Athenahealth +17% as Q4 results soar past estimates

Athenahealth (ATHN) +17.1% premarket, approaching an all-time high near $162, after reporting Q4 earnings that more that doubled from the same period last year, reflecting improved margins and a 48% rise in revenue.

Results were well ahead of analyst expectations on all key financial metrics; the revenue beat was primarily driven by better performance within the Epocrates business, while a lower tax rate and higher gross margins explain the EPS upside.

Q4 adjusted operating margin expanded 300 bps to 19.9% from last year, as adjusted gross margin improved 280 bps to 66.2% from a year ago.

Reaffirms FY 2014 guidance, seeing EPS of $0.98-$1.15 vs. $1.04 analyst consensus estimate and revenue of $725M-$750M vs. $744M consensus.

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