Media watch: Investors can’t get enough of Lincare stock

Friday, January 31, 2003

CLEARWATER, Fla. - Six “top-notch” mutual funds have invested $74 million in Lincare over the last few months, including Fidelity’s Low-Price Stock Fund, which bought 2.3 million shares, according to Investor’s Business Daily.

According to IBD:

Lincare has been very profitable. It has notched healthy, double-digit earnings and sales growth in at least 10 quarters. Its after-tax margin was at 19.8% the past three quarters, the highest in at least 10 quarters. Analysts see 2002’s net up 30% from 2001.

The stock has been trading between $22 and $36 a share since August 2001. IBD’s Stock Checkup on ranks Lincare as No. 1 among 30 stocks in its group.

Lincare and rival Apria Healthcare Group each take up about 20% of the home respiratory therapy industry revenue. Lincare has been gobbling up small rivals in that market. The firm opened 33 new operating centers in the first half of this year and bought 12 firms for about $42 million.

An aging America has been fueling the $1.4 trillion healthcare industry. The number of Medicare beneficiaries is expected to nearly double to 77 million in 2030 from 40 million in 2000, according to CMS. HME