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Monday, 3 May 2004
May 3, 2004 Province Healthcare (PRV)

Hello Friends! Thanks so much for stopping by. As always, remember that I am an amateur investor who writes about stocks...so please do your own investigation of all stocks mentioned on this website and please consult with your investment advisors to make sure that stocks and methods discussed are appropriate and timely for you!

I had a pretty good weekend...hope you did too. It is amazing how the market literally gets into your system and you can feel yourself feeling "down" when the market goes down and "up" when the market soars. Hmmmm....maybe I am taking this too far??

Anyhow, was scanning the lists of market movers this noon, and came across Province Healthcare (PRV). I do not own any shares nor do I have any leveraged positions in this company. PRV, as I write, is trading at $16.80, up $.81 or 5.07% on the day. According to the Yahoo "Profile", Province "...owns and operates acute care hospitals located in non-urban markets. The Company owns or leases 20 general acute care hospitals in 13 states with a total of 2,284 licensed beds."

Wednesday, after the close on 4/28/04, Province reported 1st quarter 2004 results. Revenues from continuing operations increased 9.9% to $204.9 million compared to $186.5 million the prior year. Net income came in at $11.6 million vs $9.9 million the prior year or $.23/share vs $.20/share the prior year. These results are just fine!

The picture looks even nicer long-term. If we check the "5-Yr Restated" financials on Morningstar.com, we can see that revenue has grown very nicely from $238.9 million in 1998, and increased steadily to $766.4 million in the trailing twelve months.

Earnings have been a bit erratic increasing from $.40/share in 1999 to $.69/share in the trailing twelve months. Free cash flow, which was negative at $(11) million in 2000, dropped to $(34) million in 2001, then increased to $46 million in 2002 and $52 million in the trailing twelve months.

This company does have some long-term debt, but the cash is adequate at $38.8 million and other current assets total $149.2 million, more than enough to cover the $71 million in current liabilities and make a small dent in the $498.8 million in long-term liabilities.

What about valuation? Looking at "Key Statistics" on Yahoo.com, we can see that the market cap is a mid cap $817.5 million. (I always forget the cut-offs for these classifications...for your review Ameritrade has a nice reference on capitalization...small cap under $500 million, Mid-cap: between $500 million and $3 billion, and Large-cap: over $3 billion.)

The trailing p/e is at 0, but the forward p/e is at 15.25 with a PEG (next 5 years estimated) at only 1.10. So valuation really isn't bad. There are 48.72 million shares outstanding with 47.40 million of them that float. Interestingly, there are 2.19 million shares out short representing 6.254 trading days as of 4/7/04, or 4.62% of the float. We may be in the midst of some coverage of this short position...or a bit of a squeeze.

No cash dividend is paid...and no stock dividend is reported on Yahoo.

Looking at a "Point and Figure" chart we can see that the stock broke through a resistance level in September, 2003, and has been trading higher since. This looks nice and not over-extended in my opinion.

Overall, I like this stock just fine. With all of the politics over healthcare, I am never particularly enthusiastic about hospital stocks, but the numbers scream for our attention, and I try very hard to put aside personal bias and look at the company's performance. Of course, I am waiting to sell a portion of a stock at a gain before I can dip my toes back into the investing waters!

Thanks again for stopping by! If you have any questions, comments, or words of encouragement, please feel free to email me at bobsadviceforstocks@lycos.com

Happy Monday everyone!

Bob


Posted by bobsadviceforstocks at 1:41 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink

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