Cerner Corp. (CERN: Quote), a provider of healthcare information technology, on Tuesday reported a 23 percent increase in profit for the fourth quarter on double-digit revenue growth and strong bookings. Both revenue and adjusted earnings per share beat analysts' estimates.
Looking ahead, Cerner forecast earnings for the first quarter mostly below analysts' estimates, but projects earnings for fiscal 2013 in line with their expectations.
The Missouri-based company's system sales for the fourth quarter grew 14 percent from last year to $251.76 million, while support, maintenance and services revenues rose 16 percent to $445.10 million and reimbursed travel increased 21 percent to $13.53 million.
Bookings in the quarter increased 13 percent from the year-ago period to $1.02 billion. Total backlog at the end of the quarter was $7.27 billion, up 19 percent from the year-ago period. This comprised of $6.53 billion of contract backlog and $738.2 million of support and maintenance backlog.
Cerner's net earnings for the fourth quarter were $111.81 million or $0.63 per share, up from $91.19 million or $0.52 per share in the year-ago period.
The latest quarter's results include share-based compensation expense that net earnings and earnings per share by $6.4 million and $0.04, respectively. The prior-year quarter's results included share-based compensation expense that reduced net earnings and earnings per share by $5.0 million and $0.03, respectively.
Adjusted net earnings for the quarter were $118.20 million or $0.67 per share, compared to $96.15 million or $0.55 per share in the prior-year period. On average, analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $0.60 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.
Revenue for the quarter grew 15 percent to $710.38 million from $615.63 million in the year-ago period and beat analysts consensus estimate of $696.51 million.
For fiscal 2012, Cerner's net earnings rose to $397.23 million or $2.26 per share from $306.63 million or $1.76 per share in the prior year. Adjusted net earnings for the year were $420.77 million or $2.39 per share, compared to $324.85 million or $1.87 per share last year.
Revenues for the year grew 21 percent to $2.67 billion from $2.20 billion in the previous year.
Analysts expected the company to report earnings of $2.36 per share for the year on revenues of $2.65 billion.
Looking ahead to the first quarter of fiscal 2013, Cerner forecasts adjusted earnings before share based compensation expense in a range of $0.61 to $0.63 per share on revenue between $690 million and $715 million. Analysts expect the company to earn $0.63 per share for the quarter on revenues of $699.33 million.
The company estimates first-quarter new business bookings between $720 million and $760 million.
For fiscal 2013, Cerner anticipates adjusted earnings before share based compensation expense in a range of $2.75 and $2.82 per share on revenues of $2.95 billion to $3.05 billion. Street expects the company to earn $2.79 per share for the year on revenues of $2.98 billion.
CERN closed Tuesday's trading at $83.60, up $0.51 or 0.61 percent on a volume of 1.23 million shares. In after-hours, the stock further gained $3.65 or 4.37 percent to $87.25.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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