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MarketWatch MarketPulseDec 10, 2018
Allscripts shares rise on news to sell Netsmart, but Leerink questions move
Shares of Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc. rose 4.1% Monday, after the company said it is selling its Netsmart Technologies Inc. business for about $525 million. The healthcare IT company placed its homecare business in Netsmart in March of 2016 in exchange for the largest ownership stake in the company, which specializes in behavioral health, human services and post-acute care. The company expects the deal to close by the end of the fourth quarter. It will use the proceeds to pay down debt, invest in growth areas and buy back stock. Leerink analyst David Larsen said he viewed the sale as a "mixed outcome" for shareholders. "We are encouraged that the sale proceeds of ~$525M will allow the company to reduce its leverage and provide the potential for more share repurchases, but we question why management would sell the company if it has generated such good growth and value over the past few years," Larsen wrote in a note. "With weak 3Q18 bookings blamed in part by Netsmart sales distractions, we believe there will be even greater focus on 4Q18 bookings which may disappoint and lead to further stock pressure." Allscripts shares have fallen 32% in 2018, while the S&P 500 has fallen 1.9%.

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