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LifePoint Hospitals Earnings Jump

Profit rises 48%.

Hospital operator

LifePoint Hospitals


said its earnings rose 47.7% for the first quarter, helped by the acquisition of

Province Healthcare Co.

and rise in revenue for each patient admission.

The company earned $38.1 million, or 68 cents a share, compared with $25.8 million, or 63 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding a 7 cents a share gain related to the sale of Smith County Memorial Hospital and 1 cent a share gain from a change in accounting principle, earnings were 60 cents a share in the most recent quarter. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 52 cents a share.

First-quarter revenue rose 116.8% from a year ago to $589.6 million as against analysts' forecast of $583 million.

Admissions increased 88% to 47,842. Revenue for each patient admission rose 16.2% to $6,463.

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