Canaccord Advises to Remain Sidelined on athenahealth, Inc (ATHN) Following 3Q Results

On back of athenahealth Inc’s (NASDAQ:ATHN) third-quarter earnings release, shares are subsequently falling 6%. From Canaccord analyst Richard Close‘s point of view, it is wisest to “remain on sidelines given implied steep 4Q rev. ramp.”

As such, the analyst reiterates a Hold rating on shares of ATHN with a $127 price target, which represents a 13% increase from where the stock is currently trading.

Whereas the billing and medical practice management software maker encountered a third-quarter revenue miss, posting $276.7 million that underperformed Close’s expectation of $283.1 million and consensus of $280.0 million, the company’s adjusted EPS of $0.60 outclassed both Close’s estimate of $0.48 as well as the Street’s of $0.47. Additionally, the company added 3,829 physicians to athenaNet this past quarter, which beat the analyst’s projection of 3,450 and consensus of 3,384.

Close notes, “ATHN’s beat on EBITDA, EPS and doc adds may be overshadowed by the revenue miss vs. expectations, possible bookings shortfall, revised FY’16 guidance commentary, and implied steep 4Q’16 revenue ramp. Better than expected new docs added to athenaNet will relieve some anxiety following a perceived soft 1H’16.”

However, “While annual guidance was reaffirmed, the commentary exiting 3Q’16 was updated to ‘near the mid-point’ from ‘at or above the mid-point’ exiting 2Q’16, thus a slight adjustment lower. We expect that the revenue miss and updated guidance commentary will lead shares lower unless management has positive commentary,” Close concludes.

Moving forward, the analyst anticipates that lower than anticipated bookings could present “challenges” to the company.

According to TipRanks, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, four-star analyst Richard Close is ranked #692 out of 4,183 analysts. Close has a 51% success rate and gains 4.3% in his annual returns. When recommending ATHN, Close garners 42.0% in average profits on the stock.

TipRanks analytics exhibit ATHN as a Buy. Based on 10 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 60% rate a Buy on ATHN, 30% maintain a Hold, while 10% issue a Sell. The 12-month price target stands at $150.50, marking a 34% upside from where the shares last closed.

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