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UPDATE 1-Home healthcare provider Amedisys reports loss, forecast cut

Tuesday, 12 Nov 2013 | 9:34 AM ET

(Adds details, analysts' estimates, share movement)

Nov 12 (Reuters) - Home healthcare provider Amedisys Inc reported a surprise quarterly loss due to "soft" patient volumes and rise in expenses and it cut its full-year earnings forecast.

The company's shares fell 10 percent to $15.63 in early trading on the Nasdaq on Tuesday.

Amedisys slashed its full-year earnings forecast to 20-25 cents per share from 45-55 cents. Amedisys also lowered the top end of its 2013 net service revenue forecast to $1.24-$1.25 billion from $1.24-$1.28 billion.

The company recorded a net loss from continuing operations of $90.4 million, or $2.87 per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30 compared with earnings of $10.4 million, or 34 cents per share, a year earlier.

Amedisys booked a charge of $150 million related to a tentative settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over an investigation launched in 2010 into its reimbursement and billing claims.

The company, while denying any wrongdoing, said it expected to enter into an integrity agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services as part of the settlement.

The agreement would mean that Amedisys would not be excluded from participation in federal programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.

Excluding items, the company reported a loss of 1 cent per share. Met service revenue fell 17 percent to $301.6 million

Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 13 cents per share on revenue of $314.30 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Amedisys shares had risen 73 percent in the 12 months to Monday's close.

(Reporting by Vrinda Manocha in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey and Ted Kerr)

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