Cerner Corporation (CERN) revealed that its board of directors approved a new share repurchase program, which will allow the company to repurchase up to $217 million worth of shares. However, the company did not provide a timeframe for completing the repurchase program. After the announcement, shares of the company rose 1.4% to $54.93 till yesterday.
The Kansas City, Mo.-based leading healthcare information technology (“HCIT”) solutions provider completed its prior share repurchase program in the third quarter of the year. Under the previous share repurchase program, authorized in December 2012, CERN repurchased 3.6 million shares for $170.0 million.
Cerner reported net earnings of $115.3 million or 33 cents per share for the third quarter of the year, meeting the Zacks Consensus Estimate. This reflected a 16.6% rise from $98.9 million and 17.9% from 28 cents in the comparable quarter a year ago.
Revenues in the quarter grew 8% to $727.8 million, but it was below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $756 million. In fact, the revenue growth was below CERN’s own expectations due to decreased levels of low-margin technology resale.
For the fourth quarter of 2013, Cerner anticipates revenues between $775 and $815 million while earnings are expected between 38 and 39 cents per share. These compared with the Zacks Consensus Estimates of $794 million and 36 cents for the quarter. The company also expects new business bookings between $1.0 and $1.1 billion for the quarter.
Currently, CERN carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). While we prefer none of the stocks from the medical information systems industry at this moment, we can consider some better-ranked stocks from the medical products industry such as Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (BIO), Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. (HRC), and Advaxis, Inc. (ADXS). While Bio-Rad Laboratories and Hill-Rom Holdings carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Advaxis carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).