Cerner shares fall on weak bookings

Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:46am EDT

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(Reuters) - Shares of Cerner Corp (CERN.O) fell as much as 7 percent after the healthcare IT company reported quarterly order bookings below Street estimates.

Bookings in the second quarter were up 8 percent at $700.5 million, while analysts were expecting $710 million.

"The bookings were strong, but Street wanted more," Robert W. Baird & Co analyst Eric Coldwell said in a client note.

On Thursday, Cerner reported second-quarter earnings of 59 cents per share, beating analysts' estimates of 55 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

However, on the same day, rival Quality Systems withdrew its full-year outlook after a weaker-than-expected start to the year owing to slowing sales of its high-margin software systems.

"Peers' unfavorable commentary and results won't help and sector sentiment is continuing a downward migration," Coldwell said.

Cerner also competes with Athenahealth Inc (ATHN.O) in the healthcare IT sector.

Baird, which lowered the price target on Cerner stock to $81 from $89, however expects a dip in the stock price to be an "opportunity for investors willing to invest in a high quality industry leader likely positioned to be the greatest share-taker over the next one to three years."

Shares of the Kansas City, Missouri-based company were trading down 6 percent at $73.30 on the Nasdaq. They touched a low of $72.50.

(Reporting by Shailesh Kuber in Bangalore; Editing by Sreejiraj Eluvangal)

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