Profit at UHS Drops in Q4, Up in FY 2013

In the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2013, Universal Health Services posted $124.5 million of net profit — an 8 percent drop from the same period in 2012.

UHSExecutives at UHS, based in King of Prussia, Pa., attributed the dip in fourth-quarter profit to slow revenue growth and higher operating expenses. UHS' net revenue in the quarter rose only 2 percent to $1.8 billion, while expenses rose almost 4.6 percent. However, volumes did not suffer too heavily in the fourth quarter: adjusted admissions at UHS' acute-care hospital stayed flat, while adjusted admissions at behavioral healt hospitals rose 2.4 percent.

For the entire 2013 fiscal year, UHS' net profit increased 15.2 percent to $510.7 million, while operating income topped $1 billion. Net revenue climbed 4.6 percent to $7.28 billion, giving the company an overall operating margin of 13.9 percent.

UHS is projecting another strong year in 2014. Executives said they expect revenue to be between $7.89 billion and $7.94 billion, or about an 8 percent increase from 2013.

As of Dec. 31, UHS owned 24 acute-care hospitals and 174 behavioral health hospitals. Its newest acute-care hospital, 140-bed Temecula (Calif.) Valley Hospital, officially opened in October. The average operating margin at a UHS acute-care hospital is 14.8 percent, which is far above the national average of all U.S. hospitals.

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