Health care information technology provider Cerner Corp. said Tuesday its profit rose 17 percent in the fourth quarter amid higher support and services revenue.

The company reported net income of $70.6 million, or 82 cents a share, for the quarter ended Jan. 1. That compares with net income of $60.5 million, or 71 cents a share, in the comparable quarter a year earlier. Revenue rose 7 percent to $500.2 million from $466.3 million.

Excluding charges, the company said it earned 87 cents per share. Analysts polled by FactSet expected 84 cents per share in profit on $504.2 million in revenue.

Bookings totaled $626.2 million, the second-best quarterly result ever, Cerner said, and above its expected range of $490 million to $530 million.

"Our results reflect strong performance in what we believe is the beginning of a multiyear period of increased demand for our solutions and services driven by stimulus, health care reform, and other regulatory requirements," Neal Patterson, chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement.

For the full year, the company earned $237.3 million, or $2.78 per share, up from $193.5 million, or $2.31 per share, in 2009. Revenue rose to $1.85 billion from $1.67 billion.

Looking ahead, Cerner expects first-quarter adjusted profit between 73 cents and 77 cents per share on revenue between $475 million and $490 million. For the full 2011 fiscal year, the company expects adjusted profit between $3.50 and $3.60 per share on $2.05 billion to $2.1 billion in revenue.

New business bookings during the first quarter should total $435 million to $465 million.

Analysts expect first-quarter profit of 76 cents per share on $482.7 million in revenue and full-year profit of $3.55 per share on $2.09 billion in revenue.

Shares of Cerner rose 90 cents to close at $100.97.