Nuance popped up on Wall Street Journal’s
Good News stock section. The reason for the positive take on the voice recognition software company is their acquisition of Transcend Services which specializes in medical transcription and speech editing services. This joining should mean even more revenue for Nuance’s healthcare division which last quarter was already a healthy $145.3 million. Nuance
expects the acquisition to cause revenue in that segment to double.
Nuance began with Dragon Dictate, a voice recognition software
used by many individuals who had contracted carpel tunnel syndrome
and other disabilities that limited their ability to type on their computers. Initially it allowed you to speak to your computer and watch your words appear on screen as text. You could command Dragon Dictate to edit and format your text. The product grew into Dragon Naturally Speaking that additionally lets you search the web or send email by telling your computer to do so. It continues to improve and add features in the latest Version 11.5.
Nuance has been on an acquisition binge in the last few years picking up eScription and Webmedx in the healthcare sector. In the text input arena, they added Swype a virtual keyboard in Android phones and Tegic Communications maker of the T9 predictive software. Vlingo who had been a voice recognition competitor, gave in to their advances last year. Nuance has a history of suing companies over patent infringement, wearing them out, then offering a deal they can’t refuse – and putting them out of business by acquiring them.
Nuance appears to be purchasing Transcend
(not the memory maker) for cash instead of financing the buyout. That always looks good on the balance sheet so long as it doesn’t leave the company cash poor. Nuance stock spiked over $27 four days ago to fall to $25.82 today. Wall Street is still giving it a “Buy” rating. Its revenue growth
relative to the industry as a whole is greater while its debt/equity is less.
By joining the voice-enabled abilities that Nuance and its Clinical Language Understanding technology and electronic health record integration bring to the medical environment with Transcend’s quality transcription and editing services, life should become easier for care giving personnel. These clinical documentation solutions should enable Nuance to expand into small to mid sized hospitals that are efficiency and productivity conscious.
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