With More Patients Expected in 2012, Stocks Rise at For-Profit Hospital Chains

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Several of the largest for-profit hospital companies posted gains in the stock market yesterday after healthcare companies predicted more people would go after elective procedures, according to a Bloomberg Businessweek report.

Health insurer UnitedHealth Group, healthcare device company Johnson & Johnson and others reported 2011 earnings and 2012 outlooks. Some of those companies expect more people to pursue elective surgeries, such as hip or joint replacements, this year as U.S. unemployment decreases, according to the report.

Stocks at Nashville, Tenn.-based Hospital Corporation of America, the largest investor-owned hospital chain, rose 5.8 percent. Other for-profit hospital companies that saw stock increases yesterday include the following:

•    Universal Health Services (King of Prussia, Pa.):  7.8 percent
•    LifePoint Hospitals (Brentwood, Tenn.):  6.2 percent
•    Tenet Healthcare (Dallas):  5.5 percent
•    Community Health Systems (Franklin, Tenn.):  5 percent
•    Health Management Associates (Naples, Fla.):  4.1 percent
•    Vanguard Health Systems (Nashville, Tenn.):  0.7 percent

Related Articles on For-Profit Hospitals:

CHS May Try to Extend $2B of Term Loan Debt

Health Management CEO: "No Merit Whatsoever" to Lawsuit Causing Stock Plunge

Fitch: For-Profit Hospitals to Experience Weak Operating Trends in 2012

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