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Air Methods Announces Year 2008 Financial Results and Provides First Quarter 2009 Update
Date:3/10/2009

DENVER, March 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- 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, 2008.

For the year, revenue increased 26% to $498.8 million compared to $396.3 million in the prior year. Net income decreased 30% from $27.5 million, or $2.20 per diluted share, in the prior year to $19.3 million, or $1.54 per diluted share, in the current year. The current year results include a $1.5 million ($0.12 per diluted share) decrease in income tax expense resulting from a decrease in the effective state income tax rate due to a change in Colorado statute. The prior-year results included a decrease in income tax expense of $1.1 million ($0.08 per diluted share) resulting from approved changes in tax depreciation methods.

For the fourth quarter, revenue decreased 3% to $118.9 million as compared with $122.6 million during the prior-year period. Net income decreased 23% to $3.7 million, or $0.30 per diluted share, compared to net income of $4.8 million, or $0.38 per diluted share, in the prior-year period. The current-year quarter results include a $1.5 million ($0.12 per diluted share) decrease in income tax expense as discussed above, while the prior-year fourth quarter included a decrease in income tax expense of $1.1 million ($0.08 per diluted share) also discussed above. The Company had previously announced that its current-year fourth quarter results included a 39% increase in employee healthcare costs of $1.2 million ($0.06 per diluted share after taxes) as compared with the prior-year fourth quarter, attributed to several large individual claims.

During the fourth quarter of 2008, total patients transported within community-based operations were 9,496, as compared w
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