(Corrects analysts’ estimate in story published April 15.)
HCA Holdings Inc. (HCA:US), the largest for- profit U.S. hospital chain, declined in extended trading after releasing preliminary first-quarter earnings data that showed slower admissions growth than a year earlier.
Revenue for the first quarter is expected to be $8.44 billion, almost unchanged from the period a year earlier, the Nashville, Tennessee-based company said today in a statement. Analysts had anticipated sales of $8.65 billion, according to the average of 16 estimates (HCA:US) compiled by Bloomberg. Results were affected by a slowdown in the rate of growth in admissions and a weakness in outpatient volumes, the hospital operator said.
Volume weakness also was reported April 10 by Health Management Associates Inc. (HMA:US), which reduced the high end of its 2013 earnings forecast. HCA, which oversees 162 hospitals and 112 freestanding outpatient surgery centers, today reaffirmed its annual earnings forecast of $3 a share to $3.30 a share excluding certain items.
The hospital company said same facility admissions increased 0.1 percent for the quarter, compared with 3.2 percent a year ago, while same facility equivalent admissions declined 0.7 percent compared with a 4.8 percent increase a year earlier.
HCA shares declined 4.7 percent to $35 at 5:24 p.m. New York time after closing down 4.2 percent to $36.72.
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