Apria reports steady earnings

Sunday, February 11, 2007

LAKE FOREST, Calif. - It appears Apria Healthcare has escaped the beating that some other HME companies absorbed in the fourth quarter of 2006. Last week, the provider reported a net income of $21.1 million for the quarter, up from $19.5 million for the same quarter in 2005.

Apria reported net revenues of $391 million for the fourth quarter of 2006, up from $359.7 million for the same quarter in 2005.

The provider did get a little help from a one-time income tax credit and other gains. Without the credit, its net income was $19.8 million for the quarter compared to $19.5 million last year.

For 2006, Apria reported a net income of $75 million compared to $66.9 million for 2005 and net revenues of $1.52 billion compared to $1.47 billion.

Net income and revenues for 2006 were impacted by lower Medicare reimbursement for home oxygen therapy and inhalation drugs. The aggregate effect of these reductions on net income and revenues: $9.5 million and $15 million, respectively.

Apria expects its revenue growth for 2007 to be in the 4% to 5% range.

CEO Larry Higby stated: "The objectives and strategies that we set forth at the beginning of 2006 have largely been achieved and in several areas were exceeded. We developed a course of action for the year that emphasized a disciplined execution of our business fundamentals. Additional emphasis was placed on developing the sales organization to drive improved sales growth. The billing and collection initiatives that were executed during 2006 had a single focus: collect cash earlier in the billing cycle. And, finally, we leveraged our cost structure to lessen the effects of the Medicare reductions."