Companies in the News

Apria sees profit in 3Q99

Apria Healthcare Group (Costa Mesa, CA) reported a net income for 3Q99 ended Sept. 30 of $18.9 million, 35 cents per share, compared to a net loss in 3Q98 of $194.7 million, $3.76 per share. The company saw revenues of $237.4 million in 3Q99, up from 3Q98 revenues of $219.4 million. Apria’s gross profit margin increased to 71.9%, compared to 55.8% in 3Q98.

Apria said the lawsuit against Coram Healthcare (Denver) and certain of its subsidiaries to collect $2.1 million of unpaid invoices is continuing. As of Sept. 30, all amounts owed by Coram and its subsidiaries have been fully reserved, Apria said.

Beverly moves to new building

Beverly Enterprises’ (Fort Smith, AR) employees have begun moving into a new facility in Fort Smith, AR, that will become the company’s headquarters, housing employees from some of the company’s nearly 30 locations in Fort Smith. The move will continue during an eight-week period, Beverly said. Chairman/CEO David Banks said he thinks the move has squelched rumors that Beverly plans to move its corporate headquarters.

Amaral to return to Coram

Coram Healthcare’s (Denver) chairman and former CEO, Donald Amaral, will return as the company's interim CEO. Coram is currently searching for a new CEO, following the departure of Richard Smith.

GF’s refinancing is terminated

Graham-Field Health Products (GF; Bay Shore, NY) said that its previously announced $50 million refinancing from BankBoston NA will no longer happen. The new facility was to refinance the company’s current indebtedness under its credit facility with IBJ Whitehall Business Credit Corp. as agent and provide for the ongoing working capital needs of the company.

GF is pursuing other sources of financing and the sale of certain non-core assets, and is considering other alternatives, including a restructuring or a reorganization.

Infu-Tech teams with Access Med Plus

Infu-Tech (Englewood Cliffs, NJ) said that health insurer Access Med Plus has selected it as the distributor for specialty pharmaceuticals, including Synagis. Synagis is a specialty drug for the treatment of Respiratory Syncytial Virus.

In other news, Infu-Tech reported last week its FY99 and 4Q99 financial results, recording a FY99 net loss of $1.1 million, 35 cents per share, compared to a net income in FY98 of $196,000, 6 cents per share. The company saw FY99 total revenues of $25.5 million, down 3% from FY98 revenues of $26.5 million.

The company saw revenues in 4Q99 of $6.6 million, up only slightly from FY98 revenues of $6.5 million. Infu-Tech posted a net loss for the quarter of $1.1 million, 35 cents per share, compared to a net loss in 4Q98 of $275,000, 8 cents per share.

The company is experiencing a slowdown of payments from managed care organizations, as is the whole home health industry, said Infu-Tech. This has resulted in the company recording a higher bad debt expense in 4Q99 that has contributed to a decrease in that income. While revenues from the specialty pharmaceutical business are increasing, they do not yet offset the costs of services associated with the traditional infusion business that the company continues to work on reducing, Infu-Tech said.

Mallinckrodt introduces new oxygen product

Mallinckrodt’s (St. Louis) new Puritan Bennett Aeris 590 oxygen concentrator is another of the company’s growing line of products designed for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The Aeris 590 provides supplemental oxygen primarily to patients in a home setting, but it can also be used in subacute settings, such as nursing homes. The Aeris 590, Mallinckrodt said, is lighter, quieter, and easier to move and handle than the Puritan Bennett Companion 590, the Aeris 590’s predecessor. The company said its customers were asking for certain changes to the Companion 590, and that it responded with the new product. Other improvements to the Aeris 590, Mallinckrodt said, include: a modular sieve bed design that integrates connectors and fittings in a manifold for easy maintenance and a newly designed valve system for increased reliability and serviceability.

McKesson HBOC sees growth in 2Q99

McKesson HBOC (San Francisco) recorded a net income in 2Q00 ended Sept. 30 of $59.3 million, 21 cents per share, compared to a 2Q99 net income of $26.3 million, 10 cents per share. The company saw total revenues in 2Q00 of $9.1 billion, up from 2Q99 revenues of $7.3 billion.

McKesson said the growth rate in net income and earnings per share was dampened in 2Q00 compared to 2Q99, as it was in 1Q00, by higher financing costs associated with prior year acquisitions funded by cash, working capital increases tied to strong supply management growth, and lower cash flows from the company’s Information Technology Business due to the decline in that segment’s revenues.

Mediflow introduces new product line

Mediflow (Markham, Ontario) introduced a new line of backrests and lumbar supports with patented Adjust-Air technology and a vertically adjustable support for personal customization. The adjustable air bladder found inside the backrest can be inflated with a palm-size pump/release valve to allow users appropriate lumbar support, the company said. In addition, the pull straps located on the back of the backrest allow for vertical adjustments to customized comfort according to the user’s height and build.

Nursefinders acquires Houston agency

Nursefinders (Houston) has acquired Gulf Coast Medical Personnel (Kingwood, TX). This latest location, noted for its highly trained staff of 100 nurses, increases Nursefinders’ presence to five locations in greater Houston and a record 126 locations across the United States.

Gulf Cost has become a leading home healthcare provider, specializing in the care of patients with neurological disorders, such as Lou Gehrig’s disease and multiple sclerosis. Mary Beth Parks, founder of Gulf Coast, will continue to serve as the location’s branch director, Nursefinders said.

Respironics’ 1Q00 sales down

Respironics (Pittsburgh) saw net sales in 1Q00 ended Sept. 30 of $80.6 million, down 7% from net sales of $86.4 million in 1Q99. The company recorded a net loss in 1Q00 of 4.6 million, 15 cents per share, compared to a 1Q99 net income of $6.3 million, 19 cents per share. The net loss of 1Q00 included charges totaling $14.7 million, 29 cents per share, relating to Respironics’ restructuring that was first announced in early July.

Sun Healthcare to restructure debt

Sun Healthcare Group (Albuquerque, NM) signed an agreement in principal with representatives of its bank lenders and holders of two-thirds of its outstanding senior subordinated bonds on the terms of an overall restructuring of Sun’s capital structure. The bank and senior bond debt represents more than $1.3 billion of Sun’s capital structure.

Implementation of the agreement in principal is subject to appropriate documentation, including a Chapter 11 plan of reorganization and approval by the bankruptcy court, among other things, Sun said. If approved, the agreement would provide Sun’s bank lenders with cash, new senior long-term debt, new preferred stock, and new common stock.

There is a shareholders lawsuit, filed recently against the company, pending that contends company officials should have known how changes in Medicare reimbursement would hurt operations, and that top Sun executives repeatedly misled investors through reports and statements to securities analysts, a Sun spokesman told the Associated Press. The company has until Nov. 10 to respond to the lawsuit.

Despite its financial troubles, the company said its is still planning to hold a shareholders meeting this year. The Albuquerque Journal reported that the company has not yet set a date for the meeting.

Sunrise’s 1Q00 sales down 4%

Sunrise Medical (Carlsbad, CA) posted a net income in 1Q00 ended Oct. 1 of $1.5 million, 7 cents per share, compared to a net income in 1Q99 of $3.6 million, 16 cents per share. Sunrise said the 1Q00 earnings represent a significant improvement on a sequential quarterly basis, primarily as a result of its cost reduction program. Sales in 1Q00 were $155.5 million, down 4% from 1Q99 sales of $164.8 million.

Sunrise’s search for a new CEO is well under way, officials say. The company aims to complete the selection process by the end of the year.