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IMS Health stock rises after major IPO; market bullish for health tech


By John N. Frank
Posted: April 4, 2014 - 12:30 pm ET
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Healthcare data analytics and consulting firm IMS Health Holdings went public in a big way Friday, successfully pulling off the second largest initial public offering of the year and watching its stock climb more than 13% in early morning trading, another indication of a market bullish on healthcare technology.

Danbury, Conn.-based IMS offered 65 million shares at an initial price of $20 a share, raising roughly $1.3 billion. That ranked as the second-largest IPO this year, behind auto lender Santander Consumer USA Holdings, whose January IPO raised $2 billion. IMS plans to use proceeds to pay off existing long-term debt.

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IMS shares rose to $22.90 in early trading, showing the market's ongoing thirst for health-tech related offerings. Castlight Health went public with a bang March 14, with its shares opening at $16 each and soaring to a closing price of $39.80 per share, up 148.75% for the day. Castlight shares were trading at $21 a share early Friday.

Investor site Seeking Alpha gave the IMS offering a positive rating. One analyst, John Schroer, a portfolio manager with Allianz Global Investors, said in a Wall Street Journal report that the company has a stable, profitable legacy business and plans to cross-sell additional products and value-added services to existing clients. Its future success will depend on how well it sustains that business model, he said.

IMS “has one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of healthcare information in the world, spanning sales, prescription and promotional data, medical claims, electronic medical records and social media,” explains Seeking Alpha. “IMS standardizes, organizes, structures and integrates this data by applying its sophisticated analytics and leveraging its global technology infrastructure to help its clients run their organizations more efficiently and make better decisions to improve their operational and financial performance.”

The company reported operating income of $276 million in the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2013, compared with $173 million in the same period in 2012. Revenue increased 4% in the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2013, to $1.87 billion. Revenue for the year reached $2.54 billion with net income hitting $82 million.

TPG Capital Management, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Leonard Green & Partners took IMS private in 2010 for $5.2 billion, including assumption of company debt.

Follow John N. Frank on Twitter: @MHJFrank


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