Matria ( MATR), one of the nation's largest disease-management companies, has gotten some of its own problems under control. First -- and perhaps most important -- Matria has proved that the company can hit its targets if it sets realistic goals. After devastating investors in the past, Matria easily topped lowered profit expectations for the second quarter. The company posted net income of $7.23 million, up 42% from a year ago, with earnings per share of 22 cents topping the consensus estimate by 4 cents. In addition, Matria finally found a buyer for one of two companies it must sell in order to transform itself into a pure-play disease-management outfit and reduce its hefty debt load. The company borrowed big for its acquisition of rival CorSolutions, a deal that sparked high hopes but has been riddled with challenges. Investors, clearly relieved, sent Matria's stock up 3.5% to $25.66 on Thursday following the positive news. "It has been six months since we started our integration initiatives involving CorSolutions," Matria CEO Parker Petit announced in the company's earnings release late Wednesday. "Our strategy was to complete our integration initiatives expeditiously so the anticipated profit improvements and synergies could be realized quickly. We have successfully achieved that goal." To be sure, Matria still faces its share of hurdles. While other metrics looked strong, revenue -- perhaps the most crucial number of all -- fell a bit shy of Wall Street's projections. Following its acquisition of CorSolutions, Matria nearly doubled second-quarter revenue to $82.6 million, but it still missed the $83 million consensus estimate. Now, looking ahead, Matria must ramp up its revenue growth significantly in order to hit its projections for the full year. "Same old song," UBS analyst Justin Lake declared late Wednesday. Matria's "full-year guidance
is back-end loaded." Lake has maintained his neutral rating and $25 price target on Matria's stock. His firm counts the company among its investment banking clients.