SHARE PUNT OF THE WEEK: Is it time to back GP software provider Emis?

WHO IS IT?

Emis, listed on London’s junior market AIM, provides software and IT services to GP surgeries across the UK. At the moment, it has a 56 per cent share of the market.

Emis lets doctors across different parts of the NHS access a patient’s records quickly, helps pharmacies manage their stock and provides patient information services.

Emis provides software and IT services to GP surgeries across the UK

WHAT’S THE LATEST?

It has been buying up businesses in an effort to expand, and last month acquired healthcare tech firm Dovetail Digital for £2.5million.

Emis hasn’t been free of issues in the past – this week it announced it had reached an £11.2million settlement with the NHS over failures in its NHS Digital contract this year. That related to reporting obligations, and Emis is confident the issues have been resolved.

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HOW THIS IS MONEY CAN HELP

EMIS Group shares: Check the latest price here

WHO BACKS IT?

Fund manager Liontrust is the largest shareholder, while start-up backer Octopus Investments and investment firm Invesco are both in the top ten. There are also some less well-known names, including Primestone Capital and Evenlode.

WHY YOU SHOULD INVEST

George Salmon, an analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, says: ‘Delivering a better NHS is something we all want, and improving the infrastructure is a cost-effective way to do that. Emis plays nicely to that trend.’

Healthcare isn’t as exposed to blips in the economy, he adds, and software providers generally have strong cash flows so they can provide a steady stream of dividends.

AND WHY YOU SHOULDN’T

Salmon points out that Emis hasn’t necessarily progressed as fast as it might have hoped, and the fine it incurred from the NHS might make investors wary.

He adds: ‘The £57.5m acquisition of Ascribe in 2013 hasn’t delivered the results expected, contributing to a rocky ride in recent years.’

And, of course, NHS cost pressures make it a tricky customer. 

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