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Tenet Beats Despite Itself

The troubled hospital company is awash in first-quarter charges.
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Tenet Healthcare

(THC) - Get Tenet Healthcare Corporation Report

Tuesday reported better-than-expected earnings in the first quarter, as the troubled hospital company tries to overcome a wall of legal problems.

The company had a net loss of $122 million, or 26 cents a share, for the quarter ended March 31, compared with a loss of $20 million, or 4 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue fell almost 3% to $2.67 billion

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The quarter included charges worth 31 cents a share, including a loss from discontinued operations, restructuring costs, and litigation costs. Excluding items, the company posted an operating profit of 5 cents a share. The consensus was for a profit of 3 cents a share, according to Thomson First Call.

Tenet pre-announced unofficial first-quarter results on April 27.

The California-based company said it was encouraged by the results, particularly its "ability to control costs in a difficult revenue environment."

Tenet, which faces several government investigations, is suspected of paying illegal kickbacks to physicians in exchange for patient referrals to its hospitals. The company has denied any wrongdoing.