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[Joseph Garnett Jr. | Times (2008)]
Lincare Holdings' headquarters in Clearwater.
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Company information
(May 2009)

Address: 19387 U.S. 19 N, Clearwater, FL 33764; (727) 530-7700; www.lincare.com

Business: Oxygen, respiratory therapy services

Ticker symbol, market: LNCR, Nasdaq

Market capitalization: $1.66 billion, down from $1.71 billion

CEO: John P. Byrnes

Employees: 9,957, up from 9,450

Financials
(Year ended Dec. 31, 2008)

Revenue: $1.7 billion, up 4 percent

Net income: $237.2 million, up 5 percent

Per share: $3.17, up 23 percent

Return on equity: 27.85 percent

Biggest challenge: Lincare's home-oxygen business keeps growing as baby boomers become senior citizens and some develop lung disease. But reduced reimbursement from Medicare, the company's biggest revenue source, is squeezing profits. One example, a new rule limiting rental payments on oxygen equipment to 36 months, will cost Lincare between $130 million and $145 million in 2009, the company says.

Corporate culture
(May 2008)

Medicare uncertainty challenges tight-lipped company

Among financial analysts, Lincare Holdings Inc. is known as having one of the most experienced executive teams in the home oxygen industry. It's also known as one of the most tight-lipped. Shunning all publicity, Lincare simply churned out ever-increasing earnings each quarter at a predictable clip, as it acquired competitors and opened new locations. In short order, it became a nationwide behemoth.

Now, however, Lincare's predictably profitable growth pattern is coming under fire. Medicare, its biggest payer, is cutting how much it pays for everything from oxygen to respiratory drugs.

Lincare jolted investors when it said revenues would take a hit because of Medicare cuts. Concern over Medicare's moves had driven down Lincare's stock. There was speculation on Internet message boards that lower reimbursements would lead to trimming of Lincare's 9,000-plus work force.

As usual, executives at the top of the company had no comment.

—Times Staff Writer

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