February 25, 2010 / 10:51 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 1-Universal Health Q4 earnings better-than-expected

2 Min Read

* Q4 adjusted EPS 57 cents vs Street view 48 cents

* Revenue rose 4 percent to $1.29 billion

* Sees 2010 EPS $2.45 to $2.65, revs of $5.55 bln

NEW YORK, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Hospital operator Universal Health Services Inc (UHS.N) posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday.

The company, which operates ambulatory medical centers and behavioral health facilities as well as acute care hospitals, also said it expects 2010 earnings of $2.45 to $2.65 per share and revenue of $5.55 billion.

Wall Street estimates on average are for 2010 earnings of $2.53 per share and revenue of $5.45 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Universal said its fourth-quarter net income rose to $69.2 million, or 62 cents per share, from $53.1 million, or 46 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue rose 4 percent to $1.29 billion.

Excluding items, the King of Prussia, Pa.,-based company earned 57 cents per share for the fourth quarter. That topped analysts' average expectations by 9 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Admissions in acute care hospitals open at least a year rose 3.1 percent for the quarter, while admissions at behavioral health facilities rose 4.5 percent.

"Despite the very difficult operating environment in 2009, we are very proud of the manner in which our operators effectively managed the business and increased margins in both our business segments," Chief Executive Alan Miller said in a statement.

Universal shares were unchanged after hours from their New York Stock Exchange close at $31.01. (Reporting by Bill Berkrot; editing by Carol Bishopric)

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