November 9, 2018 / 4:36 PM / a year ago

BUZZ-Bottomline Technologies plunges as Q3 results underwhelm

** Shares of cloud-based payment solution provider Bottomline Technologies Inc sank more than 22 pct early Fri, its biggest percentage drop in more than 16 1/2 years, following quarterly earnings release

** Stock has since pared losses, last down 14.7 pct at $55.59, the worst percentage loser on the S&P 1500 Software Services index

** On Nov 8, EPAY posted qtrly adj EPS of 33 cents, inline with Street estimates; co has beaten or met consensus in all 8 most recent qtrs, per Refinitiv

** Craig-Hallum cuts rating to “hold” from “buy”

** Lead analyst George Sutton writes “the stock is now fully priced and the fundamental slowdown we saw in bookings and S&T growth (while modest) makes it hard for us to endorse a still-higher valuation”

** Of the 10 analysts covering EPAY, 5 rate stock “buy” or stronger, 5 say “hold”; median PT $65, a 35.4 pct increase in the last 3 months

** Even with today’s drop, stock has jumped ~56 pct so far this year, handily outperforming the SPCOMIS’ ~12 pct YTD advance (Reporting by Stephen Culp)

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