Hurricanes Hit HCA Net

The hospital company says impact from the storms will also lower its full-year profit.
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(HCA) - Get Report

Friday reported a sharply lower third-quarter profit, as hurricanes disrupted operations at its Florida hospitals.

The Nashville, Tenn.-based company had net income of $227, or 47 cents a share, vs. $306 million, or 61 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts expected 48 cents a share, according to Thomson First Call.

The results include a $40 million, or 5 cents a share, hit to earnings from the hurricanes and an asset impairment charge of $12 million, or 2 cents a share, for the planned closure of San Jose Medical Center in San Jose, CA.

Revenue rose almost 6% to $5.8 billion.

"Virtually all of HCA's 40 Florida hospitals and 28 surgery centers encountered disruption as the state coped with successive hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne," the company said in a statement, citing "hurricane-related power outages, physician and patient dislocation due to evacuations, cancelled inpatient and outpatient surgeries, loss of ICU admissions/days, canceled outpatient visits, employee assistance, preparation costs for facilities that were bracing for impact, transfers of patients between hospitals, and property damage and repairs."

The company also reiterated revised 2004 EPS guidance of $2.40 to $2.45 a share and fourth-quarter EPS of 52 cents to 57 cents, which includes $15 million in pretax, hurricane-related losses.

The consensus estimates are $2.41 and 55 cents a share, respectively.

Shares closed at $35.09 Thursday, near their 52-week low.