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Amedisys (AMED) Q4 Earnings Beat Estimates, Revenues Miss

Amedisys, Inc. AMED reported adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.49 for fourth-quarter 2020, up 58.5% from the year-ago figure. The bottom line beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2.8%.

The quarter’s adjustments include certain COVID-related costs as well as benefits from CARES Act & State COVID-19 grants.

Net service revenues grossed $550.7 million, up 9.9% year over year. The top line missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 0.2%.

2020 at a Glance

Adjusted EPS for the year was $6.11, up 38.9% from that in 2019. The figure also beat the consensus mark by 0.5%.

Full-year 2020 net service revenues totaled $2.07 billion, which improved 5.9% from the previous year. However, the top line is in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Quarter in Detail

Within the Home Health division, net service revenues totaled $329.4 million in the quarter, reflecting a 4.2% rise year over year. Within this segment, Medicare revenues of $228.3 million improved 6.1% year over year. Non-Medicare revenues increased 0.1% to $101.1MILLION.

Within the Hospice division, net service revenues were $203.9 million (up 23.9% year over year), including Medicare revenues of $193.5 million (up 23.6%) and non-Medicare revenues of $10.4 million (up 30%).

Amedisys, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

The company’s additional operating segments, post integration, are Personal Care and Corporate. At Personal Care, net service revenues totaled $17.4 million, representing a decline of 12.6% from the year-ago number. The Corporate segment did not register any revenues in the fourth quarter.

Margins

Gross profit for the company improved 18.9% to $243.9 million in the quarter under review. Gross margin expanded 334 basis points (bps) to 44.3%.

Expenses on salaries and benefits rose 17.6% to $119.1 million. Other expenses increased 2.8% to $49.5 million. Adjusted operating profit of $75.3 million reflected a 35.5% improvement from the year-ago quarter. Adjusted operating margin expanded 258 bps to 13.7% from the prior-year level.

Cash Position

Amedisys exited 2020 with cash and cash equivalents of $81.8 million compared with $30.3 million at 2019-end. The company's long-term obligations (excluding the current portion) were $204.5 million at the end of 2020 compared with $232.3 million at the end of 2019.

Cumulative net cash provided by operating activities at the end of 2020 was $288.9 million compared with $202 million a year ago.

2021 Guidance

Amedisys announced its outlook for 2021.

For full-year 2021, the company anticipates net service revenues of $2.27-$2.31 billion. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the same is pegged at $2.32 billion.

Adjusted earnings per share are projected to be $6.25-$6.47. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the metric is pegged at $6.28.

Our Take

Amid the coronavirus-led volume disruption across the United States, Amedisys ended the fourth quarter on a mixed note with better-than-expected earnings and a revenue miss.

On a positive note, both Home Health and Hospice divisions registered year-over-year growth. Expansion of both margins looks encouraging. The company announced financial guidance for 2021, projecting year-over-year growth in revenues and earnings. However, an increase in expenses compared to the prior year is a concern.

Zacks Rank and Key Picks

Amedisys currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

A few better-ranked stocks in the broader medical space that have already announced their quarterly results are Abbott Laboratories ABT, AngioDynamics, Inc. ANGO and Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. HRC, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Abbott reported fourth-quarter 2020 adjusted EPS of $1.45, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 6.6%. Worldwide sales of $10.7 billion in the quarter outpaced the consensus mark by 7.9%.

AngioDynamics reported second-quarter fiscal 2021 adjusted EPS of a penny against the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss per share of 2 cents. Revenues of $72.8 million beat the consensus mark by 8%.

Hill-Rom reported first-quarter fiscal 2021 adjusted EPS of $1.53, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 45.7%. Revenues of $741.1 million surpassed the consensus mark by 13.2%.

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