For the second month in a row, the nation’s three largest publicly traded home health care companies saw their average market values drop, according to the latest Home Health Index by Stoneridge Partners. The slump comes after a four-month record breaking streak from May through August.
The market values for Almost Family, Inc. (Nasdaq: AFAM), Amedisys, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED) and LHC Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: LHCG) all saw declines during September. The overall index contracted 12.63% during the month, compared to a drop of just 1.13% in August.
While publicly traded home health care companies had big stock drops, private companies fared better.
“Valuations are still at all-time highs for private companies, even given the public companies’ pullback this month,” said Rich Tinsley, president of Stoneridge Partners. “Over the last 24 months, valuations are still up 72%.”
The overall index is now slightly below its year-to-date value by 1.42%, according to Stoneridge. By comparison, the S&P 500 outpaced the home health index, though it still dropped 0.12% in September.
Lafayette, Louisiana-based LHC Group saw the biggest decline of the three companies, with a drop of 18.52% in its stock price during September. The company recently signaled it would slow down its acquisition pipeline in September, largely over new regulations like the Pre-Claim Review Demonstration (PCRD) from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Year to date, LHC Group’s stock price is down 18.57%.
Amedisys also took a hit during the month, with its stock slumping 11.41% in September from the previous month. The Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based company has been battered by natural disasters this year, including devastating flooding that claimed the life of its founder and former CEO, and, most recently, Hurricane Matthew.
Amedisys also announced this month its Chief Information Officer Matin Howard was leaving the company. In addition, Amediys hired a new chief clinical officer, Susan Sender, RN, in September. Overall, Amedisys’ stock is still performing well at 20.65% above its year-to-date value.
Almost Family, based in Louisville, Kentucky, similarly experienced a decline in September, with its share price dropping 7.59%. The drop brought the company’s year-to-date change to a 3.82% decline. The downturn contrasts Almost Family’s strong performance throughout the most of the year.
While most home health care companies saw a September slump, Addus HomeCare, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADUS), which is not included in the index because little of its revenue comes from Medicare, bucked the trend. Its stock soared 38.71% in September, though year to date it is down 12.71%.
Written by Amy Baxter