HealthStream 3Q earnings disappoint

Taxes play role in less-than-expected results

Online health education provider HealthStream said it earned $2 million in the third quarter, an increase of 10 percent from a year ago. Learning revenues accelerated during the quarter — growth clocked in at 37 percent — but the company’s earnings per share for the same period disappointed investors, coming in a penny short of expectations at 7 cents.

Analyst Richard Close at Avondale Partners said the quarter produced "many positive data points and growth metrics" but said the EPS shortfall was due to taxes.

"For growth investors, HSTM's Learning revenue growth impressively accelerated," Close wrote Monday afternoon. "Subscribers implemented (86,000) and newly contracted (67,000) were above targeted range at 20-50,000 but slowed from 2Q12's levels."

Shares of HealthStream (Ticker: HSTM) closed at $28.79 Monday, but were off about 2 percent after hours. They have climbed more than 50 percent so far this year.

Further highlights from the quarter include revenues climbing 28 percent from a year ago to $26.4 million and operating income coming in at $3.7 million, up 39 percent from the same time in 2011. The total number of people using HealthStream's learning products rose 13 percent to almost 2.9 million.