Athenahealth Chief Disputes ‘Mean’ Einhorn Presentation

May 9 2014 | 9:56am ET

Watertown, Mass., is about 200 miles from Wall Street. But if Athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush is to be believed, it’s in a whole other world.

Bush continued his defense of his company, which Greenlight Capital’s David Einhorn this week called a bubble stock whose value could fall “80% or more.” The nephew of former President George H.W. Bush and cousin of former President George W. Bush complained that Einhorn’s presentation to the Ira Sohn Investment Research Conference in New York was not especially kind. Einhorn showed a number of videos of Bush, noting that they were filled with “buzzwords.”

“I didn’t know ‘Mean Girls’ had a Wall Street edition,” Bush joked with The Wall Street Journal.

On a more serious note, Bush said he had spoken with Einhorn on Tuesday, a day after the presentation. He insisted that the hedge fund manager, who called Athenahealth’s business “mundane,” “misunderstands what we do.”

“We’re not going to try to talk anybody out of the stock price,” Bush, who earlier in the week insisted that Athenahealth is a $1,000 stock—Einhorn says it’s more like $10—said. “We’re not going to try to get even with David.”

Despite his confidence in Athenahealth, Bush acknowledged that he didn’t really know what the right valuation for his company was, calling it “completely out of my pay grade.”


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