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Allscripts expects bookings to rise in second quarter; shares up

By Vrinda Manocha

(Reuters) - Healthcare IT company Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc forecast its first quarterly growth in bookings in six quarters, sending up its shares by as much as 8.6 percent to a 15-month high.

Allscripts said it expected bookings to exceed $200 million in the second quarter ending June 30, up from about $194 million in the year-earlier quarter.

"We are surprised by the company's improved near-term performance," Lazard Capital Markets analyst Steven Halper wrote in a note to clients.

Allscripts' bookings fell 30 percent last year, hit by speculation and later confirmation the company was considering selling itself. It dropped the idea of a sale in December and took on new management to run the company.

Allscripts, which provides software services to hospitals and doctors including health record management, also bought two health software firms in March to add to its product line.

"I think we'll continue to see the incremental signs of a mark being put on the company by the new CEO (Paul Black) and CFO (Rick Poulton), leading towards that long-term turnaround and the potential for earnings upside over the 2014 to 2016 timeframe," said Michael Cherny, an analyst at investment research firm ISI Group.

Allscripts said it expected its contract backlog to stand at $3.1 billion as of June 30, including contract extensions.

The backlog is the value of bookings and maintenance contracts that have not yet been recognized as revenue.

Allscripts' shares were up 6.7 percent at $14.27 in morning trade on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting By Vrinda Manocha in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Ted Kerr)

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