Allscripts Healthcare Shares Popped: What You Need to Know

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 electronic medical records specialist Allscripts Healthcare (NAS: MDRX) were looking quite healthy today, gaining as much as 19% before settling back down a bit.

So what: It was a second-quarter earnings hot-air balloon lifting Allscripts' shares today. Non-GAAP revenue increased 11% from last year, to $364 million, while non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.22 were up 22% year over year. Wall Street analysts were expecting per-share profits of $0.22 on revenue of $356 million.

Now what: While earnings per share only met estimates, management helped stoke investor optimism by tweaking its forward financial guidance. Specifically, the bottom end of both revenue and profit projections was shifted upward, suggesting that full-year results will be on the higher end of management's previous guidance range.

Shares currently trade at nearly 20 times expected 2011 earnings, so investors obviously believe the company will continue to grow at an impressive clip. They're not alone; Wall Street has pegged the company's five-year growth rate at just shy of 20% per year.

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