Business News

In a Slump

by Leslie Turk

LHC Group reviews strategic alternatives' to boost stock price. By Leslie Turk

No doubt hit by cuts to Medicare and faced with the uncertainty of further reductions, LHC Group announced Feb. 15 that it has "engaged in a process to review strategic alternatives" to boost its slumping share value.

A national provider of home health and hospice services, LHC says the review process involves an exploration and evaluation of a range of options. Typically, such options include analyzing a potential sale of the company.

LHC (NASDAQ: LHCG) shares closed at $17.57 the Wednesday the process was announced, up 44 cents, but have been trading on the bottom end of a 52-week range of $12.34-$30.64. The next day, Feb. 16, they had begun to fall back down to the $17.25 range.

No timetable for completion of the process has been set.

"There can be no assurance that this review process will result in a transaction or strategic alternative of any kind," the company writes. When a company launches such a review, options can range from share buybacks to a share dividend to putting the company on the sale block.

LHC says it will have no further statement on the matter, also stressing that it will not disclose developments or provide updates unless disclosure is appropriate or required.

Home health providers like LHC have been hit by reductions in Medicare reimbursement rates.