13 highlights from EHR vendors', tech companies' Q3 financial results

EHR vendors and technology giants recently released their third quarter earnings results, posting significant gains in operating income and revenue.

Here are nine highlights from technology's big third quarter. The companies are listed in alphabetical order.

1. Amazon's net sales increased 34 percent to $43.7 billion in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with $32.7 billion one year prior. Amazon's Web Services generated $4.58 billion in net sales, a 42 percent increase year-over-year.

2. athenahealth posted $304.6 million in revenue for the third quarter, up 10.1 percent from $276.7 million during the same period one year prior. The company revised its financial outlook, which previously projected $1.21 to $1.25 million in revenue by the end of the fiscal year to project $1.2 million to $1.22 million in revenue.

3. Cerner Corp. reported $1.28 billion in revenue, an 8% increase from one year prior. Although bookings were $1.11 billion, down from $1.43 billion the year prior, the company cited several delays in large contracts it expected to sign this quarter as the reason for the less-than-expected results.

4. DirectTrust, a 121-member personal health information exchange network, facilitated more than 46 million transactions during the third quarter of 2017, up 114 percent compared to the number of transactions facilitated during the same period last year.

5. General Electric posted $33.47 billion in revenue for the third quarter, up 14 percent from $29.27 billion during the same period one year prior, and its healthcare segment reported $4.72 billion in revenue, up 5 percent from $4.48 billion accrued during the same time period last year. Despite the growth, the company is reportedly exploring divesting from its healthcare and transportation businesses.

6. Meditech noted product revenue increased from $27.4 million in the third quarter of 2016 to $41 million in the third quarter of 2017, marking a 33 percent jump. However, net income was down for the nine months from $60.7 million in 2016 to $46.5 million in 2017.

7. Microsoft reported $24.5 billion in revenue — a 12 percent increase — in the first quarter of fiscal year 2018, which ended Sept. 30. The company attributed its 16 percent growth in profits to its cloud computing solution, Azure.

8. Nokia is maintaining confidence in its digital health business, despite marking it a write-down in the third quarter. The company had written down $164 million (€141 million) of goodwill on the business, which it paid $198 million (€170 million) for.

9. Philips, the Amsterdam-based health technology company, credits its 12 percent rise in core profits to a 4 percent sales increase driven by its Chinese markets. However, the company posted $4.88 billion (€4.15 billion) in sales during the third quarter of fiscal year 2017, down from $4.89 billion (€4.16 billion) one year prior.

Here are four other noteworthy third quarter insights.

10. Data analytics companies garnered $554 million in venture capital funding for the first nine months of 2017, followed by telemedicine ($232 million), mHealth apps ($150 million) and mobile wireless ($132 million).

11. Health IT spent less in lobbying efforts in the third quarter than in recent quarters, although the year-over-year totals are still increasing.

12. Technology companies poured millions into lobbying efforts on a number of issues, including internet advertising regulations, privacy and tax reform.

13. Venture capital funding in the digital health sector declined 66 percent to $919 million in the third quarter of 2017.

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