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AMN Healthcare Services Inc. (NYSE: AHS), the largest U.S. healthcare staffing firm, reported fourth-quarter revenue rose 11.6 percent to $247.8 million, which is above the top end of the company’s guidance of $244 million. Gross margin came in at the top end of guidance. Fourth-quarter gross margin was 28.5 percent, up from 28.3 percent in the year-ago quarter.
Revenue rose in AMN’s nurse and allied healthcare segment as well as its physician permanent placement segment. However, revenue fell in the firm’s locum tenens division.
The nurse and allied healthcare staffing division is AMN’s largest segment, and fourth-quarter revenue in the division rose 18.1 percent to $175.0 million year over year. CEO Susan Salka said in a conference call with analysts the company’s travel nurse business was the largest contributor to revenue growth. Volume in the travel nurse business was up 25 percent year over year.
“The travel nurse demand growth was in both traditional and MSP clients and evenly distributed across geographies,” Salka said. “Clients with orders, clients with clinicians on assignment and nurse applicant supply were also up year over year.”
However, fourth-quarter gross margin in the nurse and allied segment narrowed to 26.6 percent from 27.4 percent in the year-ago quarter.
Locum tenens staffing revenue fell 2.8 percent to $62.7 million on a year-over-year basis. The drop was mainly due to declines in AMN’s radiology, government and service business, Salka said in the conference call. However, locum tenens gross margin improved to 28.0 percent in the fourth quarter from 25.5 percent in the year-ago quarter. And the company expects locum tenens revenue to be up slightly in the first quarter on a year-over-year basis.
Physician permanent placement revenue rose 7.9 percent to $10.1 million.
AMN posted net income of $7.1 million in the fourth quarter compared to a net loss of $2.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.
The company estimates year-over-year revenue growth of 9 percent to 10 percent in the first quarter, which has fewer calendar days than the year-ago quarter. Gross margin is expected at between 28.0 percent and 28.5 percent.
“We expect 2013 to be another year of steady growth, improved profitability and solid cash flows,” Salka said. “Further growth in MSP and other workforce solutions is expected and we will continue to be at the forefront of innovating and delivering quality, economically beneficial solutions and staffing services to our clients as they navigate through the transformational trends in healthcare.”
AMN Healthcare Services Inc. (NYSE: AHS)
For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2012, compared with the same period in 2011.
Revenue: $247.8 million, +11.6 percent
Net Income: $7.1 million vs. net loss of $2.4 million
For the full-year ended Dec. 31, 2012, compared with the previous year.
Revenue: $954.0 million, +7.5 percent
Net Income: $17.1 million vs. net loss of $26.3 million