Air Methods Reports 1Q2013 Results And 2Q2013 Update

DENVER, May 9, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Air Methods Corporation (Nasdaq:AIRM), the global leader in air medical transportation, reported financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2013 and provided an update on April 2013 flight volume. For the quarter, revenue decreased 6% to $179.2 million from $190.8 million in the prior-year quarter. Net loss for the first quarter of 2013 was $5.7 million, or $0.15 per share, compared with net income of $12.5 million, or $0.32 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2012. The current-year quarter includes the results of operations for Sundance Helicopters, Inc., a Grand Canyon tour operator (Sundance), which was acquired by the Company on December 31, 2012. Revenue and pre-tax income generated from Sundance during the first quarter of 2013 was $10.4 million and $0.1 million, respectively.  

Community-based patient transports were 11,845 during the current-year quarter, compared with 12,673 in the prior-year quarter, a 7% decrease. Patients transported for community bases in operation greater than one year (Same-Base Transports) decreased by 9%, or 1,081 transports, while weather cancellations for these same bases increased by 427 transports compared with the prior-year quarter. Requests for community-based service decreased 6% for bases open greater than one year. Net revenue per community-based transport decreased 10% from $10,072 to $9,098 in the current-year quarter due to deterioration in payer mix, partially offset by price increases.    

Maintenance expense, excluding Sundance, increased $0.5 million, or 2%, compared with the prior-year quarter, while flight hours decreased 5%. Increase in maintenance expense per flight hour is attributed to typical quarterly fluctuations associated with scheduled and unscheduled maintenance events. Excluding Sundance, fuel expense increased by $0.4 million, or 6%, compared with the prior-year quarter, while fuel expense per flight hour increased by 19%.

For the first quarter, Air Medical Services revenue decreased by 10% to $164.4 million compared with $183.6 million in the prior-year quarter. United Rotorcraft Division's external revenue decreased 39% to $4.4 million compared with $7.2 million in the prior-year quarter, while its external segment net income decreased from $2.1 million to an external segment net loss of $1.0 million in the current-year quarter. United Rotorcraft incurred $0.5 million during the current-year quarter for warranty-related expenses.   

The Company also provided an update on preliminary April 2013 flight volume. Total community-based transports decreased 7% to 4,417 during April 2013, compared with 4,745 in April 2012. April 2013 Same-Base Transports decreased by 435 transports, or 9%, as compared with April 2012. Weather cancellations during April 2013 for these same bases decreased by 8 compared with the prior-year month. 

Aaron Todd, CEO, stated, "As previously disclosed, we believe a greater severity in weather and weaker payer mix had a significant influence on our first quarter results. In addition, the lower flight volumes did not translate into lower maintenance expense, as there is often a delay in the expense benefit associated with decreased flight activity. Once weather moderates during the spring and summer months, we will be better able to isolate whether weak demand and payer mix were solely weather-related or reflect other factors."     

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 . A replay of the call will be available at (855) 859-2056 (domestic) or (404) 537-3406 (international), access number 64210826, for 3 days following the call and the web cast can be accessed at for 30 days.

Air Methods Corporation ( ) is the global leader in air medical transportation. The Air Medical Services Division is the largest provider of air medical transport services for hospitals and one of the largest community-based providers of air medical services. United Rotorcraft Division specializes in the design and manufacture of aeromedical and aerospace technology. The Tourism Division is comprised of Sundance Helicopters, Inc., which provides helicopter tours and charter flights, primarily focusing on Grand Canyon tours. Air Methods' fleet of owned, leased or maintained aircraft features over 400 helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.

Forward-Looking Statements: Forward-looking statements in this news release are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements in this press release that are "forward-looking statements," including statements regarding the Company's preliminary April 2013 flight volume, and our belief that the severity in weather and weaker payer mix had a significant influence on first quarter results, are based on current expectations and assumptions that are subject to 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 United Rotorcraft Division; the collection rates for patient transports; the continuation and/or renewal of air medical service contracts; the final results of April 2013 flight volume; weather conditions across the U.S.; development and changes in laws and regulations, including, without limitation, the impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; increased regulation of the health care and aviation industry through legislative action and revised rules and standards; and other matters set forth in the Company's filings with the SEC. The Company is under no obligation (and expressly disclaims any obligation) to update or alter its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Please contact Christine Clarke at (303) 792-7579 to be included on the Company's e-mail distribution list.


  March 31, 2013 December 31, 2011
Current assets:    
Cash and cash equivalents  $ 11,379  3,818
Trade receivables, net  209,430  232,929
Other current assets  81,589  70,058
Total current assets  302,398  306,805
Net property and equipment  603,797  597,238
Other assets, net  211,414  214,820
Total assets  $ 1,117,609  1,118,863
Current liabilities:    
Notes payable related to aircraft pending long-term financing  $ --   3,570
Current portion of indebtedness  57,778  63,139
Accounts payable, accrued expenses and other  66,736  76,743
Total current liabilities  124,514  143,452
Long-term indebtedness  605,892  581,019
Other non-current liabilities  91,028  94,782
Total liabilities  821,434  819,253
Total stockholders' equity  296,175  299,610
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity  $ 1,117,609  1,118,863
(Amounts in thousands, except share and per share amounts)
  Quarter Ended
  March 31,
  2013 2012
Flight operations  $ 162,290  182,144
Product operations  4,434  7,232
Tourism operations  10,391  -- 
Other  2,114  1,438
Total revenue  179,229  190,814
Operating expenses  135,442  120,022
General and administrative  28,523  24,875
Depreciation and amortization  20,122  20,879
   184,087  165,776
Operating income  (4,858)  25,038
Interest expense  (4,802)  (5,593)
Other, net  287  930
Income before income taxes  (9,373)  20,375
Income tax expense  3,684  (7,901)
Net income  $ (5,689)  12,474
Income per common share:    
 Basic  $ (0.15) 0.33
 Diluted  $ (0.15) 0.32
Weighted average common shares outstanding - basic 38,831,102 38,380,920
Weighted average common shares outstanding - diluted 38,831,102 38,747,448
CONTACT: Trent J. Carman, Chief Financial Officer, (303) 792-7591

Air Methods Corporation