Earnings wrap: Capella, NHC, First Acceptance

Hospital operator seeing reform benefits, nursing home owner investing in growth, auto insurer price hikes begin to pay off

Capella Healthcare posted a net loss in the second quarter of $5.2 million, compared to a loss of $6.7 million the year prior. Revenues in the quarter were $192 million, up from $180 million in Q2 2013.

Adjusted EBITDA at the Franklin-based company rose 21 percent to $26.9 million. Total admissions in the quarter decreased 0.5 percent but adjusted admissions increased 0.5 percent. Revenues per adjusted admission climbed 6.3 percent.

"Our second quarter reflects reflect significant progress on all of our operational and strategic initiatives," Michael Wiechart, Capella's president and CEO, said in a release. "Our results reflect sustained improvement to patient safety and quality of care, improving margins, and we are beginning to realize the early benefits of expanded coverage under health reform."

Senior living center operator National HealthCare Corp. earned $10.3 million in the quarter ended June 30, down from $12.2 million the year before. Per diluted share, profits were 72 cents versus 86 cents.

Revenues at the Murfreesboro-based company rose 13 percent to almost $217 million but salaries, other operating expenses and depreciation and amortization costs climbed more quickly — in large part due to 11 newly leased or built facilities — leading operating profits to shrink 5 percent to $16.1 million.

The company's total patient days during the quarter rose 18 percent from a year ago to almost 662,000, with only Medicare patients not growing quickly.

Nonstandard auto insurer First Acceptance posted a Q2 profit of $3.5 million versus $2.1 million a year earlier as price hikes took hold across its 12-state footprint. Per diluted share, earnings rose to 8 cents from 5 cents.

Revenues at Green Hills-based First Acceptance climbed to $67.1 million from $62.5 million, with premiums growth clocking in at 7 percent to $55.9 million and fee income rising 10 percent to almost $10.1 million. First Acceptance's combined ratio, which measures losses and expenses as a share of premiums, improved to 94.2 percent in the three months ended June 30 from 96.7 percent a year ago.

"We are pleased that the recent investment in our people, operations and product is being realized in our top-line results," President Joe Borbely said.

First Acceptance shares (Ticker: FAC) are changing hands Wednesday around $2.35, up more than 3 percent on the day. Year to date, they're up almost 5 percent.