HCA Jumps After Preliminary Earnings Top Estimates

HCA Holdings Inc. (HCA), the largest for-profit U.S. hospital chain, climbed the most in 11 weeks after preliminary second-quarter earnings beat analysts’ estimates on an increase in patient admissions.

HCA rose 4.4 percent to $38.86 at the close in New York, the biggest single-day increase since April 29. Second-quarter revenue was about $8.45 billion, helped by a 1.3 percent gain in same-facility admissions, the Nashville, Tennessee-based company said today in a statement.

Net income for the quarter was about 91 cents a share, topping by 13 cents the average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The company reiterated its forecast for 2013 earnings excluding one-time items of $3 to $3.30 a share.

“It’s significantly better than expected,” Sheryl Skolnick, an analyst at Stamford, Connecticut-based CRT Capital Group LLC, said in an interview. “Volume helped, but what really helped was cost control, the stranglehold on costs. And cost containment is otherwise known as good management.”

Same facility equivalent admissions also increased, gaining 1.1 percent.

“We view the company’s strong second-quarter results as a key catalyst that underscores the company’s strong outlook,” Brian Tanquilut, an analyst at Jefferies & Co. said in a note today to investors.

HCA said it plans to report full second-quarter results around Aug. 1.

To contact the reporters on this story: Bruce Rule in New York at brule1@bloomberg.net; Stephanie Armour in Washington at sarmour@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reg Gale at rgale5@bloomberg.net

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