Amedisys posts 4Q loss on $162M goodwill charge

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- Home health care provider Amedisys Inc. said Tuesday it took a loss in the fourth quarter after it recorded another big goodwill impairment charge.

Amedisys took a charge of $162 million during the quarter. Amedisys recently announced that its revenue from an agreement with health insurer Aetna Inc. will fall by about half, and the company said reimbursement cuts, slow growth, and lower volumes are hurting its business. The company and several of its competitors are being investigated over allegations they deliberately increased their visits to patients in order to get bonus payouts from Medicare.

A Senate committee investigation concluded in 2011 that the companies did artificially inflate their patient visit totals.

In the quarter ended Dec. 31, the company said it lost $106.8 million, or $3.52 per share, reversing its year-earlier net income of $4.3 million, or 15 cents per share. Amedisys earned 23 cents per share from continuing operations if one-time charges are excluded. Revenue fell 2 percent, to $362.9 million from $370.3 million.

Analysts expected income of 22 cents per share and $372.4 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

For the full year, Amedisys lost $83.6 million, or $2.79 per share. The company took a loss of $382.5 million, or $13.33 per share, in 2011, as it reported more than $570 million in one-time charges. Its revenue rose 1 percent, to $1.49 billion from $1.47 billion.

The company said it expects to earn between 60 cents and 70 cents per share in net income in 2013, and said revenue will range from $1.43 billion to $1.45 billion. Analysts forecast income of 77 cents per share and $1.51 billion in revenue, on average.

Shares of Amedisys lost 49 cents, or 4 percent, to $11.77 in morning trading.