ATHENAHEALTH, INC. Third Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

ATHENAHEALTH, INC. (NASDAQ:ATHN) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, October 20, 2011.

ATHENAHEALTH, INC. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for net income of 14 cents per share, a rise of 27.3% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved up from 13 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved up. It has been unchanged at 14 cents during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting profit of 57 cents per share, a rise of 54.1% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: Last quarter, the company beat estimates by 3 cents, coming in at net income of 14 cents a share versus the estimate of profit of 11 cents a share. It marked the fourth straight quarter of beating estimates.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $82.8 million in revenue this quarter, a rise of 31.1% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $321.4 million for the year, a rise of 30.9% from last year’s revenue of $245.5 million.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on ATHENAHEALTH as seven analysts rate it as a buy, four rate it as a sell and 10 rate it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the second quarter, profit rose more than threefold to $5.2 million (14 cents a share) from $1.3 million (4 cents a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 33% to $77.9 million from $58.6 million.

Key Stats:

The company has enjoyed double-digit year-over-year percentage revenue growth for the past four quarters. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of 31.8%, with the biggest boost coming in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year when revenue rose 36% from the year earlier quarter.

The company has seen net income rise in three straight quarters. Net income rose 1073.6% in the first quarter and more than fourfold in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

Competitors to Watch: Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc (NASDAQ:MDRX), Cerner Corporation (NASDAQ:CERN), McKesson Corporation (NYSE:MCK), UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH), Quality Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:QSII), HMS Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ:HMSY), Accretive Health, Inc. Common Stock (NYSE:AH), SXC Health Solutions Corp. (NASDAQ:SXCI), IntegraMed America, Inc. (NASDAQ:INMD), and Quantum Group, Inc. (QNGP).

Stock Price Performance: During July 21, 2011 to October 14, 2011, the stock price had risen $14.77 (30.4%) from $48.58 to $63.35. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between June 30, 2011 and July 8, 2011 when shares rose for six-straight days, rising 14.2% (+$5.83) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between August 15, 2011 and August 19, 2011 when shares fell for five-straight days, falling 10% (-$5.53) over that span. Shares are up $22.37 (+54.6%) year to date.

(Source: Xignite Financials)

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