Metropolitan Health Networks, Inc., serving the needs of Medicare Advantage and other patients statewide via a network of primary care practices collectively known as “Metcare of Florida”, has grown to a point where it is in striking distance of becoming Florida’s premier patient-centric provider for individuals with Medicare, and took some time out yesterday to detail their record-breaking 1Q FY10 (ending Mar. 31) financial data:

• Operating Income rose briskly, up 42.9% to $11.2M (compared to $6.4M in 09).
• Net Income was up 43.7% to $7.1M or $0.18/share basic, $0.17 diluted ($4M – $0.09/$0.08 in 09)
• Revenue was up 2.9% to $93M ($90.4M in 09)
• Per customer medical expense fell 5.4%
• Consolidated MER rose 6.2% to 87.9% (81.7% in 09)
• Cash and equivalents, including short-term investments of $30.3M, fell 10% ($33.8M in 09) in conjunction with a common stock repurchase (1.7M shares for $3.9M) and increased due amount from Humana offset by sale of short-term investments and net income for the quarter
• Net working capital up 20.6% to $33.4M ($27.7M in 09)

Regarding the Feb. 24 approval this year by MDF’s Board of Directors of a 5M share extension of the existing repurchase program (which increased the total to 20M to be repurchased), the data indicates that 13.7M shares have been purchased to date with options for another 684,200 (average cost $1.90/share), with 1.7M repurchased in 1Q, bringing the total of outstanding shares to 39.7M.

Under the repurchase plan, 5.6M shares remain available, whose purchasing will coincide with prevailing market conditions, regulatory requirements and any perceived opportunities which may arise.

Chairman and CEO of MDF Michael Earley, noted how remarkable these outstanding results were considering the declining base premiums in the Medicare Advantage industry as a whole and pointed to a combination of strategies employed by the Company to effect enhancements in areas of medical management, revenue compliance, plan benefit scaling and overall cost structure as leading to this glowing financial data which signifies the start of another good year for the Company.

Earley also indicated that growing membership despite drastic uncertainty due to the transitional phase relating to declining premiums and the health care debate of the past 18 months which has infused the market with trepidation, was a sign that management’s efforts into continuous logistical and operational efficiency improvements were shrewd and helped to generate what are seen by the Company as record-breaking FY09 and 1Q FY10 results.

Earley also commented on the Company’s crucial development of the Patient Centered Medical Home model for primary care and associated initiatives, indicating that the investment of resources into this area of operations has produced “tangible results” in terms of customer satisfaction, overall outcomes and even the degree of engagement by employees.

Earley stated his confidence in the future of Medicare Advantage, especially considering recent well-known data that clearly indicates a growing senior population and noted that “consumer-centric, coordinated care will best serve this market” – a conference call discussing the details of the financial data, hosted by Earley was held yesterday and should be available at Metcare.com.