Cerner has had a fantastic year with great performance on the stock market, which has been seen as a great sign for health IT sector in general. But now some independent forensic accounting firms are questioning the company's accounting and disclosure practices, The Wall Street Journal reports.
In recent years Cerner, through its products which assist healthcare organizations in managing patient information, has performed outstandingly. However, last quarter saw Cerner with cash flow from operations reported to have risen only modestly from the previous year. This makes some investors nervous as they often watch how much cash a company generates after investing in its business, according to WSJ.
In response to these worries, Cerner released a response that downplays the validity of these concerns, stating, "The bottom line is that we are growing our operating cash flow at strong levels and still generating strong levels of free cash flow." Cerner doesn't include customer financing costs in its definition of free cash flow, though such financing is an ongoing cash drain.
Some are not convinced by this defense. Glass Lewis, an independent forensic accounting firm, stated in November, "Cerner has been roundly criticized within the investment community for providing conflicting and nontransparent accounting disclosures." The firm added that they "echo this criticism."