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Why Air Methods Corp. Shares Are Tumbling 10% Today

By Todd Campbell – Jul 24, 2015 at 7:25AM

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Air Methods shares are tumbling after the company pre-announced lower-than-expected second-quarter EPS.

Source: Air Methods Corp.

What's happening: Following the company's report after the bell yesterday that a greater than expected number of cancellations would lead it to report second-quarter earnings that are below forecasts, shares in Air Methods Corp. (AIRM) are slipping by more than 10% today.

Why it's happening: Analysts were modeling for the helicopter ambulance and travel operator to deliver EPS of $0.80 when it reports second-quarter results on August 6, but instead Air Methods expects to deliver EPS of between $0.67 and $0.69, which is below the $0.75 it earned in the second quarter last year.

The lower than expected results are due to a 2.2% drop in transports at operating bases in operation for longer than one year and weather related cancellations -- something that is common for this type of business -- appear to be to blame.

Overall, new operating bases led to total community base transports growing 7.4% year over year in the quarter; but results are also being weighed down because the company's net revenue per transport slipped -0.5% year over year as its payer mix shifted away from profit-friendly private insurers.

The disappointing second quarter results mark a dramatic shift from Air Methods' first quarter, during which the company generated better-than-expected top and bottom line figures.

Historically, Air Methods results vary widely from quarter to quarter, so its results this year serve as a valuable reminder to take a long-view when it comes to Air Method's stock. In that respect, there's still a fair amount to like about this company because aging baby boomers and rising health insurance enrollment should provide demand tailwinds over time and shares are arguably inexpensive at just 14.3 times trailing EPS projections. 

Todd Campbell has no position in any stocks mentioned. Todd owns E.B. Capital Markets, LLC. E.B. Capital's clients may have positions in the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Air Methods. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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