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Free Cash Free Calculation for Serial Acquirers: US Physical Therapy

September 27, 2010 | About:
In part two of our series on free cash flow for serial acquirers; today we examine US Physical Therapy. U.S. Physical Therapy, Inc. operates outpatient physical and occupational therapy clinics that provide pre- and post-operative care and treatment for orthopedic-related disorders, sports-related injuries, preventative care, rehabilitation of injured workers and neurological-related injuries. Selective acquisitions are clearly part of the company’s ongoing business strategy. The following is from their most recent 10K;


In 2010, we intend to continue to focus on developing new clinics and on opening satellite clinics where appropriate along with increasing our patient volume through marketing and new programs. In addition, we will evaluate acquisition opportunities.


Acquisitions in this type of business can be tricky. It is crucial to not only make adjustments to the free cash calculation, one must also be sure the company can maintain a sufficiently high return on capital. In other words, are the acquisitions creating or destroying shareholder value via these acquisitions.


Recalling that our calculation for free cash is as follows;

Net Income

+ Non cash charges (depreciation/amortization)

+/- Changes in working capital

- Capital expenditures (some prefer to use maintenance cap exp)

= Free Cash Flow.


Let’s take a look at the statement of cash flows for USPH.





Period End Date


12/31/2009


12/31/2008


12/31/2007


12/31/2006


12/31/2005


Period Length


12 Months


12 Months


12 Months


12 Months


12 Months


Stmt Source


10-K


10-K


10-K


10-K


10-K


Stmt Source Date


03/12/2010


03/12/2010


03/12/2010


03/16/2007


03/16/2007


Stmt Update Type


Updated


Reclassified


Reclassified


Updated


Restated














Net Income/Starting Line


19.97


17.09


14.47


6.3


8.79


Depreciation/Depletion


5.9


5.97


4.99


4.49


4.31


Amortization


0.0


0.0


0.0


0.0


0.0


Deferred Taxes


0.71


1.92


0.31


-0.37


0.04


Non-Cash Items


4.51


4.42


3.39


9.2


8.09




Changes in Working Capital


-0.15


0.77


-4.11


-1.15


-2.05




Cash from Operating Activities


30.94


30.17


19.05


18.47


19.18














Capital Expenditures


-6.21


-5.4


-4.55


-5.89


-6.04




Other Investing Cash Flow Items, Total


-1.12


-19.48


-18.98


-2.96


-7.59




Cash from Investing Activities


-7.33


-24.88


-23.54


-8.85


-13.63














Financing Cash Flow Items


-9.39


-7.17


-5.47


-5.38


-6.2
















Issuance (Retirement) of Stock, Net


-5.53


0.5


0.57


-5.4


-6.2


Issuance (Retirement) of Debt, Net


-12.38


3.51


6.41


-0.25


-0.15


Cash from Financing Activities


-27.3


-3.16


1.51


-11.03


-12.55




Similar to our previous example, the free cash flow generation appears to be quite robust. Indeed this is legitimate cash flow. Capital expenditures appear to be modest and consistent while Cash from Operations has expanded nicely. Once again “other cash flow from investing items” reveals the frequency of acquisitions. In both 2007 and 2008, it appeared as though FCF exceeded $15 and $25 million respectfully. But adjusting for acquired businesses decreases that amount by approximately $19million in both years. In reality, there was negative FCF in 2007.

In 2009, the company held off purchases, most likely due to the economic climate. It’s interesting to note that as the acquisitions slowed, so did overall growth. There may be no significant organic growth for USPH. As the opportunity to find attractive clinics to takeover grinds to a halt, growth may stall completely. An even worse scenario is that management attempts to force growth by lowering buyout standards. This type of situation almost always turns out poorly for the shareholder. Something to bear in mind.

About the author:

William J. DeRosa, Jr., CFA
William J. DeRosa, Jr. is the General Partner of Anthem Asset Management, LLC is an independent investment management company. He has also served as Director of Equity Research and Senior Portfolio Manager at various buy-side asset management firms. Mr. DeRosa is a Chartered Financial Analyst and is a member of The CFA Institute.

Rating: 3.1/5 (7 votes)

Comments

jhodges72
Jhodges72 - 3 years ago
That's nice but what's the value of the business?

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