Companies in the News

Beverly reports FY98 net loss

Beverly Enterprises (Fort Smith, AR) announced a net loss of $31 million, 30 cents per share, for FY98 ended Dec. 31, compared to a net income of $58.6 million, 57 cents per share, for FY97. Revenues were $2.8 billion in FY98, compared to $3.2 billion the previous year. The FY98 results include $7.2 million in 4Q98 costs associated with Year 2000 remediation and with an on-going government investigation of cost-allocation practices within the Medicare program. They also include $168.4 million in pre-tax charges for the transfer of previously self-insured workers’ compensation and patient care liabilities to an outside insurer, impairment of assets related to the Prospective Payment System, workforce reductions designed to reduce costs, debt refinancings, and the adoption of a a new accounting standard for pre-opening costs of new facilities. 4Q98 brought a net loss of $91.9 million, 90 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $7.9 million, 7 cents per share, in 4Q97. Revenues were $707.2 million for 4Q98, compared to $781.4 million for 4Q97.

Caretenders safeguards stock

Caretenders (Louisville) adopted a stockholder protection rights agreement on Feb. 1 that will provide the distribution of a dividend on each outstanding share of company common stock held as of close of business Feb. 16. "The rights plan does not prevent an acquisition of the company," said Caretenders’ President William Yarmuth, "but it is designed to protect stockholders’ interests by encouraging anyone seeking control . . . to negotiate with the board of directors." The rights can be exercised only if a person or group acquires 20% or more of the company’s common stock, but it will not affect present holders of 20% or more unless they increase their holdings.

Chemed FY98 income $1.98 per share

Chemed’s (Cincinnati) revenues rose 12% from $341.7 million in FY97 to $381.3 million in FY98 ended Dec. 31. After acquisition expenses and capital gains, net income was $19.9 million, $1.98 per share, compared to $30.2 million, $3.04 per share, in FY97. Revenues in 4Q98 were $101.4 million, compared to $90.6 million the previous year. Net income was $3.4 million, 33 cents per share, in 4Q98, compared to $3.7 million, 37 cents per share, in 4Q97. Chemed has also announced a quarterly cash dividend of 53 cents per share on its capital stock, payable March 10 to stockholders of record on Feb. 19.

Stay of civil rights suit requested

Columbia/HCA Healthcare (Nashville, TN) said the U.S. Justice Department (Washington) asked a Tampa judge last week to stay its civil lawsuit against the company, saying the case could hurt the government’s criminal investigation into Columbia’s Medicare billing practices, reported the Associated Press. The civil lawsuit is separate from the federal investigation targeting Columbia and some of its executives. The motion, filed in U.S. District Court in Tampa, also said the government is in settlement negotiations with Columbia.

HCR removes IHHI from FY98 results

HCR ManorCare (Toledo, OH) noticed a decrease in revenues from FY97 after removing revenues and costs from its preferred investment in In Home Health (IHHI; Minnetonka, MN). Net revenues were $555 million for 4Q98 and $2.21 billion for FY98, compared to $572 million for 4Q97 and $2.23 billion for FY97. Its net income was $27.7 million, 25 cents a share, for the quarter, compared to $37.7 million, 34 cents a share, for 4Q97. Results for FY98 showed a net loss of $2.9 million, 3 cents a share, compared to a net income of $190 million, $1.71 a share in FY97. For reporting purposes, HCR de-consolidated itself from IHHI and had to restate its results for each quarter of FY98. Also, in 4Q98, the company recorded a $24 million provision for a restructuring charge, merger expenses, asset impairment and other charges in connection with the HCR and Manor Care merger.

IHHI reported net income of $517,000 for 1Q99, compared to $860,000 for 1Q98. The preferred stock dividend payment to HCR resulted in a $132,000, 2 cents per share, net loss available to common shareholders, compared to a net income of 3 cents per share in the previous year. IHHI Chairman/CEO Wolfgang von Maack explained the loss as a result of the company reducing its reliance on the cost-based Medicare program.

I-Flow reports record FY98 revenues

Revenues rose 33% in FY98 for I-Flow (Lake Forest, CA) to a record $23.6 million from $17.7 million the previous year. Net income was $1.1 million, 8 cents per share, compared to $365,000, 2 cents per share, in FY97. Part of the increase, said I-Flow President/CEO Donald Earhart, is due to the February 1998 acquisition of InfuSystem, the infusion pump management and distribution business, where revenues grew 11%. Revenues for 4Q98 were almost doubled at $7 million, compared to $3.7 million for 4Q97. Net income was $576,000, 4 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $1.5 million, 13 cents per share, for 4Q97.

Invacare to establish new center in Columbus

To enable the company to expand its manufacturing space and administrative offices, Invacare (Elyria, OH) has decided to reduce its distribution services in North Ridgeville, OH, and establish a new distribution center in Columbus, OH. The change in North Ridgeville will impact the jobs of 35 Invacare employees. All will be offered new positions with the company in the area of Elyria and North Ridgeville. By reducing distribution operations, the company will free up 50,000 square feet of space to be used for manufacturing and administrative operations. The new distribution center in Columbus will help the company expand its next-day delivery service to midwest customers. The company will offer a same day delivery service to northeast Ohio customers who could once pick up their own orders, provided they place their orders before 1 p.m.

In other news, the Food and Drug Administration (Washington) has approved a new product, designed and manufactured by Invacare, that should make patient set-up and monitoring easier. The continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) system, called Invacare Polaris, simplifies patient acceptance with one-button operation. It includes a low noise level feature and a patient-activated ramp, as well as a built-in tubing holder for easy mask storage. The therapy delayed time feature is available in 5-, 10-, 20-, and 30-minute increments. For more information on the product, call Invacare at (800) 333-6900 or visit its on-line product catalog at

PSAI getting tough with delinquent accounts

(PSAI; Norcross, GA) reported an increase in revenues for 1Q99, although the company is having problems collecting debts. Net revenues increased 29% to $79.4 million, compared to $61.6 million the previous year. Net income was $108,000, 2 cents per share, compared to $2.1 million, 32 cents per share, for 1Q98. The company resolved some billing problems and hired new leadership to deal with collection issues. "I am confident," said PSAI Chairman/ President/CEO Joseph Sansone, "we have the right app roach and the right people in place to improve our collections. We are renegotiating or canceling contracts where payors have not lived up to payment terms, and we will seek legal and legislative relief where necessary."

PGA FY98 revenues increase

Personnel Group of America (PGA; Charlotte, NC) noticed large increases in its revenues for FY98 and 4Q98 ended Jan. 3. The year’s revenues increased 65% to $783.9 million from $475.6 million in FY97. Income rose to $31 million, 96 cents per share, from $17.8 million, 71 cents per share, the previous year. Revenues in 4Q98 increased 63% to $227 million from $139.3 million in 4Q97. Net income was $9.6 million, 27 cents, compared with $6 million, 23 cents, in 4Q97. Chairman/CEO Edward Drudge said the company made significant investments throughout the year, including 10 acquisitions of businesses such as InfoTech Contract Services (Boston) and RealTime Consulting (Dallas).

Staff Builders to trade on the OTC

Staff Builders (Lake Success, NY) announced that the company’s securities will now be traded on the OTC Bulletin Board. The NASDAQ Stock Market notified the company that its common stock was delisted on Jan. 29.