Updated from 9:12 a.m. EST
plunged Friday after the online health network, which has made a flurry of acquisitions in the past three months, posted a fourth-quarter loss that was far larger than Wall Street expected.
Healtheon/WebMD's stock fell 6 9/16, or 11.2%, to close at 51 15/16.
The stock was down because "there was nothing spectacularly good" in the results, said analyst Anthony Vendetti of
Gruntal & Co.
"There was no overwhelmingly positive news in the release so people are taking a ho-hum approach." He rates Healtheon/WebMD an intermediate- and long-term outperformer and his firm has done no underwriting for the company.
Another concern is the ability of the company to integrate all it plans to acquire. In a period of just over three weeks in January and February, Healtheon/WebMD made four acquisition announcements.
For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, the Atlanta-based company reported a net loss of $234.75 million, or $1.98 a diluted share, far exceeding its loss of $18.19 million, or 34 cents a share, a year earlier.
Revenue more than doubled to $33.24 million from $15.61 million a year earlier, the company said in a statement that was released shortly after midnight.
Results include Healtheon's merger with WebMD as well as the
acquisitions, which were completed in the middle of the fourth quarter.
As a result of the three transactions completed last year, Healtheon/WebMD recorded intangible assets of $3.6 billion and amortization expense of those intangibles of $169 million for 1999.
Excluding depreciation and amortization, the company's fourth quarter loss would have been $49.3 million, or 42 cents a share, compared with $13.1 million or 25 cents a share a year earlier. The consensus estimate of analysts polled by
First Call/Thomson Financial
was a loss of 55 cents.
It's been a busy time for Healtheon/WebMD, which begs the question of how Healtheon/WebMD will successfully integrate its myriad mergers, acquisitions and tie-ups. "Clearly the No. 1 risk for the company is the huge execution and integration challenge on its hands," Vendetti said.
It completed the $300 million
, which provides e-commerce services to physicians. It also announced the pending all-stock acquisitions of
, which specializes in electronic transactions of health care industry data and billing, for about
, which provides physician practice management systems, and its publicly traded subsidiary
, which provides health care network and clinical communications services, for about
$4.8 billion; and rival
for $265 million.In addition to the establishment of various strategic alliances, the company has cut a deal with Rupert Murdoch's
for a $1 billion programming and cross-promotional partnership
"Healtheon/WebMD is clearly the leader in the space," Vendetti said. "With the Medical Manager-CareInsite acquisition, I don't even see a No. 2."
Vendetti added that Healtheon/WebMD is sitting atop a $1.5 billion pile of cash. That's on a combined pro forma basis and includes a $930 million investment in January by