(HGR) Hanger Orthopedic Group Now Hanger Incorporated

Hanger Orthopedic Group Inc. (HGR) will henceforth be known as Hanger, Inc., effective June 8, 2012. Management announced that the previous name was limiting and the move is part of the company’s branding initiative to promote its other businesses, apart from orthotic and prosthetic (“O&P”) patient care products.

The 150-year old Texas-based company has been aggressively conducting research with stakeholders since 2010 to diversify its business, which has led to the renaming of Hanger O&P patient care segment to Hanger Clinic. The company has evolved into a major provider of therapeutic and rehabilitative offerings and services.

Although Hanger has renamed itself, it will continue with the same lines of business and trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the existing ticker symbol “HGR.” The new name will be incorporated in the company’s logos, designs, Hanger Clinic patient care centers and all communications across Hanger’s franchises.

Hanger operates in three business segments: Patient-Care centers, Distribution and Therapeutic Solutions. Patient-Care centers provide O&P devices to patients, and operate fabrication centers for O&P components. Additionally, the Patient-care center segment runs a national managed care agent for O&P services and a patient referral-clearing house called OPNET.

The Distribution business segment supplies O&P products and components to the O&P industry, including the company’s own Patient-care centers. Hanger’s Therapeutic Solutions division offers services to the O&P market and post-acute rehabilitation market through its subsidiaries, Innovative Neurotronics and Accelera

ted Care Plus (“ACP”).

Hanger leads in the O&P patient care services market, operating across more than 700 patient care centers in the U.S. The company’s economies of scale are unmatched by competition, which include notable players in the O&P space such as Orthofix International (OFIX), Conmed Corp. (CNMD), Exactech Inc. (EXAC) and Owens & Minor Inc. (OMI).

However, we are cautious about the company’s exposure to reimbursement uncertainties and its aggressive acquisition strategy, which has inherent risks. We currently have a Neutral rating on Hanger. The stock retains a short-term Zacks #2 Rank (Buy).

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