LifePoint Hospitals said it posted fourth-quarter earnings of $37.7 million, up 4 percent from late 2010. Per diluted share, profits climbed 11 percent to 78 cents, 2 cents better than analysts had expected.
Revenue at Brentwood-based LifePoint climbed almost 7 percent to $781 million. Total admissions climbed 1.4 percent for the quarter but same-store admissions fell 0.9 percent and inpatient surgeries dropped by almost 6 percent.
Chairman, President and CEO Bill Carpenter said his team posted "solid results in a tough environment" and received $11.5 million in Medicare incentive payments tied to the adoption of electronic health records.
"Looking ahead, as we continue to execute our strategy, we will remain nimble in our approach while maintaining disciplined cost controls as we strive to provide the highest quality of care," Carpenter said. "We are pleased with our progress to date and look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead in 2012.”
Carpenter said LifePoint expects to post 2012 earnings per diluted share between $3.05 and $3.30. That range would mean little, if any, growth from 2011's profit of $3.22 per share and is well below analysts' projection of $3.53. Adjusted EBITDA is expected to come in between $540 million and $570 million versus $536 million in 2011.
Investors had pushed down LifePoint shares by 7 percent at one point Friday morning, but the stock (Ticker: LPNT) rebounded a bit and was changing hands at $39.97 — down 4 percent — around 1:30 p.m. It has climbed 6 percent in the past three months.