Tenet Profit Beats Analyst Estimates on Higher Admissions

Tenet Healthcare Corp., the third-largest U.S. hospital operator, reported quarterly earnings that beat analyst estimates as increasing numbers of patients received medical treatment.

Third-quarter profit was 4 cents a share, the Dallas-based company said in a statement today. That was more than the break-even estimate of 19 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Revenue climbed 3.5 percent to $2.34 billion.

Cost controls and price increases in new contracts with commercial managed-care payers also boosted results, Tenet said. The hospital operator reaffirmed its full-year forecast for profit near the lower end of a $1.175 billion to $1.275 billion range.

“A 2.3 percent increase in adjusted admissions along with a 3.2 percent increase in surgeries drove nice strong top-line growth,” said Art Henderson, an analyst at Jefferies & Co. in Nashville, Tennessee.

The company purchased 10 outpatient centers, mainly focusing on surgery and medical imaging, at a cost of $45 million in the first nine months and has another five deals in progress for this quarter, Chief Executive Officer Trevor Fetter said on a conference call today. The total for the 15 acquisitions will be about $68 million, he said.

Tenet rose less than 1 percent to $4.77 at 4:01 p.m. New York time.

Third-quarter net income plunged to $6 million, or 2 cents a share, from $932 million, or $1.68, a year earlier, the company said. The year-ago results included a $981 million, or $1.75 a share, tax benefit.

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