APRIA HEALTHCARE: Announces Fourth-Quarter Losses
"Troubled Apria Healthcare Group Inc., the nation's largest home health care provider," yesterday announced fourth-quarter losses that were much more severe than original Wall Street estimates, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Costa Mesa, CA-based firm "provides a variety of home health care services, including respiratory therapy, and home medical equipment" (3/12). The Los Angeles Times reports that the company lost $238.2 million in the fourth quarter, bringing its yearly deficit to $272.6 million. The company only lost $29.7 million in the same period in 1996. However, the large loss was partly due to an attempt by the company to "rid its books of old financial problems and start fresh" (Marsh, 3/12).
Behind The Scenes
The Journal reports that the loss "includes a goodwill impairment charge of $133.5 million, $74.7 million in other noncash charges and write-offs and a $7 million charge for severance." Declines in the value of two subsidiaries, Pharmaceutical Care Inc. and Protocare Inc., were also blamed for losses, as were computer problems and downsizing. The numbers prolong a disturbing trend for Apria, which has seen its market value plunge "by more than $1 billion, to less than $750 million," in less than three years. This year Apria will "sell a 26% stake in the company to a group led by Joseph Littlejohn & Levy, a private New York turnaround outfit" (3/12).