Amedisys (AMED) Q4 Earnings Miss, Revenues Beat Estimates

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Amedisys, Inc.AMED reported adjusted earnings per share (EPS) from continuing operations of 56 cents in the fourth quarter of 2017, up 27.3% year over year. However, earnings missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 59 cents.

Full-year 2017 adjusted EPS came in at $2.21, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.24. However, the figure improved from the year-ago number by 42.6%.

Fourth-quarter net service revenues grossed $404.2 million, up 10.3% year over year. The top line also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $395 million.

Net revenues in 2017 totaled $1.53 billion, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The figure improved 6.3% from the year-ago number.

Quarter in Detail

Within the company's Home Health division, net service revenues totaled $287.3 million in the fourth quarter, reflecting a 7.1% improvement year over year. Medicare revenues of $205 million rose 0.9% year over year, while non-Medicare revenues improved 26.4% year over year to $82.3 million.

Within the Hospice division, net service revenues grossed $98.2 million (up 15.3% year over year), including Medicare revenues of $92.7 million (up 14.9%) and non-Medicare revenues of $5.5 million (up 22.2%).

Recently, the company integrated two additional operating segments within its business - Personal Care and Corporate. At Personal Care, net service revenues totaled $18.7 million, reflecting a 47.2% increase from the year-ago number of $12.7 million.

Meanwhile, Corporate segment did not register any revenue till the end of the fourth quarter .

The company's gross margin contracted 100 basis points (bps) to 40.9% in the fourth quarter despite a 7.8% increase in gross profit. Expense on salaries and benefits rose 4.6% to $79.4 million. Other expenses dropped 11.8% to $39.8 million. Adjusted operating income of $46.5 million in the reported quarter reflects an increase of 42.2% from the year-ago $32.7 million. Adjusted operating margin expanded 260 bps to 11.5% from the year-ago figure.

Amedisys exited 2017 with cash and cash equivalents of $86.4 million, compared with $30.2 million at the end of 2016. The company's long-term obligations (excluding current portion) were $78.2 million in 2017, down from $87.8 million in 2016. Net cash provided by operating activities in 2017 was $105.7 million, compared with $62.3 million in the year-ago period.

Our Take

Amedisys ended the fourth quarter on a mixed note. At the Home Health and Hospice divisions, the company witnessed encouraging growth in Medicare and non-Medicare revenues. Amedisys is currently exploring opportunities in these segments. We are also upbeat about the company's solid performance in the recently-launched Personal Care segment. A favorable demographic trend and strategic acquisitions bode well for the company.

However, escalating operating expenses and declining gross margin continue to raise concerns. Also, an intense competitive landscape and regulatory concerns continue to pose challenges in the home health and hospice industry.

Peer Performance

Some medical stocks that reported solid results this earnings season are PetMed Express PETS , PerkinElmer PKI and Becton, Dickinson and Company BDX .

PetMed reported third-quarter fiscal 2018 results. Adjusted EPS of 44 cents were up 88.3% from the prior-year quarter. Revenues rose 13.7% to $60.1 million.

PerkinElmer reported fourth-quarter 2017 adjusted EPS of 97 cents. Adjusted revenues were approximately $641.6 million, up from $567 million in the year-ago quarter.

Becton, Dickinson reported first-quarter 2018 adjusted EPS of $2.48, up 3.9% at constant currency. Revenues totaled $3.08 billion, up 3.7% at constant currency.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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