Healthcare Stocks Closing With Big Gains; AthenaHealth Rallies After Topping Q4 EPS, Revenue Estimates

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Healthcare stocks were solidly higher Friday afternoon with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index climbing about 1.4% and shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 rising 1.8% as a group.

In company news, AthenaHealth was up 25.6% in late trade at $174.74 a share, earlier climbing to a new 52-week high of $177.79 after late yesterday reporting Q4 earnings that beat analyst estimates by $0.13 per share.

EPS for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2013, were $0.57 per share, easily topping the Capital IQ consensus looking for a $0.44 profit. Revenue rose 47.5% year over year to $171.6 million, beating the Street view by nearly $3 million.

In other sector news,

(+) CYTK, Stock soars after the biotech company posts a surprise Q4 profit and revenue jumped 11 times over year-ago levels.

(-) LH, Adjusted Q4 net income rises $0.07 over year-ago levels to $1.61 per share but still falls $0.04 short of analysts forecasts. Revenue climbs 2.3% year over year to $1.43 bln, largely matching Street projections.



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