NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of The Advisory Board Co. (ABCO) are plummeting by 23.95% to $27.60 on heavy trading volume on Wednesday afternoon, following the release of the company's 2015 fourth quarter results.

After yesterday's closing bell, the Washington, D.C.-based consulting company posted earnings of 48 cents per diluted share, beating analysts' expectations for earnings of 30 cents per share.

Revenue for the quarter was $205 million, which fell short of Wall Street's estimates of $206.7 million.

For the year, Advisory Board is expecting earnings per diluted share between $1.63 and $1.73 on revenue in the range of $810 million to $830 million. Analysts are looking for earnings of $1.68 per share on revenue of $893.17 million.

Additionally, Cantor Fitzgerald downgraded the stock to "hold" from "buy" and cut its price target to $32 from $60 this morning.

"The company reported a surprising, material slowdown in its Healthcare growth rate causing 2016 revenue guidance to come in below expectations. A slowdown in core organic growth rates has a number of implications for subscription-based businesses," the firm said in an analyst note.

Advisory Board is a provider of software and solutions to the healthcare and higher education industries.

About 6.3 million of the company's shares were traded by this afternoon, well above its average volume of 297,668 shares per day.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings Team has a "Hold" rating with a score of C- on the stock.

TheStreet Recommends

The primary factors that have impacted the rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks.

The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity.

As a counter to these strengths, the team also finds weaknesses including deteriorating net income and a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself.

Recently, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: ABCO

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