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Air Methods (AIRM): Winter Hits December Passenger Count


Leading provider of air medical emergency transport services, Air Methods Corporation AIRM, reported tepid preliminary patient transport and tourism passenger data for the month of Dec 2016.

Also, in the last six months, the stock registered a loss of almost 13.25%, higher than the Zacks categorized Medical Services sub-industry’s loss of roughly 0.24%. Average volume of shares traded over the last six months was remarkable at approximately 433.1K. The stock has a market cap of $1.21 billion.

However, the estimate revision trend does not look promising with three estimates moving south over the past two months. Notably, the current fiscal year estimates for the stock decreased by 35 cents to $2.66 per share over the same time frame. Additionally, the stock promises an earnings yield of only 3.97% compared to with the industry’s yield of 4.63%.

Coming back, the lukewarm December data was due to the impact of weather in both Sundance and Blue Hawaiian operations. Overall, the total number of passengers fell 6.5% year over year to 30,149 during Dec 2016. The trend was also reflected over the fourth quarter of 2016 when passenger count dropped 1.6% year over year to 101,623.

However, over the long run, we are bullish on the company owing to its focus on improving the bottom line by consolidating bases, shifting to more efficient helicopters and taking over the reins from its hospital-based model clients.

Air Methods is a leading player in air medical transportation. It’s fleet of owned, leased or maintained aircraft features approximately 500 helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. The company operates through three divisions. Of these, the Air Medical Services Division is the largest provider of air medical transport services in the U.S. The United Rotorcraft Division specializes in the design and manufacture of aeromedical and aerospace technology. The Tourism Division comprises Sundance Helicopters, Inc. and Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, which provide helicopter tours and charter flights in the Las Vegas/Grand Canyon region and Hawaii, respectively.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Currently, Air Methods has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Better-ranked stocks in the broader medical sector include Addus HomeCare Corporation ADUS, Cogentix Medical, Inc. CGNT and Penumbra Inc. PEN. All the stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Addus HomeCare has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of approximately 15%. Notably, the stock represents an impressive one-year return of 58.7%.

Cogentix Medical has posted a positive earnings surprise of 100% in the last reported quarter. Additionally, the company has a promising one-year return of almost 80.2%.

Penumbra has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of approximately 20%. Notably, the stock represents an impressive one-year return of almost 23%.

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