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Athenahealth Notches Price Target Increase After CEO Departure, Strategic Alternative Announcement

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Athenahealth Notches Price Target Increase After CEO Departure, Strategic Alternative Announcement

The Street reacted to athenahealth, Inc (NASDAQ: ATHN) CEO Jonathan Bush's resignation and the company's pursuit of strategic alternatives with unmistakable enthusiasm. The 8.5-percent stock pop resonated strongly with one of the company’s most bullish analysts.

The Rating

Piper Jaffray analyst Sean Wieland maintained an Overweight rating on athenahealth and raised the price target from $155 to $179.

The Thesis

Piper Jaffray considered athenahealth one of the best assets in its sector prior to Wednesday's announcement. 

“The company's presence at the point of care and ability to crowdsource best practices in clinical and financial workflow are unsurpassed, in our view,” Wieland said in a midday note. 

The health care services company enters its new phase, then, in strong industry standing.

Wieland said he expects “no shortage of bidders” given athenahealth’s recurring revenue and ability to drive margins. Likely prospective buyers apart from Elliott Management include software companies like Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT), Oracle Corporation (NYSE: ORCL) and salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE: CRM), the analyst said. 

Price Action

Athenahealth shares were up 4.26 percent at $157.58 at the time of publication Wednesday afternoon. 

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Latest Ratings for ATHN

DateFirmActionFromTo
Dec 2018Morgan StanleyMaintainsEqual-WeightEqual-Weight
Nov 2018Wells FargoDowngradesOutperformMarket Perform
Nov 2018Canaccord GenuityMaintainsHoldHold

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