MedQuist Holdings’ acquisition of Franklin-based Spheris last year helped the company post a 29 percent increase in revenue in the fourth quarter. The medical transcription company — which now calls Franklin home — said Spheris contributed $29.9 million in revenue during the fourth quarter, while its total revenues were up just $24.7 million, to $110.5 million.
The company (Ticker: MEDH) accounted for the revenue trend by explaining that it’s been lowering prices for customers and shifting production and speech recognition offshore to ensure “higher customer retention and margins.”
Adjusted net income was $14.4 million, or 28 cents per diluted share, compared to $11.9 million, or 23 cents per diluted share in the year-ago quarter. Income attributable to shareholders in Q4 was $1.4 million, or 4 cents per diluted share, compared to $275,000, or a penny per diluted share.
Robert Aquilina, Chairman of MedQuist Holdings, said, “Through our industry leading platform, we are giving our customers the features, customer service capabilities, and cost savings they desire. Our higher volumes have enabled us to leverage the scale of our platform while also realizing the benefits of offshore resources and post speech recognition editing. The acquisition and turnaround of two companies in the last two years speaks to the success of our strategy with a five-fold increase in Adjusted EBITDA during that period and, most recently, the $7 million of synergies gained in the fourth quarter, or $28 million annualized, from the integration of Spheris. We will look to continue this performance in 2011 as well as organic growth derived from a relentless focus on new business.”
Workers broke ground last week on Cool Springs Montessori, which expects to open its doors to students in July. The project is being backed by couples Sean and Kimberly Caley and Neeti Agarwal and Shishir Bhushan and will be able to house 90 children. H. Michael Hindman Architects designed the building, which is being constructed by Baron + Dowdle and financed by Franklin Synergy Bank.
“Our mission is to provide students with a quality education in a nurturing environment while meeting the needs of busy working parents,” explains Kimberly Caley, one of the principals. “At CSM, professional Montessori-credentialed educators guide children through purposeful and ordered lessons, encouraging a love of learning, problem solving and self-motivation. The CSM building was designed to easily accommodate 90 children from ages 30 months through lower elementary.”
Nissan has announced a raft of management changes kicked off primarily by the retirement of its Canadian president, Mark Grimm. Closer to home, Vice President of Corporate Communications Scott Stevens has left the company and David Reuter has been promoted. Stevens was named to his post almost two years ago.
Two senior officers at Franklin-based insurer HealthSpring last week cashed in some of their chips by exercising stock options and selling on the resulting shares. General Counsel and Secretary Gentry Barden booked a $2.6 million profit on his sales, Executive VP Matthew Morris more than $1.7 million. Shares of HealthSpring (Ticker: HS) are up some 40 percent year to date and have more than doubled in the past 12 months.
William Plovanic of Canaccord Genuity has reitered his 'buy' rating on shares of BioMimetic Therapeutics following the Franklin company's fourth quarter earnings release yesterday, citing the fact that there were no changes in the company's expeations for the regulatory timeline for approval of Augment for use in foot and ankle fusions.
He also noted that "the distribution strategy and the new VP of sales and marketing show the company's intention to make a big impact in the lower extremity market."
Canaccord has a price target of $17.50 on BioMimetic's shares (Ticker: BMTI). The stock was trading near $13 per share Friday morning, up more than 1.5 percent on the day.
The tide has turned dramatically at Universal Safety Response, the Franklin-based manufacturer of security barriers that sold itself to Smith & Wesson in the summer of 2009. On track to add "substantial ongoing growth" to its parent last summer, the business is now struggling with lower sales, lower margins and government customers who don't have money to spend. Smith & Wesson yesterday told investors it will take a $51 million impairment charge related to USR — on top of the $39.5 million it wrote down three months ago — and change the division's name to play off the mothership's heritage.
SEE ALSO: Smith & Wesson buying Franklin firm in a deal valued at about $80 million