Sales Slip, Loss Narrows at Tenet

The company sees admissions in most regions decline.
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Tenet Healthcare's

(THC) - Get Report

second-quarter loss narrowed significantly from a year ago, although the hospital operator continues to grapple with some troubling admission trends.

Tenet lost $21 million, or 4 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $426 million, or 91 cents a share, a year ago. The loss from continuing operations was $3 million in the second quarter of 2005, or breakeven on a per-share basis. Analysts were forecasting a loss of 3 cents a share on that basis.

Revenue fell 3.4% from a year ago to $2.42 billion, about $60 million short of estimates. Tenet said same-hospital admissions were 167,265 in the second quarter, down 1.4% from a year ago, reflecting declines in every major region except California.

"Volumes have been adversely impacted by severe competitive pressures in certain of our Texas and Florida markets," Tenet said. "In addition, we believe that the impact of contentious managed care contract negotiations, or in some cases terminations, may have resulted in the loss of some patient volumes."

Tenet's bad-debt expense was $153 million, or 6.3% of operating revenue, in the latest quarter compared with $482 million, or 19.2% of operating revenue, last year.

Tenet reiterated that its second-quarter 10Q filing will probably be delayed because of allegations brought to the

SEC's

attention by a former employee regarding managed care contract allowances at California hospitals before 2002.

The stock closed Monday at $12.18.