Air Methods Reports Third Quarter 2016 Results

DENVER, Nov. 03, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Air Methods Corporation (Nasdaq:AIRM), the global leader in air medical transportation, today reported financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2016.

Third Quarter 2016 Results:
  • Revenue of $311.0 million was flat compared to $311.3 million for the third quarter of 2015.
  • Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations of $0.82, compared to $1.16 for the third quarter of 2015, a decrease of 29.3%.
  • EBITDA from continuing operations of $81.8 million, compared to $105.2 million for the third quarter of 2015, a decrease of 22.2%.
  • The company repurchased 1,694,500 shares in the third quarter.

Aaron Todd, CEO of Air Methods, stated, "Patient transports were below expectations in the quarter which impacted earnings. The Company has worked to improve its base transport utilization and to optimize its cost structure by closing and consolidating bases and adding sales resources. These changes have had the desired effect in October as preliminary same-base transports increased approximately 1.2%. We will consider other measures as appropriate."

"Despite the challenging environment, there were a number of encouraging results to highlight in the quarter. In the Air Medical Services division, Tri-State's performance improved sequentially, and another hospital base converted to the community base model. Additionally, the recovery in the Tourism division continued with passenger volumes growing 2.6% and segment EBITDA increasing 7.9%."

Peter Csapo, CFO of Air Methods, added, "In the third quarter, we made significant progress on one of our highest priorities, achieving a sequential reduction in days sales outstanding of 14 days, which led to record quarterly operating cash flow of $81.0 million compared to $17.8 million in the prior year quarter."

Third Quarter Performance by Segment

For the third quarter, Air Medical Services (AMS) revenue increased 0.4% to $267.7 million compared to $266.8 million in the prior-year quarter. The acquisition of Tri-State Care Flight (TSCF) added $14.0 million in revenues. Excluding TSCF, revenues declined 4.9%. Key operating statistics include:
  3Q16 3Q15 YOY Change (%)
Transports   18,478     17,330     6.6 %
Transports + Weather Cancellations   25,085     22,794     10.1 %
Same-Base Transports (SBTs)   15,352     16,764     (8.4 %)
SBT + Weather Cancellations   21,084     22,101     (4.6 %)
Net Revenue per Transport $ 12,421   $ 12,839     (3.3 %)

Flight center and aircraft operations expenses increased 15.7% to $154.5 million in the current quarter compared to $133.5 million in the prior year quarter. TSCF added $9.4 million in flight center and aircraft operations expenses. Excluding TSCF, these expenses increased 8.6% despite revenues declining 4.9% for the corresponding AMS operations. AMS segment EBITDA decreased 22.5% to $83.9 million compared to $108.2 million for the third quarter of 2015. On a stand-alone basis, TSCF lost $0.2 million (pre-tax) in the quarter. This does not include the positive contribution from transports retained at consolidated bases. Including retained transports, the Company estimates TSCF added $0.01 in diluted EPS in the quarter and $0.06 in diluted EPS year-to-date.

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