October 31, 2016 / 8:35 PM / 3 years ago

Tenet Healthcare expects bigger full-year loss

(Reuters) - Tenet Healthcare Corp (THC.N), the No. 3 for-profit U.S. hospital operator, reported a lower-than-expected adjusted quarterly profit as expenses rose, and said it expects its full-year loss to be bigger than it previously forecast.

Tenet’s shares, which touched four-year low of $19.70 in regular trading on Monday, fell a further 4.6 percent to $18.80 in extended trading.

Net loss attributable to Tenet narrowed to $8 million, or 8 cents per share, for the third quarter, from $29 million, or 29 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company’s expenses on salaries, wages and benefits rose 2.5 percent to $2.31 billion in the three months ended Sept. 30.

On an adjusted basis, it earned 16 cents per share, less than analysts’ estimates of 19 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Tenet’s net operating revenue increased 3.3 percent to $4.85 billion, ahead of analysts estimate of $4.78 billion, helped by higher patient admissions.

Tenet said its adjusted admissions, which include both outpatients and people who stay in the hospital overnight, rose 1.4 percent in the quarter.

The company forecast a full-year net loss from continuing operations of $99-$94 million, bigger than its previous forecast of $65-30 million.

Tenet said it expects full-year adjusted earnings from continuing operations of $1.16-$1.21 per share. Analysts were expecting per $1.54 per share.

Investor sentiment on hospital operators has soured this year as concerns have mounted over slowing patient volumes, rising expenses and high debt.

Strong cost control had helped HCA Holdings Inc (HCA.N), the largest U.S. for-profit hospital operator report a better-than-expected profit for the quarter.

However, No. 2, Community Health Systems Inc (CYH.N) has warned its third-quarter results will sharply miss expectations and also cut its profit forecast for the year, citing lower-than-expected patient volume.

Reporting by Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza

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