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HCA Holdings Inc. (HCA - Snapshot Report) announced its preliminary financial and operating results for the first quarter of 2013. HCA expects to record income before income tax to be approximately $639 million, down 33.6% year over year.

HCA’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) projection for the first quarter of 2013 stands at $1.568 billion, down 14% year over year. Depreciation and amortization is expected to be $424 million, up 1.7% year over year. Interest expense is expected to be $472 million, up 6.8% year over year.

The decline in results came from a sluggish growth rate of admissions and low outpatient volumes during the second half of the quarter.

The first quarter results are expected to include pretax losses on sale of facilities of $16 million or 2 cents per share and a pretax loss on retirement of debt of nearly $17 million or 3 cents per share. The first quarter of 2012 results included net favorable Medicare adjustments that contributed $188 million to revenues, $170 million to adjusted EBITDA and 22 cents to earnings per share.

HCA expects revenues of $ 8.440 billion in the first quarter of 2013, up 0.4% from $8.405 billion in the year-ago quarter. However, revenues are significantly lower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $9.5 billion.
Meanwhile, same facility admissions increased 0.1% year over year in the first quarter of 2013 compared to a 3.2% increase in the year-ago quarter. Same facility equivalent admissions decreased 0.7% year over year as compared to a 4.8% increase in the year-ago quarter.

Managed care/commercial same facility equivalent admissions declined 4.6% in the current quarter as compared to a 2.8% increase in the year-ago quarter, resulting in a moderation in volume growth trends.

Additionally, same facility revenue per equivalent admission is expected to increase about 0.8% year over year in the first quarter of 2013. Same facility revenue per equivalent admission would have increased 3.5% year over year in the first quarter of 2013, had it excluded the net favorable Medicare adjustments in the first quarter of 2012.

Same facility emergency room visits improved 3.8% year over year in the first quarter of 2013. Same facility inpatient surgeries decreased 2.6% year over year in the first quarter of 2013. Same facility outpatient surgeries decreased 4.3% year over year in the quarter.

HCA is scheduled to report its first quarter 2013 complete financial results on May 2, 2013. Among others from the industry Tenet Healthcare Corp. (THC - Analyst Report), Health Management Associates Inc. and Lifepoint Hospitals Inc. (LPNT - Snapshot Report) are expected to report their first quarter 2013 results shortly.

HCA currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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