Saturday, January 31, 2004

Lincare’s stock took a beating in 2003

CLEARWATER, Fla. - Lincare’s stock distinguished itself in 2003 as one of only four in the Nasdaq Composite index of 100 companies to lose ground. The Nasdaq Composite closed 2003 at 2,003.37 -   a 96% jump off a near-term low of 1,108.49 in mid-October of 2002, and a gain of 60% off its 52-week low of 1,253.22 in mid-March 2003. On January 16, Lincare’s stock stood at $28.63, well off its 52-week high of 43.98. The company’s stock lost much of its value following the November passage of the Medicare Prescription Drug, which calls for huge cuts in reimbursement for respiratory drugs.
Good news for emphysema sufferers

LONDON - A vitamin found in eggs and milk could hold the key to curing emphysema, according to British researchers. British scientists have found that retinoic acid, a derivative of vitamin A, can reverse damage caused to the lungs by the incurable disease. Tests on mice have found that damaged lungs have been repaired to normal by the compound, which is already used to treat chronic acne. Trials are now being carried out to see if it could have similar success if used on humans. Another study on emphysema showed that anorexics have a high risk of developing the disease, Reuters reported. The thinner the anorexic patients were, the less lung tissue they had, said Dr. Harvey Coxson, who led the study at Vancouver General Hospital. The changes were similar to changes seen in people with emphysema caused by smoking, he said.

AHP wins case against creditors

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. - A U.S. bankruptcy court ruled that American HomePatient could payoff in cash a group of creditors who claimed they were entitled to 20% or 3.2 million shares of the company stock. By paying the lenders $846,000 in cash, AHP avoided diluting and possibly dropping the value of its 16.4 million shares of publicly held stock, said CEO Joseph Furlong. AHP argued that the creditors seeking the stock held executory contracts such as leases. In bankruptcy, which AHP exited last summer, a company can reject executory contracts and pay damages.