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Allscripts to evaluate strategic alternatives, shares rise

(Reuters) - Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc said it is evaluating its future, confirming a report that the healthcare technology firm may sell itself, sending its shares up 7 percent.

The company, which reported a lower third-quarter profit on Thursday, had spoken to several private equity firms including Blackstone Group LP about a leveraged buyout, Bloomberg reported in September.

"We are confirming today that in light of the ongoing interest expressed in the company by third parties, the company is evaluating strategic alternatives," Allscripts Chief Executive Glen Tullman said in a statement.

Citigroup Inc is advising in the process, the company said.

Allscripts faced shareholder activism earlier this year, when one of its largest investors, HealthCor Management, demanded the resignation of Allscripts chief executive. The company agreed to nominate three of the investor's candidates to its board in early June.

The company said it is withdrawing its forecast for 2012 as it evaluates strategic alternatives. It had forecast adjusted earnings of between 77 cents and 83 cents per share in August.

Shares of the Chicago-based company were up 6.7 percent in extended trade. They closed at $12.26 on the Nasdaq.

BOOKINGS FALL

Allscripts' software bookings fell 39 percent to $161.9 million from a year earlier as clients delayed purchases.

"First, clients delayed decisions in the quarter due to speculation about Allscripts' future corporate autonomy. And, second, clients who continued to delay purchase decisions as they wait for new product releases," CEO Tullman said on a conference call with analysts.

Sterne, Agee & Leach analyst Greg Bolan said the company's existing products are undergoing a sizeable upgrade.

Allscripts's net income fell to $9.4 million, or 5 cents per share, in the third quarter, from $19.1 million, or 10 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, earnings were 23 cents per share.

Total revenue fell nearly 1 percent to $360.7 million.

Analysts had expected a profit of 22 cents per share on revenue of $377.01 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

(Reporting By Pallavi Ail in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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