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Home Health Companies Report Higher Than Expected Profits

We’ve been telling our audiences during our keynote speech, Home Health 2020: The Six Pillars of the Home Health Agency of the Future, that there has never been a better economic time in the history of home health care.

That statement was reinforced this week with the release of earnings reports by two large, publicly traded home health companies.

Amedisys surprised Wall Street Wednesday with better-than-expected earnings and an increase in its guidance for the rest of the year. The company, which bought rival TLC Healthcare Services in late March for $395.0 million, said it was looking forward to growing on its own and through further acquisitions.

The Baton Rouge-based home health care nursing company had revenues of $213.1 million, up 38.7% year-over-year with profits up 24.1% to $16.5 million, or 62 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had expected earnings per share of 58 cents on revenues of $198.8 million.

LHC Group (nasdaq: LHCG – news – people ), a home health provider that caters to the Medicare market of suburbia, reaffirmed the sector’s strength late Wednesday when its earnings for the first quarter jettisoned past analyst expectations. The company reported revenues of $83.5 million, up 21.5% from the year-prior period; while profits were down slightly in the quarter to $5.3 million, or 31 cents per share, from $5.8 million, or 33 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2007. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had expected earnings per share of 29 cents on revenues of $78.7 million.

How is your agency doing financially? If you did not make money in the 4th quarter of 2007, what’s the problem?

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