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Cross Country Healthcare, Inc has reported revenue of $122.0 million in the first quarter

Cross Country Healthcare, Inc has reported revenue of $122.0 million in the first quarter ended March 31, 2011, a 7% increase sequentially from the fourth quarter of 2010 and a 1% increase from revenue of $121.4 million a year ago. Net income in the first quarter of 2011 was $0.2 million, or $0.01 per diluted share, as compared to $1.1 million, or $0.04 per diluted share, in the same quarter of the prior year. Cash flow from operations for the first quarter of 2011 was $1.4 million.

"I am particularly encouraged by the continuing recovery in our nurse and allied staffing business in which segment revenue for the first quarter increased 13% sequentially from the fourth quarter and 3% year-over-year," said Joseph A. Boshart, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cross Country Healthcare, Inc. "Revenue momentum is being driven by a combination of the phase-in of additional managed service provider (MSP) accounts, additional staffing required during hospital electronic medical record implementations, and an overall recovery in demand that is currently running three times the level of a year ago, as measured by the number of open orders from hospital customers. These factors have resulted in our travel nurse renewal rates rebounding to 2008 levels as our nurses now have a greater number of attractive assignments to choose from as they conclude a contract. During the remainder of 2011, I believe the supply of nurses will be the key constraint to achieving more rapid growth," he added.

"In addition to the continued momentum in our nurse and allied staffing business, we also expect strong sequential growth in our clinical trial services segment, which is staffing up two relatively large recent contract awards. Overall, in the second quarter we expect revenue in all four of our business segments to be up sequentially," stated Mr. Boshart.

Nurse and Allied Staffing

For the first quarter of 2011, the nurse and allied staffing business segment (travel and per diem nurse and allied health staffing) generated revenue of $66.9 million, reflecting a 13% sequential increase from the fourth quarter of 2010 and a 3% increase from the prior year quarter. The sequential and year-over-year increases were primarily due to higher staffing volume. Contribution income (defined as income from operations before depreciation, amortization and corporate expenses not specifically identified to a reporting segment) was $5.1 million, a 9% decrease sequentially from the fourth quarter of 2010 due to higher SG&A expenses related to the reset of payroll taxes and investments in infrastructure to support the Company's growing MSP business, along with a contraction in the bill-pay spread that was partially offset by lower workers' compensation expenses. Contribution income decreased 13% year-over-year due to the additional MSP-related investments, as well as higher housing and health insurance expenses.
Segment staffing volume increased 13% sequentially from the fourth quarter of 2010, and increased 2% from the prior year quarter. Travel staffing volume increased 13% on a sequential basis and increased 3% on a year-over-year basis. Per diem staffing volume increased 15% sequentially, but decreased 4% on a year-over-year basis. The segment revenue per FTE per day for the first quarter of 2011 was $309, an increase of 2% both sequentially and on a year-over-year basis. For travel nurse staffing, the average hourly bill rate increased slightly sequentially and decreased slightly year-over-year.

Physician Staffing

For the first quarter of 2011, the physician staffing business segment generated revenue of $29.4 million, a 6% increase sequentially from the fourth quarter of 2010, but a 5% decrease from the prior year quarter. The sequential increase was due to an improvement in staffing volume and bill rates related to certain physician specialties. The year-over-year decrease reflected the overall industry decline in demand and was partially offset by a change in the mix of business that included higher bill-rates for certain physician specialties along with an increase in on-call utilization and overtime. Contribution income was $2.8 million, a 7% decrease sequentially due to a favorable professional liability accrual adjustment in the fourth quarter and a 4% decrease year-over-year due to lower operating leverage. Physician staffing days filled for the first quarter of 2011 was 20,668 days, a 2% increase sequentially, but an 11% decrease from the prior year quarter. Revenue per day filled for the first quarter of 2011 was $1,424, an increase of 4% sequentially and a 6% increase year-over-year due to a change in the mix of specialties and an increase in on-call utilization and overtime. Beginning this first quarter of 2011, the Company has refined its statistical methodology related to these two physician staffing metrics.

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