LHC Group’s quarterly earnings dip to $5 million

Lafayette home health provider LHC Group reported fourth-quarter earnings dropped to $5 million, or 29 cents per share, compared with $7.4 million, or 43 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company’s results fell short of the 32 cents per share expected by Wall Street analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

Although LHC’s fourth-quarter revenue grew 2.1 percent to $165.3 million, the company still fell short of analysts’ $168.7 million revenue forecast.

For the year, LHC reported earnings of $22.3 million, or $1.30 per share, compared with $27.4 million, or $1.53 per share, in 2012.

The company’s 2013 revenue rose to $653.8 million from $637.6 million a year earlier.

Analysts expected annual net income of $1.33 per share on revenue of $661.8 million.

LHC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Keith G. Myers said the company was pleased with its results and performance.

Myers touted the recently announced Deaconess HomeCare and Elk Valley Health Services acquisitions, which are expected to add between 5 and 10 cents per share to LHC’s 2014 earnings.

LHC looks forward to more opportunities to “join forces” with other high-quality providers, Myers said

Deaconess and Elk Valley were subsidies of Bioscrip.

The firms had annual revenue of $72.6 million, and their added profits are expected to offset Medicare home health payment cuts and the impact of bad weather in the first two months of the year.

LHC said it expects 2014 earnings of $1.15 to $1.35 per share on revenue in the range of $700 million to $720 million.

Those results include cuts in Medicare home health payments of roughly $5 million, or 17 cents per share, and an expected 5 cents per share hit in the first quarter when bad weather forced agency closures.

LHC shares closed Wednesday at $22.90, up 12 cents.