Home Health Index Closes 2016 on High Note

The market values of the three largest publicly traded home health care companies continued to rise in December, according to the latest Home Health Index by Stoneridge Partners.

The index, which tracks the market values of Almost Family (Nasdaq: AFAM), Amedisys (Nasdaq: AMED) and LHC Group (Nasdaq: LHCG), rose 5.42% in December from the previous month. The index also rose in November and October.

Market indexes showed strong gains as well, with some hitting new record highs amid a newly-established investor confidence that has been dubbed the “Trump rally” in anticipation of the incoming Trump administration.

“The Trump rally appeared to continue in December for most of the public home health companies,” Rich Tinsley, president of Stonebridge Partners, said in a statement. “With notable acquisitions and new hires coming through before the end of the year, home health is poised for more gains heading into 2017.”

All three of the largest home health care companies saw their stock prices rise in December, outpacing the S&P 500, which rose 1.54% in December.

Almost Family, which secured a $350 million revolving credit facility for a previously announced joint venture acquisition in December, saw the biggest gains for the month; its share price rose 6.78%, according to the Index. The Louisville-based home health provider announced it would acquire an 80% ownership stake in the home health operations of Community Health Systems (NYSE: CYH) in a $128 million deal. The deal, which was completed Jan. 3, 2017, creates the largest public hospital-home health joint venture in the nation.

Lafayette, Louisiana-based LHC Group, which also recently entered into a joint venture with a hospital group, continued to see its share prices climb in December, rising 6.58% from the previous month. However, the year-to-date stock price is down 1.08%

Amedisys had a modest uptick in its market value in December, with its gaining 2.87%. Year to date, the stock price is up 9.26%. The Baton Rouge Louisiana-based providers has undergone significant changes in its executive leadership in 2016, including hiring a new CFO, COO and chief clinical officer. CIO Martin Howard left the company in October.

Amedisys remained acquisitive through the end of the year. Despite grim earnings in the third quarter of 2016, Amedisys recently penned a deal that will make it the largest personal care provider in Massachusetts.

The share price for Addus HomeCare (Nasdaq: ADUS) has jumped 55.49% year to date, according to Stoneridge. For December, the share price rose just 1.01%. Addus, based in Downers Grove, Illinois, is not tracked in Stonebridge’s Home Health Index because little of its revenue comes from Medicare.

Addus began 2016 by naming a new CEO, Dirk Allison, and the company continued to add new executives throughout the year.

Written by Amy Baxter