(Allscripts-Misys earnings story updated for Thursday morning trading)CHICAGO, Ill. (TheStreet) -- The health-care information technology earnings season got underway after the market close on Wednesday with Allscripts-Misys Healthcare Solutions (MDRX) - Get Report reporting a bookings level of $105.5 million in its third fiscal quarter.

Earnings per share of 17 cents was a penny above Street consensus and revenue of $179.3 million was also slightly ahead of the Street forecasts, but

it's the Allscripts-Misys bookings number that has moved health care IT stocks in the past, and in this case, could push health care IT shares higher.

On Thursday morning in pre-market trading, Allscripts-Misys shares were up between 4% and 5%. The health care IT stock was among the biggest percentage gainers on the Nasdaq in the pre-market on Thursday.

The Allscripts-Misys earnings has served as an early earnings-season bellwether for the group, which also includes

Cerner

(CERN) - Get Report

,

Quality Systems

(QSII)

,

Athenahealth

(ATHN) - Get Report

, and

Eclipsys

( ECLP).

Athenahealth received an upgrade to a hold from Citigroup on Thursday morning, with the securities firm citing its "superior" sales model and share price currently trading 20% below its high.

The specific benchmark used by the Street for a signal of traction in adoption of electronic records by hospitals and physician groups has been $100 million in bookings for Allscripts-Misys. Last quarter, the health care IT company fell short of the mark and all health care IT shares suffered.

The $105.5 million bookings level exceeded Street estimates for the fiscal third quarter. Anthony Vendetti, analyst at Maxim Group, was looking for a bookings level of $98.3 million, and thought that any increase from last quarter's booking level just below $94 million might have been enough to placate investors who had an itchy trigger finger last earning season with these stocks.

Street consensus on bookings was at $99 million. Caris & Company analyst Leo Carpio was at $95 million for bookings, and thought outperformance by Allscripts-Misys on bookings could be the signal to send the health care IT sector stocks back toward 52-week high levels.

Allscripts-Misys shares were trading at $21.10 in the pre-market on Thursday morning. The health care IT company's 52-week high is $22.21.

"Our organization achieved exceptional results in the third quarter, led by record sales," said Glen Tullman, CEO of Allscripts, in the earnings release. "Physicians are increasingly embracing the Electronic Health Record and Allscripts is capitalizing today on what we believe will be a rapid industry transformation."

Allscripts raised its fiscal 2010 non-GAAP net income guidance to a range of $97 to $98.5 million, which equates to non-GAAP diluted earnings per share of 64 cents to 65 cents. The new guidance is in line with the Street's earnings per share forecast.

-- Reported by Eric Rosenbaum in New York.

RELATED STORIES:

>>Six Best and Worst Health Care Information Stocks

>>Health Care Gainer: Athenahealth

>>Deutsche Ups Allscripts; Shares Rebound

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