Companies in the News

Chemed and Capital Trust extend exchange offer

Chemed (Cincinnati) and Chemed Capital Trust said last week they have extended their offer to exchange convertible trust preferred securities of Chemed Capital Trust for up to 2 million shares of capital stock of Chemed until today, Jan. 31. Chemed and Chemed Capital Trust also said they have waived the minimum distribution condition, which requires that for purposes of listing the convertible trust preferred securities on the New York Stock Exchange, as of the expiration date, there be at least 1 million shares validly tendered by at least 400 record or beneficial holders of Chemed stock. Chemed said that as a result of the waiver, the convertible trust preferred securities may not be listed on the New York Stock Exchange following the consummation of this offer.

The exchange offer began Dec. 23, said Chemed. More than 562,000 shares had been tendered as of the close of business on Jan. 24.

Infu-Tech renews contracts with three HMOs

Infu-Tech (Carlstadt, NJ) has renewed contracts to provide infusion therapy and specialty pharmaceuticals to Independence Blue Cross of Pennsylvania, Keystone Health Plans East of Pennsylvania and Amerihealth of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. These HMOs represent 1.5 million enrollees, Infu-Tech said. In aggregate, Infu-Tech’s managed care network includes more than 70 HMOs with 25 milllion enrollees.

Infu-Tech Chairman Jack Rosen said the company’s initiative will be enhanced by the contracts the company has with the HMOs, as "they are a critical referral source for us in the expansion of our disease state management customer base."

In other news, Infu-Tech said it has signed an agreement with Precision Health Corp. to provide mobile diagnostic imaging services to the healthcare community, including physicians, hospitals, long term care and assisted living facilties, and managed care organizations, through Infu-Tech’s Web site. Infu-Tech said the healthcare Internet B2B sector is expanding and said the company will be able to compete in the market with the new agreement. Through the Web site, Precision will provide X-rays, EKGs, and ultrasound. Results will be posted on the site and can be obtained using a password, Infu-Tech said.

McKesson HBOC sees improved results in 3Q00

McKesson HBOC (San Francisco) reported 3Q00 total revenues of $9.9 billion, compared to 3Q99 reveneus of $8.3 billion. The company saw a 3Q00 net income of $166.8 million, 58 cents per share, up from a 3Q99 net income of $50.7 million, 18 cents per share.

Mallinckrodt’s 2Q00 sales up from 2Q99

Mallinckrodt (St. Louis) reported 2Q00 net sales of $681.8 million, up from 2Q99 net sales of $637.9 million. The company posted a 2Q00 net income of $46.8 million, 67 cents per share, compared to a 2Q99 net income of $35.1 million, 49 cents per share.

Mallinckrodt said it has taken several strategic and operational actions to enhance the company’s profitability and the growth prospects of the Respiratory segment. These actions include divestitures and consolidations, the company said.

Priority given strong buy rating

Priority Healthcare (Lake Mary, FL) has been given a strong buy/high risk rating from Prudential Securities (New York). Prudential said it sees attractive growth prospects in the rapidly emerging specialty pharmacy/distribution sector, driven by an increasing number of new and complex biopharmaceuticals expected to enter the market. Prudential added that it expects Priority’s competitive and strategic position to allow it to achieve above average growth. Prudential gave Priority a 12-month price target of $36 per share.

Saunders Group introduces new traction device

The Saunders Group (Chaska, MN) introduced a new home lumbar traction device that simplifies home traction treatments. Saunders says the new device, the Saunders Lumbar HomeTrac, is light, easy to use, and provides effective traction with a minimum of fuss. The Lumbar HomeTrac is small, Saunders said, weighing only 18 pounds. For more information on the traction device, call (800) 778-1870.

Sharps introduces new, convenient IV poles

Sharps Compliance Corp. (Houston) has developed a new concept in intravenous poles. Called Pitch-It, these disposable, convenient, user-friendly IV poles are the first line designed specifically for home healthcare patients receiving gravity- or pump-administered infusions.

The Pitch-It poles eliminate the need for home healthcare nurses or drivers to transport and store large, bulky IV poles in their vehicles. The poles unfold in seconds, with no assembly required. Designed to be disposable, the collapse to fit into any ordinary-sized garbage container upon completion of treatment or may be recycled.

"The disposability after use compliments our mailback product line and will allow home healthcare companies to reduce the travel and labor costs associated with retrieving equipment after patient treatment is completed," said Sharps President/CEO Burt Kunik.

Sunrise appoints new president

Sunrise Medical (Carlsbad, CA) appointed Michael Hammes president/CEO. Interim Chairman/ CEO Murray Hutchison will continue as chairman of the company’s board, Sunrise said. Hammes was previously chairman/CEO of Guide Corp.

On the financial front, Sunrise reported a 2Q00 ended Dec. 31 net income of $1.1 million, 5 cents per share, compared to a 2Q99 net income of $1.8 million, 8 cents per share. Total sales in 2Q00 were $161 million, up from total sales in 2Q99 of $156 million.

Sunrise paid down $25 million in debt during the quarter, using $21 million in cash generated from the sale of a portion of its installment receivable portfolio together with $4 million generated from operations.

U.S. HomeCare sees Y2K problems

U.S. HomeCare Corp. (USHC; Hartsdale, NY), which is traded on the over-the-counter market, said last week that it is not aware of any basis for the recent increase in the price and trading volume of its common stock. As noted in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (Washington), for some time, the company has not had sufficient cash flow to operate its business without significant advances from its lenders.

Additionally, USHC is experiencing Y2K problems resulting from the company’s thrid-party software vendor’s failure to deliver promised and necessary software upgrades. These Y2K problems could have a negative impact on the company’s cash flow, USHC said.