Alliance predicts rocky road ahead

July 31, 2009

Other headline:SonoSite revenues slipMerge notches 2Q profitiCAD sales fall hardTomoTherapy revenues dip

Alliance predicts rocky road ahead

Revenues and profits surged for Alliance HealthCare Services in the second quarter, ended June 30. But the company's stock price plummeted July 30 more than $2 per share to under $5 after the national provider of outpatient diagnostic imaging and radiation therapy services cut its guidance for the full year. Citing "challenging economic circumstances," the company reduced annual expected revenues from a range between $536 million and $551 million to one between $503 million and $518 million. The projected adjusted EBITDA also fell from a range between $187 million and $202 million to one between $177 million and $192 million. The downward adjustments looking ahead provided stark contrast to results from the second quarter, in which revenue increased 5.9% compared with the year-earlier period to $130 million and adjusted EBITDA rose 3% to $48 million. Shades of the difficult operating environment for the company were seen in the 2Q profit numbers, however, as Alliance recorded an 18.7% decrease in net income compared with the same period a year earlier.

SonoSite revenues slip

Second quarter revenue declined 12% to $52.3 million during the second quarter for SonoSite, reflecting cutbacks in hospital spending as well as unfavorable foreign currency exchange rates, according to the company. The maker of handheld ultrasound devices remained profitable, however, with net income of $425,000 in the quarter compared with $1.4 million in the year-earlier period. Saying the midterm outlook remains positive, SonoSite president and CEO Kevin M. Goodwin projected an overall revenue decrease in 2009 of 5% to 10%, which includes the assumption of a -4% currency impact.

Merge notches 2Q profit

Revenues in the second quarter grew 15% for Merge Healthcare compared with the year-earlier period. They were virtually flat, however, compared with the preceding quarter. The PACS/IT company reported operating income of $3.5 million compared with an $18.3 million loss in the second quarter of 2008. This year's second-quarter results were slightly down from first-quarter profits.

iCAD sales fall hard

Revenues at iCAD fell sharply in the second quarter to $5.7 million from $10.5 million in the year-earlier period. Leading the drop were falling sales of the company's computer-aided detection systems for digital mammography and its MRI software, which together garnered just $3.1 million in 2Q 09 compared with $8 million in 2Q 08. The sales slump led to a net loss of $1.4 million compared with net profits of $2.4 million in the second quarter of 2008. Dragging iCAD sales downward was a 35% dive in demand for digital mammography systems, according to the company.

TomoTherapy revenues dip

Advanced radiation therapy provider TomoTherapy recorded a net loss of $7.1 million compared with a $6.9 million net loss in the year-earlier period. It was better than some analysts expected. But the company cut its outlook for the year ahead, citing an "uncertain economic environment, especially as it relates to the timing of new orders." Second quarter revenue was $41.1 million, a decrease of 21% from $52 million in 2Q 08.