Cerner (CERN) Lowered to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Cerner (NASDAQ:CERN) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report released on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Cerner exited the fourth quarter on a mixed note. While earnings met the consensus mark, revenues lagged the same. The company’s Licensed Software and Subscriptions revenues saw a year-over-year decline in the quarter. In fact, management expects low software bookings to negatively impact total bookings in the upcoming quarter. Contraction in operating margins adds to the woes. Furthermore, high long-term debt and competition in the global HCIT space are worrisome. Cerner underperformed its industry in a year's time. On the bright side, the company continues to witness strong contributions from key areas like, Population Health, Revenue Cycle and IT Works. Strong international performance in the quarter is an added positive. Also, gains in Professional and Managed Services units buoy optimism. Cerner is likely to benefit from its EHR, EPR or EMR platforms that provide patient care in both acute inpatient and outpatient settings.”

Several other equities research analysts have also commented on CERN. Morgan Stanley cut their price target on shares of Cerner from $72.00 to $68.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Monday, December 3rd. BidaskClub lowered shares of Cerner from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, January 22nd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the stock. Cerner presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $67.00.

CERN stock opened at $57.58 on Wednesday. The company has a market capitalization of $18.68 billion, a P/E ratio of 26.05, a P/E/G ratio of 1.91 and a beta of 0.97. The company has a quick ratio of 2.38, a current ratio of 2.41 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.09. Cerner has a 52 week low of $48.78 and a 52 week high of $67.57.

Cerner (NASDAQ:CERN) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, February 5th. The company reported $0.63 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.57 by $0.06. The company had revenue of $1.37 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.39 billion. Cerner had a net margin of 11.74% and a return on equity of 14.84%. Cerner’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.58 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that Cerner will post 2.37 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in CERN. Adell Harriman & Carpenter Inc. lifted its position in Cerner by 0.6% in the fourth quarter. Adell Harriman & Carpenter Inc. now owns 31,427 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,648,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. Securian Asset Management Inc lifted its position in Cerner by 0.7% in the fourth quarter. Securian Asset Management Inc now owns 34,031 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,785,000 after buying an additional 248 shares during the last quarter. Griffin Asset Management Inc. lifted its position in Cerner by 2.5% in the third quarter. Griffin Asset Management Inc. now owns 10,400 shares of the company’s stock valued at $670,000 after buying an additional 250 shares during the last quarter. Armstrong Henry H Associates Inc. lifted its position in Cerner by 2.4% in the fourth quarter. Armstrong Henry H Associates Inc. now owns 10,500 shares of the company’s stock valued at $551,000 after buying an additional 250 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Motley Fool Wealth Management LLC lifted its position in Cerner by 0.5% in the fourth quarter. Motley Fool Wealth Management LLC now owns 50,414 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,644,000 after buying an additional 262 shares during the last quarter. 79.77% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Cerner

Cerner Corporation provides health care information technology solutions and tech-enabled services in the United States and internationally. The company offers Cerner Millennium architecture, a person-centric computing framework, which includes clinical, financial, and management information systems that allow providers to access an individual's electronic health record (EHR) at the point of care, and organizes and delivers information for physicians, nurses, laboratory technicians, pharmacists, front- and back-office professionals, and consumers.

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