HCA's 4Q Profit Down, But 2012 Income Tops $1.6B

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For Nashville, Tenn.-based Hospital Corporation of America, net income fell to $314 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2012, but its year-end profit surpassed $1.6 billion.

HCAHCA's profit in the fourth quarter was down 83.8 percent compared with the fourth quarter of 2011, but that year, HCA recorded a one-time anomaly. In 2011, the country's largest for-profit hospital chain posted net income of $1.94 billion thanks mostly to its HCA-HealthONE joint venture. HCA recognized the overall acquisition gain due to its previous equity investment in HealthONE.

HCA's profit was also lower in the fourth quarter of 2012 because it marked down $175 million in legal claim costs related to a lawsuit with the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City (Mo.).

Fourth-quarter revenue increased 8.6 percent year-over-year, from $7.77 billion in 2011 to $8.43 billion in 2012, while adjusted EBITDA fell slightly to $1.61 billion.

For the entire 2012 fiscal year, HCA posted more than $1.6 billion in profit, down 35 percent from the 2011 total of $2.47 billion. However, excluding the HealthONE investment, HCA's net income in FY 2012 was actually 70 percent higher than FY 2011. Total revenue surged 11.2 percent to more than $33 billion, and adjusted EBITDA rose 7.8 percent to $6.53 billion.

Richard Bracken, chairman and CEO of HCA, said the company recorded solid operating measures in the fourth quarter, and "many of our key operating metrics met our expectations reflecting the strength of our delivery networks."

Same-facility operating statistics matched HCA's confidence, as admissions, equivalent admissions, revenue per equivalent admission, inpatient surgeries, outpatient surgeries and emergency rooms visits were all up in the fourth quarter. ER visits alone increased 12.7 percent, while outpatient surgeries grew 1.8 percent.

HCA, seen as a bellwether for healthcare reform in the for-profit hospital industry, currently owns and operates 162 hospitals and 112 freestanding ambulatory surgery centers. Since October, HCA's stock has risen more than 11 percent and is currently trading at more than $38.50 per share.

More Articles on Hospital Corporation of America:

For-Profit Hospital Stock Report: Week of Jan. 28-Feb. 1, 2013
Judge Orders HCA to Pay Health Care Foundation $161.9M
Bain Capital, KKR to Sell 32M Shares of HCA Stock

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