Earnings wrap: NHC, First Farmers

Steady growth and new construction from nursing home operator, community bank doubles Q4

National HealthCare Corp. announced net income in the fourth quarter of $16.6 million, or $1.04 per share, compared with $15.9 million or 99 cents per share in Q4 2012. Revenues in the quarter increased to $206 million from $193 million the year prior.

In a release, executives said 2013 operating results were helped by a $5 million recovery of notes receivable and expense reduction efforts. Occupancy was down less than a percent from 2012 to 2013. The Murfreesboro-based company operates 69 skilled nursing facilities in 11 states as well home care programs and independent and assisted living communities.

NHC reported it anticipates starting construction soon on a 90-bed skilled nursing facility and 80-unit assisted living community in Nashville, as well as a 52-bed care center in Kingsport. New facilities in Columbia, Tenn., Augusta, Ga., and Osage Beach, Mo., are expected to open this year.

Shares of NHC (Ticker: NHC) closed down slightly to $50.08 Monday. They're down about 5 percent over the past three months.


First Farmers & Merchants Corp. doubled its Q4 profit versus 2012, delivering net income of $2.4 million, or 47 cents per common share. The Columbia-based parent of First Farmers & Merchants Bank company earned $9.9 million for all of 2013, up from $7.6 million the year before.

“Our solid results for 2013 demonstrate First Farmers’ steady performance in a sluggish but slowly improving economy,” said Chairman and CEO Randy Stevens. “In an environment of continued regulatory, economic and rate challenges, we are executing our plan well, thanks to an extraordinary team of directors, officers and employees.”