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Cerner's 3Q profit rises, revenue below forecast

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Cerner Corp. said Thursday that its third-quarter profit rose 17 percent but revenue fell short of expectations, and the medical-information vendor issued a tepid forecast for the fourth quarter.

The company, which makes software for doctors, hospitals, clinics and labs, said revenue growth fell below its expectations because of weak sales of low-margin technology, which didn't have as big an impact on earnings. Third-quarter bookings rose 21 percent to $928 million, which Cerner said was an all-time high for the period.

Before the report, the shares closed at $57.76, down 24 cents. In after-hours trading, they fell $1.81, or 3 percent, to $55.95.

Net income totaled $115.3 million, or 33 cents per share, compared with year-ago profit of $98.9 million, or 28 cents per share. Excluding stock-based compensation costs, the company said it would have earned 35 cents per share, which matched the forecast of analysts surveyed by FactSet.

Revenue rose nearly 8 percent to $727.8 million, but analysts had expected $757.1 million.

For the fourth quarter, the company is forecasting adjusted earnings of 38 cents or 39 cents per share on revenue between $775 million and $815 million. Analysts are looking for 39 cents per share on revenue of $811.3 million, on average.