'meaningful use'
requirements, reimbursement problems and complex coding
challenges. The company has long-standing, integrated and
seamless solutions for both inpatient and ambulatory settings.
On the negative side, the federal Stimulus program will gradually
wind down. Cerner faces stiff competition from established HCIT
players, such as
) and many others in a crowded field. The company is developing
multiple growth drivers which will ensure its future growth.
We have a long-term 'Neutral' recommendation on Cerner. The stock
currently carries a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a
short-term Hold rating.