Framingham data merchant Definitive Healthcare picked a smart time to go public, but it’s been a rocky ride ever since.
The company, which compiles information about hospitals, physician networks, and other players in the complex web of medical care, went public last September at $27 a share. That turned out to be the waning days of a booming market for tech stocks. Along with the rest of the sector, Definitive’s stock price started dropping in November and by May was trading below $15.
But the tech sector had a strong run in July. Definitive’s stock price doubled from the May low through the beginning of August, though it has since sold off somewhat. The stock closed at $20.39 on Monday.
Evidence that inflation may have peaked, which could prompt the Federal Reserve to slow its interest rate hikes, boosted the entire sector until the past few days. Among local companies, Tripadvisor gained more than 37 percent in the past month, DraftKings added 27 percent, Toast is up 24 percent, and HubSpot rose 14 percent. There’s still a lot of ground to make up — all but Tripadvisor remain deeply in the red since the start of the year.
Also, like some of its peers, Definitive is operating under new leadership. Serial entrepreneur Jason Krantz, who founded the company in 2011, stepped down as chief executive on Aug. 1, shifting to the role of executive chair of the board. Robert Musslewhite, who has run several other health data companies and joined Definitive’s board last year, took over as CEO.
In an interview at Definitive’s headquarters just off the Mass. Pike, Musslewhite said he’s trying to tune out the stock market volatility that has hit both the tech and health care sectors.
“It’s been super turbulent and ... we’ve been at the center of the universe in a lot of the disruptions, but we feel like we’re in a good place,” he said. “Coming out of this, people have understood our story and our focus on the long term.”
Revenue in the second quarter increased 37 percent to $55 million and could reach $225 million for the year, the company said. At the end of June, Definitive reported having almost 500 customers who are on track to spend at least $100,000 annually.
The forecast disappointed some analysts who also raised concerns that Definitive customers were taking longer to sign deals with the company.
The “key item of focus” for investors was “an elongated sales cycle which is likely to create some concerns on the future growth of the business,” Credit Suisse analyst Jonathan Yong noted.
Musslewhite said he is focused on reaching more potential customers for what the company calls its “health care commercial intelligence.”
The data comes from multiple sources. Definitive scrapes listings from health care providers’ websites, ingests data from state and federal agencies, and does its own research, making 700,000 phone calls a year. The company also buys anonymized claims data from insurers and pharmacy benefit managers.
Its customers include anyone who wants to sell something to a health care provider, ranging from construction companies eager to figure out which hospital chains might be expanding to a drug company looking for which physicians treat a specific disease. Recently, even a coffee chain that wanted to expand into hospitals signed up.
“We’re well on our way towards being a billion-dollar company,” Musslewhite said. “We have a huge opportunity out there for what we’re doing.”