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HCA's Prelim Results Exhibit Growth

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HCA Holdings, Inc. (HCA - Free Report) announced its preliminary financial results for the second quarter of 2013. The company’s net income is projected at 91 cents per share, up from 85 cents per share in the second quarter of 2012.

HCA expects revenues of $8.45 billion in the second quarter of 2013, up 4.2% from $8.11 billion in the year-ago quarter. However, expected revenues significantly lag the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $9.51 billion.

HCA’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) stand at $1.689 billion, up from $1.569 billion in the prior-year quarter. Income before taxes is $806 million, surging from $699 million in the year-ago quarter.

Depreciation and amortization expense is estimated to be $425 million and interest expense to be $462 million in the second quarter of 2013.

Meanwhile, same facility admissions increased 1.3% year over year in the second quarter of 2013 and same facility equivalent admissions inched up 1.1%. Same facility revenue per equivalent admission is expected to grow 2.9% from the second quarter of 2012.

However, these preliminary results are open to change, as HCA’s quarterly financial and accounting procedures are not yet over. The results are expected to be revealed on Aug 1, 2013. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for HCA’s second-quarter 2013 earnings per share stands at 78 cents, down 8.3% over the year-ago quarter.

HCA affirmed its guidance for revenues of $33.5–$34.5 billion in 2013. The adjusted EBITDA guidance for the year was affirmed at $6.25–$6.5 billion and adjusted EPS guidance at $3.00–3.30. Further, capital expenditure guidance was also affirmed at $2 billion.

HCA, in the first quarter of 2013, fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate on both counts. We cannot conclusively say whether the company will lag or beat the earnings estimate in the second quarter. This is because Expected Surprise Prediction or ESP (Read: Zacks Earnings ESP: A Better Method) is -2.56% but the stock carries Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) (Stocks with Zacks Ranks of #1, #2 and #3 have a significantly higher chance of beating earnings).

Other companies worth considering in the medical sector are Health Net Inc. – Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), VCA Antech Inc. – Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), Acadia Healthcare Company, Inc. (ACHC - Free Report) – Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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