Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Here's something you don't see every day. Helicopter medivac operator Air Methods
So what: Last night, Air Methods announced a plan to merge itself into privately held Omniflight Helicopters, purchasing the "subsidiary" (parent?) out of private equity ownership from Wind Point Partners.
Now what: How does a $200 million expenditure translate into $122 million in added market cap for Air Methods? Excellent question. No one seems to know much about Omniflight. Our go-to provider for financial information here at the Fool, Capital IQ, doesn't even venture a guess at Omniflight's annual revenues, much less its level of profitability.
As for Air Methods itself, it looks fairly priced on the surface -- 18 P/E, 18% projected growth rate for the next five years. In fact, though, this is one pricey helicopter ride. Air Methods generated just $15.5 million in free cash flow over the past 12 months -- less than a third of reported earnings. Plus, the company's going even deeper into debt to fund its purchase. Put it all together, and it's more than enough to give this Fool a fear of flying.
Think this ride is safer than it looks? Add Air Methods to your watchlist and find out.
Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own (or short) Air Methods. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.