Apria shares soar 10% after fourth-quarter earnings triple

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Shares of Apria Inc. rose more than 10% Wednesday morning after the Indianapolis-based home health provider said fourth-quarter earnings more than tripled on increased demand and cost-cutting.

The company posted quarterly earnings of $25.9 million, up 347% from a year earlier, even as revenue climbed only 5%, to $281.2 million.

Apria announced its earnings Tuesday after the markets closed. It marked the company’s first earnings announcement since going public last month. Apria is owned largely by private equity firm Blackstone Group, which is slowly selling its interest in the company.

Apria, formerly based in Los Angeles, has been moving its headquarters to Indianapolis in stages over the past  year.

The company provides oxygen tanks, nebulizers, obstructive sleep apnea treatment and wound therapy equipment to patients in their homes. It also provides respiratory therapists and other health specialists to visit patients at home.

The company cut costs by $23 million, or 2.3%, last year.

“We made great strides during 2020, creating significant efficiencies throughout the organization, and we closed out the year with solid financial results ahead of our expectations,” said CEO Dan Starck said in written remarks. “Despite the challenges presented by the ongoing pandemic, the team worked diligently to ensure we were able to handle the increased demand for oxygen therapy and to help reduce the pressure on overburdened hospitals.”

Apria forecast a flat to modest rise in full-year 2021 revenue in the range of $1.11 billion to $1.14 billion. Net revenue last year was $1.11 billion.

The company did not provide a forecast for 2021 profit, but said adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization would be in the range of $203 million to $212 million, compared to $226.9 million last year.

Shares climbed more than 10% in midmorning trading on the Nasdaq exchange before settling back a bit to $27.75 each, up $2.13, or 8.3%.

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