Want to play global disaster? Bullish on fires and floods and horrible car accidents?
Then you want to get yourself some Air Methods (AIRM).
Air Methods' earnings knocked it out of the park this quarter, doubling net income on a revenue gain of 25% over a year ago. Fully diluted net income of 97 cents per share was 28 cents above analyst estimates and the stock gapped-up more than $10/share before settling down to a gain of $8/share.
How, who, what is Air Methods?
Air Methods is a holding company for a number of "life flight" operations around the country. If you've seen helicopters reading "Mercy Air" or "LifeNet" you've seen AIRM in action.
Air Methods' units support both air and ground emergency vehicles. It started with a single helicopter in Grand Junction, Colorado and grew through acquisitions, after going public in 1991. The company is now run by a rather large collection of entrepreneurs from companies it acquired over the years, people who know their business.
In short, it's a roll-up. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
AIRM has benefited over the last few years from the cost pressures on hospitals, who have felt moved to outsource their emergency services, buying only what they need. This has allowed AIRM to grow profitably.
A lot of this year's growth is down to last year's acquisition of OmniFlight, which allowed it to do 12,673 patient transports over the last quarter, up from 8,870 for the same quarter the year before. In other words, growth is sustainable.
Even with its stellar quarter the stock is selling at a PE of just 25, and it could be in a position to start issuing dividends fairly soon, since the stock is now a currency good enough to fund an aggressive acquisition strategy.