said its fourth-quarter profit fell but matched estimates as the census in its skilled nursing centers reached its high for the year.
The Toledo, Ohio, company made $32 million, or 40 cents a share, for the quarter ended Dec. 31, down from the year-ago $48 million, or 55 cents a share. The latest quarter included 15 cents a share in hurricane-related losses, debt-refinancing costs and taxes on stock compensation. Excluding those items the quarter matched the 55-cent Thomson First Call estimate.
Revenue rose to $864 million from $806 million a year earlier.
Medicare revenue in the company's skilled nursing operations during the quarter increased 16% compared with the fourth quarter of 2004 due to the mix shift, volume growth and a reimbursement rate increase of about 3% on Oct. 1, 2005. The shift in mix will enable the company to partially offset the Medicare rate decrease incurred beginning Jan. 1, 2006, which otherwise would reduce the Medicare per diem by approximately $17 per patient day. Medicaid rates increased during the year but were largely offset by provider taxes. The company also announced that all eligible patients within its skilled nursing centers are receiving their prescribed medications under Medicare's new Part D prescription drug program and that a prescription drug plan has been identified for 100% of its dual eligible (Medicare and Medicaid) patients.
Manor Care also boosted its quarterly dividend by a penny to 16 cents and added $100 million to its buyback plan.