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Emdeon net up 12 pct, announces acquisition

Tue, 03/16/2010 - 2:30pm
The Associated Press

Emdeon Inc., a health care payment technology company, said Tuesday that its quarterly profit jumped 12 percent with a rise in sales.

It reported revenue slightly below Wall Street's forecasts, though. The company also announced its plans to pay $11 million to buy Healthcare Technology Management Services, a management consulting company that it said will help it expand.

Emdeon's shares fell in extended trading Tuesday afternoon.

Emdeon said after the market closed that its net income was $4.7 million, or 3 cents per share, for the last three months of 2009. That compares with $4.2 million, or 4 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company said its latest profit was dragged down by higher income taxes and employee stock compensation expenses.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned 20 cents per share in the fourth quarter. That topped by a penny the 19 cents per share that analysts were expecting on that same basis.

Revenue rose 10 percent to $238.6 million, which was slightly short of the $240 million analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting.

For the full year, the company's net income rose 17 percent to $14.0 million, and its revenue rose 8 percent to $918.4 million.

In the acquisition, Emdeon said it will pay $8.5 million in cash and $2.5 million in restricted common stock for Healthcare Technology Management Services. It could pay as much as $14 million more based on the acquired company's performance over the next three years.

The consulting firm's focus is on helping healthcare clients figure out ways to use technology to reach their business targets.

Emdeon stock fell 15 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $16.49 in extended trading, after the results and the acquisition were announced. The shares had climbed 56 cents, or 3.5 percent, to close at $16.64 during the regular trading session.

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