Earnings wrap: CHS, First Acceptance

Hospital giant beats despite soft volumes; auto insurer sees losses rise on bad weather

Community Health Systems reported a net loss from continuing operations in the first quarter of $78 million, compared with an income of $98 million for the same period in 2013. Adjusted for various one-time items related to the company's acquisition of Health Management Associates, per-share income from continuing operations was 27 cents, 8 cents better than expectations.

The Franklin-based hospital owner reported Q1 revenues of $4.19 billion, a 28 percent increase from Q1 2013 but below analysts' expectations by $120 million. Adjusted EBITDA was $485 million in Q1, down from $495 million for the same period the year prior.

The company reported a 25 percent jump in total admissions and a 28 percent increase in adjusted total admissions. Same-store admissions, which include two months of results from HMA's network, fell 8.1 percent, while adjusted total admissions dropped 5.3 percent.

"Overall, our results for the quarter were affected by the severe winter weather in several key markets and lower flu volumes compared with the previous year," Wayne Smith, CHS chairman and CEO, said in a release. "However, we have started to see some positive trends in our operations related to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. We continue to focus on our volume trends and expense management in this evolving health care environment."

Shares of CHS (Ticker: CYH) fell 1 percent to $39.42 in Tuesday trading before the company reported its results. Year to date, they're flat.

Automotive insurer First Acceptance Corp. said it earned $511,000 in the first three months of this year, down from $2.0 million in early 2013, mainly because losses rose due to claims from bad weather.

Revenues at Green Hills-based First Acceptance climbed 5 percent to $62.5 million. The company booked more gross premiums in 10 of the 12 states in which it does business and saw its policies in force climb to 182,000 versus about 174,500 a year ago. But its loss ratio rose to 71.1 percent from less than 68 percent, helping push First Acceptance's combined ratio to 100.7 percent.

First Acceptance shares (Ticker: FAC) fell almost 3 percent to $2.36 in Tuesday trading. So far this year, they're up 4 percent.