HCA shares hit record high after better-than-expected earnings: 4 things to know

Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare, which operates 179 hospitals, saw revenue increase in the fourth quarter of 2017, but the company's net income declined year over year.

Here are four things to know about HCA's financial performance.

1. HCA saw revenue increase 8.7 percent year over year to $11.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017. The company said revenue growth was driven by higher patient volume. HCA saw same facility admissions and emergency room visits increase 1.4 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively, year over year.

2. The system's expenses offset its revenue gains in the fourth quarter of 2017. HCA said operating expenses totaled $9.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017, up 9 percent from $8.4 billion in the same period of 2016.

3. After factoring in a $301 million charge related to the recently passed tax reform plan, HCA ended the fourth quarter of 2017 with net income of $474 million, down 48.5 percent from net income of $920 million in the same period of the year prior.

4. Excluding items, HCA earned $2.13 per share on $11.6 billion in revenue, which beat the average analyst estimate of $1.87 per share on $11.2 billion in revenue, according to Reuters. After releasing the better-than-expected financial results, HCA shares rose more than 9 percent to a record of $106.84.

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