Why HealthStream Shares Plunged

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 online health-care training company HealthStream (NAS: HSTM) are sick as a dog today, currently down 11%, following weaker-than-expected first-quarter results.

So what: Despite reporting a 28% jump in revenue to $23.7 million, well ahead of analysts' estimates for $22.7 million, HealthStream's profit of $0.05 came in light of the consensus figure of $0.06, and was lower than the $0.07 it reported in the year-ago period. The company cited extra expenses for its annual customer summit as the reason for the earnings shortfall. HealthStream's earnings forecast did, however, meet the mark, with revenue growth expectations of 21% to 25% and operating income growth of 20% to 26%.

Now what: Today's drop really shouldn't be a surprise to shareholders, as HealthStream's stock had nearly tripled from its 52-week lows. Although I find today's earnings miss disturbing despite the strong revenue growth, it's hard to deny that the company is well-positioned to benefit from a rapidly growing health-care sector. While I like the company and feel its high growth rate should allow it to trade at a premium, it's still too rich for my blood at these levels. For now it'll head to My Watchlist.

Craving more input? Start by adding HealthStream to your free and personalized watchlist so you can keep up on the latest news with the company.

At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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