Computer Programs & Systems' Shares Got Crushed: What You Need to Know

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Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Computer Programs & Systems (NAS: CPSI) , which makes software and systems to help small and midsize hospitals manage their affairs, fell off a cliff today. Share prices dropped as much as 29% on (are you sitting down?) about 20 times average trading volumes.

So what: Last night's third-quarter report fell far short of analyst estimates on both the top and bottom lines. Fourth quarter guidance wasn't any better.

Now what: It ain't easy for a small-cap health specialist competing with global giants McKesson (NYS: MCK) , IBM (NYS: IBM) (via privately held Healthcare Management Systems), and Siemens (NYS: SI) . This drop erased about 9 months of jumpy gains but also boosted the dividend payout from 2% to 2.8% overnight. I don't see any structural problems in this debt-free systems specialist with achievable growth goals. If you agree, this could be the perfect time to start a very safe dividend-milking position.

Interested in more info about Computer Programs & Systems? Click here to add it to My Watchlist.

At the time this article was published Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of International Business Machines. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of McKesson. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinion, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Check out Anders' holdings and bio, or follow him on Twitter and Google+. We have a disclosure policy.

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