A big increase in its expense for stock-appreciation rights resulted in lower third-quarter earnings at rehab care provider
The company earned $31.1 million, or 35 cents a share, on revenue of $761.3 million in the quarter, compared with $37.1 million, or 38 cents a share, on revenue of $732.9 million last year. The company said a 20% runup in the price of its shares caused expenses related to stock-appreciation rights -- normally bonuses tied to the stock price -- to be 3 cents a share higher than usual.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were forecasting earnings of 36 cents a share on revenue of $754 million.
The company had its highest percentage of occupancy in its skilled-nurse centers in five years last quarter, and saw a 16% year-over-year improvement in home health care and hospice levels. Outside of the appreciation rights, the company said it saw moderating cost trends and higher productivity, with wage rate increases holding below 5%.