Fully-Diluted Earnings Per-Share of $1.48 Reflects 48% Growth in Net Income

October 2010 Community-Based Transports Increase by 26%

DENVER, Nov. 4, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Air Methods Corporation (Nasdaq:AIRM) reported results for the quarter ended September 30, 2010. Revenue increased 11% to $153.9 million from $138.6 million in the year-ago quarter. For the nine-month period, revenue increased 5% to $411.6 million, up from $393.0 million in the prior-year nine-month period. For the quarter, net income increased 48% to $18.6 million, or $1.48 per diluted share, as compared with prior-year quarter net income of $12.6 million, or $1.01 per diluted share. Net income for the nine-month period increased 20% to $31.5 million, or $2.51 per diluted share, compared to $26.2 million, or $2.12 per diluted share, for the prior-year period.

Third Quarter Highlights

Community-Based Services: Revenue from Community-Based Services increased 18% to $96.1 million from $81.2 million, while segment net income increased 48% to $27.0 million during the third quarter, as compared with segment net income of $18.3 million in the prior-year quarter. The increase in revenue and related earnings is attributed to improved net revenue per community-based transport. Net revenue per community based transport increased 16% to $8,720, compared with $7,509 in the prior-year quarter. Total community-based patient transports increased slightly to 10,876 in the current-year quarter from 10,752 in the prior-year quarter. Community-based patient transports for bases open greater than one year (Same-Base Transports) decreased 5% or 487 transports, as compared with the prior-year quarter. Weather cancellations for these same-base locations decreased by 321 compared with the prior-year quarter.  Improvement in segment earnings was offset, partially, by increases in maintenance expenditures. Maintenance expense for the quarter increased by $3.9 million, reflecting a 31% increase in cost per flight hour. This increase was attributed to higher overall major overhauls or replacements of key components during the quarter as compared with the prior-year quarter.  

Hospital-Based Services: Revenue from Hospital-Based Services decreased by 2% to $50.6 million from $51.6 million, while segment net income decreased by 15% to $4.5 million in the current-year quarter from $5.3 million during the prior-year third quarter. The decrease in segment revenue is partially attributed to conversion of Hospital-Based Services to Community-Based Services. These conversions resulted in a net reduction to segment revenue of $0.8 million or approximately half of the decrease. The decrease in segment net income is primarily attributed to increased maintenance expenditures. Maintenance expense for the quarter increased by $1.0 million, reflecting an 11% increase in cost per flight hour. This increase in expense is attributed to the same factors discussed above within the Community-Based Services segment. 

Products Division: Revenue, excluding revenue generated from internal projects, increased to $7.3 million from $5.9 million in the prior-year quarter, a 24% increase. Segment net income, excluding internal projects, increased to $2.3 million from $1.8 million in the prior-year quarter.

The Company also provided an update on preliminary October 2010 flight volume. Total community-based transports during October 2010 were 3,862 compared with 3,065 during October 2009, reflecting a 26% increase. Same-Base Transports increased 599 transports or 20%, while weather cancellations for these same bases decreased by 867 transports. Requests for transport within our community bases open greater than one year increased by 211, or 3%. 

Aaron Todd, Chief Executive Officer, stated, "We are very pleased with our quarterly results, especially given the impact of higher maintenance expenditures and the absence of any hurricane response revenue typically realized during our third quarters. Our overall improvement in net revenue per transport has been achieved while also reducing our days' sales outstanding from 103 days to 84 days over the past twelve months. As expected, our net margins have improved within our Products Division compared to the first half of 2010, as much of the back log was weighted to the second half of the current year. Finally, our October flight volume results confirm the severe impact that weather had on our ability to transport patients last winter.   If weather conditions continue to be moderate, we would anticipate healthy growth in earnings from improved patient transport volume during our winter quarters."

The Company will discuss these results in a conference call scheduled today at 4:15 p.m. Eastern. Interested parties can access the call by dialing (877) 883-0656 (domestic) or (706) 643-8826 (international) or by accessing the web cast at www.airmethods.com . A replay of the call will be available at (800) 642-1687 (domestic) or (706) 645-9291 (international), access number 20992777, for 3 days following the call and the web cast can be accessed at www.airmethods.com for 30 days.

Air Methods Corporation ( www.airmethods.com ) is a leader in emergency air medical transportation and medical services. The Hospital Based Services Division is the largest provider of air medical transport services for hospitals. The Community Based Services Division is one of the largest community-based providers of air medical services. The Products Division specializes in the design and manufacture of aeromedical and aerospace technology. The Company's fleet of owned, leased or maintained aircraft features over 300 helicopters and fixed wing aircraft .

The Air Methods Corporation logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=6955

Forward Looking Statements: This news release includes certain forward-looking statements, which are subject to various risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from those currently anticipated due to a number of factors, including but not limited to the size, structure and growth of the Company's air medical services and products markets; the collection rates for patient transports; the continuation and/or renewal of air medical service contracts; the acquisition of profitable Products Division contracts and other flight service operations; the successful expansion of the community-based operations; and other matters set forth in the Company's public filings.

Please contact Christine Clarke at (303) 792-7579 to be included on the Company's fax and/or mailing list.
  September 30, 2010 December 31, 2009
Current assets:    
Cash and cash equivalents $ 45,597 38,073
Trade receivables, net 131,274 113,563
Other current assets 52,543 55,460
Total current assets 229,414 207,096
Net property and equipment 202,586 181,742
Other assets, net 34,428 35,294
Total assets $ 466,428 424,132
Current liabilities:    
Notes payable related to assets held for sale $ 10,322 4,510
Current portion of indebtedness 15,381 15,850
Accounts payable, accrued expenses and other 58,775 53,370
Total current liabilities 84,478 73,730
Long-term indebtedness 85,309 90,980
Other non-current liabilities 65,872 62,880
Total liabilities 235,659 227,590
Total stockholders' equity 230,769 196,542
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity $ 466,428 424,132
  Three Months Ended Nine Months Ended
  September 30, September 30,
  2010 2009 2010 2009
Flight operations $ 145,120 131,723 392,725 370,917
Product operations 7,277 5,879 14,740 19,448
Other 1,537 972 4,153 2,613
Total revenue 153,934 138,574 411,618 392,978
Operating expenses 101,061 96,290 289,953 285,197
General and administrative 17,219 15,978 50,175 48,388
Gain on disposition of assets, net (147) (239) (257) (772)
Depreciation and amortization 6,381 4,758 18,114 13,976
  124,514 116,787 357,985 346,789
Operating income 29,420 21,787 53,633 46,189
Interest expense (1,458) (1,285) (4,545) (3,643)
Other, net 390 (37) 478 85
Income before income taxes 28,352 20,465 49,566 42,631
Income tax expense (9,723) (7,861) (18,074) (16,387)
Net income $ 18,629 12,604 31,492 26,244
Income per common share:        
 Basic $ 1.49 1.02 2.52 2.15
 Diluted $ 1.48 1.01 2.51 2.12
Weighted average common shares outstanding:        
 Basic 12,504,382 12,337,120  12,476,577  12,218,369
 Diluted 12,583,414 12,498,320  12,556,788  12,397,026
CONTACT:  Air Methods Corporation          Aaron D. Todd, Chief Executive Officer            (303) 792-7413          Trent Carman, Chief Financial Officer            (303) 792-7591

Air Methods Corporation