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October 29, 2012
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Shares of Hill-Rom Holdings Inc. spiked 10 percent on Oct. 25 after it announced earnings that edged past the expectations of Wall Street analysts. But the Batesville-based maker of hospital beds and furniture gave up much of those gains as the week ended. Hill-Rom earned $39.2 million in the three months ended Sept. 30, a 38-percent decline from the same quarter a year ago. Earnings per share totaled 63 cents in the most recent quarter, and only 56 cents when special items were excluded. But analysts were expecting even less, just 55 cents per share, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters. Also, Hill-Rom’s revenue soared above analysts' expectations, totaling $431.6 million. Analysts had predicted revenue of $418 million in the quarter. Shares of Hill-Rom’s stock opened the day Oct. 25 at $30.43, a 10-percent jump from their close the previous day. But by the end of Friday, Hill-Rom’s shares had settled back down to $28.39 apiece, essentially unchanged for the week.

The Indiana University School of Medicine gave details Oct. 25 on its expansion of its program in Lafayette from two years to four years and plans to grow enrollment. The program, which is housed on the campus of Purdue University, this year enrolled 39 third-year students who are doing rotations at hospitals in the Lafayette area. The Lafayette medical program will add fourth-year medical students next year. Previously, medical students who began in Lafayette would finish their medical training at the IU medical school’s main campus in Indianapolis. The IU medical school has been enrolling 16 students per year at the Lafayette campus. But in 2014, when the school moves into a new building on Purdue’s campus, it will boost enrollment to 24 students per year. The new building, known as Lyles-Porter Hall, will give the school the capacity to enroll as many as 32 students. The Lafayette campus was launched in 1968. A second-year curriculum was added in 1980.

Zimmer Holdings Inc. beat analysts’ estimates with its third-quarter profit, but trimmed its full-year forecast. The Warsaw-based maker of orthopedic implants said Oct. 25 that it earned $178.1 million in the three months ended Sept. 30, a 7-percent decline from the same quarter last year. Excluding special charges, however, Zimmer would have earned $202.1 million, a 2.5-percent increase from a year ago. Earnings per share on that basis totaled $1.15. Wall Street analysts were expecting $1.13 per share, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters. For the full year, Zimmer now expects earnings per share to fall between $4.75 and $4.80 on a reported basis and between $5.25 and $5.35, excluding special charges. Zimmer’s previous forecasts had added another nickel of earnings on the high end of those ranges. Zimmer expects foreign exchange rates to keep its sales flat the rest of the year.

Shareholders of Amerigroup Corp. on Oct. 23 overwhelmingly approved the Virginia company’s $4.9 billion sale to Indianapolis-based health insurer WellPoint Inc. The vote clears the way for the acquisition to close before the end of the year. More than 99.9 percent of shares voted Tuesday were in favor of the sale to WellPoint, although those shares represented just 80 percent of all Amerigroup shares outstanding. Some Amerigroup shareholders had questioned the deal when Amerigroup revealed that a second suitor had been in the mix. WellPoint agreed to buy Amerigroup on July 9 to beef up its business of managing Medicaid plans for state governments.

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