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LHC Group posts 20.4 percent profit boost

Thu, 08/05/2010 - 12:45pm
The Associated Press

Home health provider LHC Group Inc. posted a 20 percent increase in second-quarter earnings that just missed analysts' forecasts.

But investors were cool to the report, sending LHC shares down 3.7 percent in Thursday trading.

For the April-through-June period, LHC said it earned $12.4 million, or 68 cents per share, on revenue of $154.2 million. In the year-ago second quarter, the company earned $10.3 million, or 57 cents per share, on revenue of $133 million.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, on average, had forecast per-share earnings of 69 cents and revenue of $154.5 million for the latest quarter.

LHC also reaffirmed its 2010 earnings guidance, calling for per-share earnings to range between $2.75 and $2.85 on revenue ranging from $615 million to $625 million. Analysts have forecast 2010 earnings of $2.80 per share and revenue of $621.6 million.

The company said its guidance did not account for any future acquisitions or for expenses tied to an investigation by federal authorities of Medicare reimbursements.

LHC and three other home health providers — Amedisys, Almost Family Inc. and Gentiva Health Services — have reported received formal notice of investigations and subpoenas for documents from the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Senate Finance Committee also has requested records. All have said they are cooperating.

The latest results were released after financial markets closed Wednesday. In Thursday trading, LHC shares lost 85 cents to close at $21.85, the low side of a 52-week closing range of $20.50 to $37.49.

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