Health care information technology company stock prices have risen significantly during 2009 but acquisition activity has yet to catch up, according to a quarterly summary of vendor activity by Healthcare Growth Partners LLC, a Chicago-based strategic and financial advisory firm.
Through the third quarter of 2009, Healthcare Growth Partner's HCIT Index of companies gained more than 40% on the stock market, compared with a 17% gain for the S&P 500. But health care I.T. companies announced 43 acquisitions during the third quarter of 2009, down from 48 in the second quarter and 61 in the third quarter of 2008.
The value of acquisitions rose considerably in the third quarter of 2009, but almost entirely because of multi-billion dollar deals in which Dell Computer Corp. bought Perot Systems Corp. and Xerox acquired Affiliated Computer Services.
Although challenges remain, Healthcare Growth Partners believes the health I.T. mergers and acquisition market likely bottomed out during the second and third quarters. Activity now should increase as vendors attempt to augment growth to meet investor expectations.
Joseph Goedert is news editor at Health Data Management.