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Health Management Associates Q4 Profit Rises

Health care services provider Health Management Associates, Inc. (HMA) reported Thursday a profit for the fourth quarter that increased from last year, reflecting improved same hospital revenues. Adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations missed analysts' expectations, while quarterly revenues topped their estimates.

"Our 2012 results reflect both a challenging and successful fourth quarter and year. I am very proud of and thankful for the efforts of our physicians, nurses and health care professionals, whose hard work and dedication to delivering the best possible care are the reasons for our success," President and CEO Gary Newsome said in a statement.

The Naples, Florida-based hospitals operator reported net income from continuing operations of $50.09 million or $0.19 per share for the fourth quarter, up from $32.07 million or $0.13 per share in the prior-year quarter.

Excluding items, adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations was $0.12, compared to last year's $0.13. On average, 16 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $0.18 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Net revenues grew 6.6 percent to of $1.48 billion from the previous year. Provision for doubtful accounts increased to $234.6 million from $195.1 million a year ago.

Excluding provision for doubtful accounts, adjusted net revenues for the quarter increased to to $1.72 billion from $1.58 billion in the same quarter last year, and topped eighteen Wall Street analysts' consensus estimate of $1.68 billion.

Same hospital net revenue increased 5.1 percent to $1.46 billion. Same hospital net revenue per adjusted admission rose 5.2 percent, same hospital surgeries edged up 0.9 percent, and same hospital emergency room visits grew 9.2 percent.

Same hospital admissions decreased 4.7 percent, and adjusted hospital admissions edged down 0.1 percent, due to the continuing effects of a sluggish economy combined with declines in uninsured admissions and increases in observation stays.

For fiscal 2012, the company reported net income of $164.27 million or $0.64 per share, up from $178.71 million or $0.70 per share in the prior year. Earnings per share from continuing operations declined to $0.67 from last year's $0.71. Adjusted diluted earnings per share from continuing operations was $0.75.

Net revenues grew 15.5 percent to of $5.88 billion from the previous year. Excluding provision for doubtful accounts, adjusted net revenues for the full year increased to to $6.75 billion from $5.80 billion last year.

Street was looking for full-year 2012 earnings of $0.81 per share, on annual revenues of $6.74 billion.

Looking ahead to fiscal 2013, Health Management had in mid-January said it expects adjusted earnings from continuing operations in a range of $0.67 to $0.79 per share, on projected adjusted revenues between $7.0 billion and$7.2 billion. Analysts currently expect the company to report full-year 2013 earnings of $0.91 per share on revenues of $7.00 billion.

"While we are pleased with the overall results, we also recognize that there are always areas and processes that can be improved. As such, we will continue to focus on our patient-centered approach, cost management and partnership opportunities, while taking important strategic steps we believe will better position Health Management for continued success going forward," Newsome added.

HMA closed Thursday's regular trading session at $10.70, down $0.02 or 0.19% on a volume of 2.57 million shares.

by RTT Staff Writer

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