Nuance earnings hurt by Petya cyberattack, some providers still offline

The transcription service provider is struggling to regain full function of some of its services, primarily its eScription platform, but the company expects full function of the service within two weeks.
By Jessica Davis
02:47 PM
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Nuance Petya attack

Voice and language tool provider Nuance on Friday said the Petya cyberattack that has taken some of its services offline will drag down its third quarter earnings.

Nuance said it expects third quarter earnings between 26 cents to 28 cents a share, which is below the estimated 29 cents a share consensus from Thomas Reuters. Further, the company forecasts an adjusted revenue of $494 million to $498 million, which is well below the estimated $510 million expected by analysts.

The company will release its earnings report on August 8.

[Also: The biggest healthcare breaches of 2017 (so far)]

The cause stems from the malware still disrupting the transcription company, most prominently with its eScription platform. But officials said the company expects “substantially all clients” on the platform to have service restored within the next two weeks.

Making matters worse for Nuance is a report from Bloomberg found that many doctors are still unable to use the company’s transcription services. These hospital systems include Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

These clients said that the eScription platform still isn’t working, and as a result, some have been forced back to pen and paper. The University of Pittsburgh said that its dictation and transcription services are impacted with “no estimated time of resolution.”

The company has declined to report how many of its clients have been affected by the attack. But $1.95 billion of Nuance’s 2016 revenue came from its healthcare and dictation business.

The company’s status for impacted hospitals has not been updated since July 15, where officials said the critical test application would go back online on July 16.

Nuance was just one of the 2,000 victims of Petya. While some initially thought it was ransomware, security researchers later confirmed the virus was wiper malware meant to destroy data and systems.

Some companies have already admitted Petya has severely -- if not permanently -- damaged systems.

West Virginia-based Princeton Community Hospital had to replace its entire computer system after the Petya attack. And FedEx’s Ukrainian division doesn’t know when systems will return to normal. Officials said it’s reasonably possible that its TNT division will be unable to ever fully-restore all of its affected systems and critical business data.

Twitter: @JessieFDavis
Email the writer: jessica.davis@himssmedia.com


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