UPDATE 1-Pediatrix Q1 results lag Street; shares drop
(Recasts; adds conference call comments, details, share movement)
May 8 (Reuters) - Neo-natal intensive care units operator Pediatrix Medical Group Inc PDX.N posted quarterly results that lagged market estimates, hurt by lower-than-expected same-unit neonatal patient volume growth, and struck a cautious tone on its 2008 forecast, sending its shares down 17 percent.
The company reported net income of $55.8 million, or $1.14 a share, for the first quarter, which included a gain of 47 cents a share on the sale a laboratory. The company earned $25.5 million, or 51 cents a share, a year earlier.
Adjusted income from continuing operations was 66 cents a share. Analysts on average expected 68 cents a share, before special items, according to Reuters Estimates.
Revenue rose 16 percent to $245.6 million, but fell short of analysts' average expectation of $251.3 million.
"During the 2008 first quarter we did see a decline in the rate of growth in the number of births at hospitals where we practice," Chief Executive Roger Medel said in a conference call.
The company also said it expects to fall short of its 2008 outlook if same-unit NICU patient day volume growth is below its historical range of 3 to 5 percent.
Shares of the company fell to a low of $57.06, before recovering some losses to trade down $10.23 at $58.37 Thursday morning on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Anuradha Ramanathan in Bangalore; Editing by Pratish Narayanan)
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