Why IPC The Hospitalist Company Inc. Shares Stumbled

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

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: Shares of IPC The Hospitalist , a care coordinator for hospitalized patients and inpatient partner of primary-care physicians, sank as much as 14% after reporting its first-quarter earnings results after the bell last night.

So what: For the quarter, IPC The Hospitalist delivered net revenue growth of 12.8% to $172.7 million, including same-market area net revenue growth of 8.1% (a measure similar to same-store sales for retailers that cuts out new serviced areas and gives us a more accurate measure of organic growth). Patient encounters also increased 11.9% to 1.76 million. The company also noted that same-market revenue per encounter decreased 0.8% as a direct result of lower Medicare reimbursements. In spite of the strong top-line gains, adjusted EPS for the quarter was flat from the year-ago period at $0.57 as higher expenses ate into the company's margins. By comparison, Wall Street had been expecting a profit of $0.64 per share.

Now what: It's certainly hard to argue against an 8.1% organic growth rate, but with the company so inherently dependent on Medicare reimbursements and the care coordination field so incredibly competitive, I can't help but believe that today's move lower appears somewhat justified. With some murkiness as to how rapidly Medicare reimbursement will be cut moving forward and questions as to whether or not IPC The Hospitalist can keep up its high single-digit same-market growth rate, I would suggest adding the company to your watchlist, but sticking to the sidelines in the meantime.

IPC The Hospitalist may hold a lot of promise, but there's a good possibility it won't be able to hold a candle to this top stock in 2014
Give me five minutes and I'll show how you could own the best stock for 2014. Every year, The Motley Fool's chief investment officer hand-picks 1 stock with amazing potential. But it's not just any run-of-the-mill company. It's a stock perfectly positioned to cash in on the upcoming year's most lucrative trends. Last year his pick skyrocketed 134%. And previous top picks have gained upwards of 908%, 1,252% and 1,303%! Believe me, you don't want to miss what could be his biggest winner yet! Just click here to download your free copy of "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014" today.

The article Why IPC The Hospitalist Company Inc. Shares Stumbled originally appeared on Fool.com.

Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. 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.

Copyright © 1995 - 2014 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read Full Story

People are Reading