HealthPort Cancels IPO

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Healthcare information and services provider HealthPort Inc shelved plans to go public, citing market conditions before the markets opened on Thursday.

The shares were to have traded on Nasdaq on Thursday under the ticker symbol “HPRT” (HPRT.O).

“HealthPort … today announced that it is postponing its planned initial public offering of shares of its Common Stock due to market conditions,” the company said in a statement. It did not give a timeline for when it might try again.

Analysts cited a combination of the company’s losses, weak balance sheet and larger rivals that made it unattractive to buyers.

“They’re losing money and they have a lot of competition for their product,” said advisory firm IPO Boutique Senior Managing Partner Scott Sweet.

HealthPort, which allows hospitals and physician clinics to request patient records from authorized parties such as insurance companies and government agencies, said in a regulatory filing it is the largest provider of those services and has a 20 percent market share.

But HealthPort had a net loss of $8.9 million in the nine months ended Sept. 30 on sales of $193.2 million, according to the company’s most recent prospectus. It also lost money in 2007 and 2008.

The company’s competitors include McKesson Corp (MCK.N), Allscripts Misys Healthcare Solutions Inc (MDRX.O) and Cerner Corp (CERN.O).

Despite the surge of IPOs since September, a number of new stocks have performed poorly and HealthPort is the second company to shelve its plans.

In October, former Enron unit AEI’s planned $250 million IPO was shelved over investor concern about its debt.

HealthPort had planned to offer 6 million shares for between $14 and $16 each.

The company’s principal shareholder is ABRY Partners LLC, a Boston-based private equity firm specializing in media and information technology companies.

The IPO was managed by Deutsche Bank Securities (DBKGn.DE) and William Blair & Co. (Reporting by Clare Baldwin and Phil Wahba; Editing by Andre Grenon and Richard Chang)