said third quarter earnings declined 14%, due to rise in provision of doubtful accounts.
The Plano, Texas-based company earned $39.8 million, or 46 cents a share in the quarter, compared with $46.3 million, or 53 cents a share, a year ago. The company earned 47 cents a share from continuing operations. The third quarter results include about $25 million of additional allowance for doubtful accounts, or about 18 cents a share, and stock compensation expense of $7.1 million, or 5 cents a share. In addition, certain items provided a penny a share gain for continuing operations during the quarter. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 46 cents a share in the most recent quarter.
Third-quarter revenue rose 18% from a year ago to $1.37 billion as against analyst expectations of $1.34 billion.
The company expects its fourth quarter earnings from continuing operations of 54 cents to 59 cents a share, and expects to earn 59 cents to 64 cents a share excluding stock based compensation expense, as against analysts' estimate of 66 cents a share.
On same facility basis, inpatient admissions rose 3.7%, adjusted admissions rose 4%, and inpatient surgeries rose 4.1%, from the year-ago period.
The company has plans to recommend for approval to its board, a program under which the company could repurchase up to $250 million of its shares on the open market in privately negotiated transactions.
Share fell 44 cents to $37.38.
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