updated 3/10/2011 4:16:06 PM ET 2011-03-10T21:16:06

DENVER, March 10, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Air Methods Corporation (Nasdaq:AIRM), the largest air medical transportation company in the world, reported revenue and net income for the year and fourth quarter ended December 31, 2010.

For the year, revenue increased 9% to $562.0 million compared to $514.3 million in the prior year. Net income increased 52% to $44.1 million, or $3.50 per diluted share, in the current year from $29.0 million, or $2.33 per diluted share, in the prior year. For the fourth quarter, revenue increased 24% to $150.4 million as compared with $121.3 million during the prior-year period. Net income increased over four and a half times to $12.6 million, or $0.99 per diluted share, compared to net income of $2.7 million, or $0.22 per diluted share, in the prior-year period.

During the fourth quarter of 2010, total patients transported within community-based operations were 10,071, as compared with 9,015 during the prior-year quarter, a 12% increase. Patients transported for community bases in operation greater than one year (Same-Base Transports) increased by 630 transports, or 7%, while weather cancellations for these same bases decreased by 1,165 transports compared with the prior-year period. Revenue per community-based transport increased 23% from $7,472 in the prior-year quarter to $9,175 in the current-year quarter. Consolidated maintenance expense per flight hour increased by 18% to $727 per hour during the current-year quarter, compared with $618 per flight hour in the prior-year quarter. Fuel expense per community-based transport decreased by 6% to $288 per transport in the current-year quarter compared with $306 per transport in the prior-year quarter.

Community-Based Services divisional revenue and segment net income increased by 37% to $93.6 million and over four times to $22.0 million in the current-year quarter, respectively. Hospital-Based Services divisional revenue increased by 2% to $49.1 million, while segment net income decreased by 23% to $3.0 million, compared with the prior-year quarter. Excluding internal revenue, the Products Division increased revenue by 59% to $7.7 million, while external segment net income increased over three and a half times to $2.2 million, compared with the prior-year period.  

The Company also provided an update on preliminary first quarter 2011 operations to-date. Same-Base Transports within community-based operations through February increased by 34 patient transports, or 1%, as compared with the prior-year period, despite weather cancellations for these same bases increasing by 51, as compared with the prior-year period. Requests for community-based services at bases open greater than one year also increased by 3%. Total community-based patient transports for the two-month period increased by 5% to 5,604, as compared with 5,319 in the prior-year period. 

Aaron Todd, CEO of Air Methods, commented, "We are pleased with having achieved another strong year in revenue and earnings growth. While growth in net revenue per community-based transport has contributed significantly to this growth, we are also encouraged by the recent growth experienced in Same-Base Transports during the last several months. During the first two months of 2011, this growth in transports has been in spite of higher weather cancellations. Our revenue growth has also benefited from an annual net increase in community-based locations by seven, as well as from four new satellite base locations opened during the year within our hospital-based operations."

The Company will discuss these results in a conference call scheduled today at 4:15 p.m. Eastern. Interested parties can access the call by dialing (877) 883-0656 (domestic) or (706) 643-8826 (international) or by accessing the web cast at www.airmethods.com . A replay of the call will be available at (800) 642-1687 (domestic) or (706) 645-9291 (international), access number 48556578, for 3 days following the call and the web cast can be accessed at www.airmethods.com for 30 days.

Air Methods Corporation (www.airmethods.com) is a leader in emergency air medical transportation and medical services. The Hospital Based Services Division is the largest provider of air medical transport services for hospitals. The Community Based Services Division is one of the largest community-based providers of air medical services. The Products Division specializes in the design and manufacture of aeromedical and aerospace technology. The Company's fleet of owned, leased or maintained aircraft features over 300 helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.

The Air Methods Corporation logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=6955

Forward Looking Statements: This news release includes certain forward-looking statements, which are subject to various risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from those currently anticipated due to a number of factors, including but not limited to the size, structure and growth of the Company's air medical services and products markets; the collection rates for patient transports; the continuation and/or renewal of air medical service contracts; the acquisition of profitable Products Division contracts and other flight service operations; the successful expansion of the community-based operations; and other matters set forth in the Company's public filings. 

Please contact Christine Clarke at (303) 792-7579 to be included on the Company's fax and/or mailing list.

– FINANCIAL STATEMENTS ATTACHED –

AIR METHODS CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
UNAUDITED CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(Amounts in thousands)
     
     
  December 31, 2010 December 31, 2009
     
     
ASSETS    
     
Current assets:    
Cash and cash equivalents  $ 60,710  $ 38,073
Trade receivables, net 132,329 113,563
Other current assets 45,034 55,460
     
Total current assets 238,073 207,096
     
Net property and equipment 200,875 181,742
Other assets, net 35,731 35,294
     
Total assets  $ 474,679  $ 424,132
     
     
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY    
     
Current liabilities:    
Notes payable related to assets held for sale  $ --   $ 4,510
Current portion of indebtedness 15,835 15,850
Accounts payable, accrued expenses and other 58,217 53,370
     
Total current liabilities 74,052 73,730
     
Long-term indebtedness 81,305 90,980
Other non-current liabilities 73,566 62,880
     
Total liabilities 228,923 227,590
     
Total stockholders' equity 245,756 196,542
     
Total liabilities and stockholders' equity  $ 474,679  $ 424,132
AIR METHODS CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
UNAUDITED CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
(Amounts in thousands, except share and per share amounts)
         
         
  Quarter Ended Year Ended
  December 31, December 31,
         
  2010 2009 2010 2009
         
Revenue:        
Flight operations  $ 141,127 115,386 533,852 486,303
Product operations 7,707 4,854 22,447 24,302
Other 1,550 1,080 5,703 3,693
Total revenue 150,384 121,320 562,002 514,298
         
Expenses:        
Operating expenses 103,088 92,975 392,784 377,400
General and administrative 19,051 16,575 69,226 64,963
Depreciation and amortization 6,488 5,893 24,602 19,869
  128,627 115,443 486,612 462,232
         
Operating income 21,757 5,877 75,390 52,066
         
Interest expense (1,379) (1,443) (5,924) (5,086)
Other, net 113 39 591 124
         
Income before income taxes 20,491 4,473 70,057 47,104
         
Income tax expense (7,868) (1,764) (25,942) (18,151)
         
Net income  $ 12,623 2,709 44,115 28,953
         
Income per common share:        
Basic  $ 1.01 0.22 3.53 2.36
Diluted  $ 0.99 0.22 3.50 2.33
         
Weighted average common shares outstanding:        
Basic 12,555,672 12,414,192  12,496,513  12,267,727
Diluted 12,688,595 12,540,283  12,596,414  12,434,586
CONTACT: Aaron D. Todd, Chief Executive Officer
         (303) 792-7413

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