Feb 21 Hospital operator Community Health
Systems Inc reported higher fourth-quarter profit that
matched analysts' estimates as admissions rose nearly 5 percent.
The second largest U.S. for-profit hospital chain also
projected full-year 2013 earnings from continuing operations of
$3.50 to $3.90 per share. Analysts, on average, had forecast
2013 earnings of $3.82, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Wayne Smith, the company's chairman, president and chief
executive officer, said the results show the company's ability
to deliver high quality healthcare services in a cost-effective
"We are also encouraged by the more favorable volume trends
in 2012 compared with the prior year," he said in a statement.
For the fourth quarter, Community Health said total
admissions rose 4.7 percent compared with a year earlier, while
adjusted admissions rose 6.4 percent.
An early and unusually intense flu season has pushed up
business for hospitals, pharmacies and their suppliers.
A recent U.S. government analysis of this season's flu
vaccine suggests it was effective in only 56 percent of people
who got the shot, and it completely failed to protect the
elderly against an especially deadly strain circulating during
Community Health, based in Franklin, Tennessee, posted
quarterly net income attributable to shareholders of $62.6
million, or 69 cents a share, up from $30.9 million, or 35 cents
a share, a year earlier.
Excluding one-time items, Community Health earned 85 cents
share, matching the average analyst estimate.
Net operating revenue rose 9 percent to $3.3 billion.
Shares of Community Health, which closed at $41.50 on the
New York Stock Exchange, were trading at $41.20 after hours.