Media Watch

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Monday, September 30, 2002

Lincare reaps coverage in IBD
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Medicare's not alone in shining a spotlight on publicly traded companies in the HME industry. On Sept. 11, Investor's Business Daily ran a full-length article on Lincare below the headline: "Graying Nation Gives Company Its Oxygen."

In addition to explaining how the home respiratory business works, IBD cited estimates that the home respiratory industry will grow at an annual clip of 7% to 8%.

The article also pointed out that Lincare's "only large rival is Apria Healthcare Group. Each holds about 20% of the market, which is estimated at between $3.5 billion and $4 billion."

While citing the threat of competitive bidding and cuts to the AWP, IBD reported: "Lincare has some protection because of its growing customer base. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the number of Americans over age 65 will grow from 35 million today to 70 million by 2020."

"As long as they are able to increase productivity of their branches, they can expand operating profit even without any kind of incremental rate increase," J.P. Morgan analyst Matt Ripperger told IBD. "Volume growth of high single digits internally equates to midteens earnings growth. That's really the main driver." HME

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