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Bear of the Day: AMN Healthcare (AMN) – July 8, 2024

Bear of the Day: AMN Healthcare (AMN) – July 8, 2024

AMN Healthcare Services, Inc. (AMN Free Report) is still struggling with the normalization of nurse staffing post-pandemic. This Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) is expected to see earnings decline another 61% this year.

AMN Healthcare provides talent solutions for healthcare organizations across the nation. It’s total talent solutions include managed services programs, clinical and interim healthcare leaders, temporary staffing, permanent placement, executive search, vendor management systems, recruitment process outsourcing, predictive modeling, language services, revenue cycle solutions and other services.

Its clients include acute-care hospitals, community health centers and clinics, physician practice groups, retail and urgent care centers, home health facilities, schools and other healthcare settings.

Another Beat in the First Quarter of 2024

On May 9, 2024, AMN Healthcare reported its first quarter results and beat on the Zacks Consensus Estimate by $0.04. Earnings were $0.97 versus the consensus of $0.93 for a 4.3% beat.

It shouldn’t be a surprise it beat again, as AMN Healthcare is an earnings all-star. It hasn’t missed in 5 years.

That kind of track record, which occurred during the Covid pandemic, is testament to the communication between AMN Healthcare’s management and the analysts covering the company on Wall Street.

Because business has been in quite the flux, despite the earnings beats. Yet management has been able to temper expectations.

While first quarter revenue was in line with expectations, it still fell 27% year-over-year to $820.9 million. Earnings were down 61% from last year’s quarter.

It’s largest segment, nursing staffing, still suffers from weaker demand and a continued competitive environment. In the quarter, revenue in the Nurse and Allied Solutions segment fell by 37% year-over-year to $519 million. That was also 3% lower than the fourth quarter of 2023 which indicates that the segment hasn’t bottomed yet.

Travel nurse staffing revenue fell by 44% compared to last year and 5% sequentially. Allied division revenue declined 13% year-over-year but was up 4% sequentially.

One area of optimism was Language Services, up 16% year-over-year to $71 million and also up 4% sequentially. Is the worst over in Language Services?

Analysts Continue to Cut 2024 Earnings Estimates

AMN Healthcare issued a bleak outlook for the second quarter of 2024. It’s no surprise that the analysts are doing the same but on the full year.

5 estimates have been cut in the last 60 days, pushing the 2024 earnings estimate down to $3.15 from $3.86. That’s an earnings decline of 61.6% as AMN Healthcare made $8.21 last year.

Zacks Investment Research
Image Source: Zacks Investment Research

Will Shares Roundtrip Back to the 2020 Lows?

Shares of AMN Healthcare rallied big during the height of the pandemic in 2021 as travel nurses were in high demand at record high salaries. AMN Healthcare’s earnings soared.

But now we’re on the flip side of that story, with the nursing demand still normalizing. The shares may yet retest the 2020 Covid lows.

Zacks Investment Research
Image Source: Zacks Investment Research

Is it cheap? AMN Healthcare trades with a forward P/E of 15.4 as the earnings keep declining. While that is cheap, it’s not dirt cheap.

Investors should probably wait on the sidelines until it becomes clear that the nurse staffing revenue has stabilized. Watch the earnings estimates. When they start to be revised higher, that’s when the outlook will be brighter.

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