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Tenet misses 4Q profit estimates, sending down stock price

The health system reported a fourth-quarter loss of $79 million, or 79 cents a share, on revenue of $4.86 billion.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

Tenet Healthcare posted fourth-quarter earnings far below what it had forecast, causing its stock to fall as much as 10 percent earlier this week as a result.

In an earnings call this week, the health system reported a fourth-quarter loss of $79 million, or 79 cents a share, on revenue of $4.86 billion. In all, the system claimed a profit of 6 cents per share.

The expectation from analysts was that Tenet would claim earnings of 22 cents per share on sales of $4.96 billion.

[Also: Former Tenet executive indicted in alleged $400 million kickback scheme]

Tenet had also projected first-quarter losses of 45 to 60 cents per share on sales of $4.75 to $4.95 billion, and a full-year profit of $1.05 to $1.30 per share on sales of $19.7 to $20.1 billion. Analysts had projected first-quarter adjusted profit of 45 cents a share and sales of $4.95 billion for Tenet, and full-year adjusted earnings of $1.97 a share on revenue of $20 billion.

In a statement, Tenet framed the $79 million loss as a $21 million improvement over the $100 million it lost during the fourth quarter of 2015.

Tenet Chairman and CEO Trevor Fetter said in a statement that "demand for higher acuity services in our hospitals drove growth in same-hospital patient revenue and revenue per adjusted admission in the fourth quarter. Our Ambulatory and Conifer Health businesses delivered strong revenue and Adjusted EBITDA growth. Our expectations for continued growth in 2017 reflect confidence in our strategy to strengthen our hospital portfolio, expand our network of ambulatory facilities, and solidify Conifer's leadership in healthcare business services."

Twitter: @JELagasse