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HCA Healthcare's (HCA) Q4 Earnings Miss Mark, Improve Y/Y

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HCA Healthcare, Inc.’s (HCA - Free Report) fourth-quarter 2021 adjusted earnings of $4.42 per share missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2.9%. However, the bottom line improved 7% year over year on higher revenues.

HCA witnessed solid patient volumes in the quarter. However, the same was offset by escalating expenses and decreased same facility inpatient surgeries.

HCA Healthcare, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

HCA Healthcare, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

HCA Healthcare, Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | HCA Healthcare, Inc. Quote

Quarterly Details

HCA Healthcare’s revenues of $15.064 billion missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2.2%. Nevertheless, the top line improved 5.4% from the year-ago period’s figure.

Same facility equivalent admissions increased 4.1% year over year while same facility admissions rose 0.6% year over year. Same facility revenue per equivalent admission grew 2.2% year over year in the quarter.

Same facility inpatient surgeries and same facility outpatient surgeries decreased 1.2% and increased 5.2%, respectively, year over year.

Salaries and benefits, supplies and other operating expenses were up 8.2% year over year.

Adjusted EBITDA totaled $3.1 billion, up 1% year over year.

As of Dec 31, 2021, HCA Healthcare operated 182 hospitals and approximately 2,200 ambulatory sites of care.

Financial Update (as of Dec 31, 2021)

Total assets came in at $50.7 billion, up 6.8% from the level at 2020 end.
Total debt less debt issuance costs and discounts of $34.3 billion increased 11.5% from the level at 2020 end.

In the reported quarter, capex came in at $1.192 billion minus acquisitions.
Cash flows provided by operating activities in 2021 were $8.9 billion compared with 2020’s figure of $9.2 billion.

2022 Guidance

Concurrent with fourth-quarter results, HCA issued its 2022 outlook.

Management expects annual revenues in the band of $60-$62 billion for the current year.

Adjusted EBITDA is estimated to be $12.55-$13.05 billion.

Capex is expected at $4.2 billion. HCA Healthcare is expected to deliver an EPS of $18.40-$19.20 per share.

Share Repurchase and Dividend Update

In the fourth quarter of 2021, HCA Healthcare bought back shares worth $2.072 billion. Its board of directors authorized an additional share buyback plan of up to $8 billion.

HCA had shares worth $586 million left under its buyback authorization as it exited the fourth quarter.

HCA Healthcare announced a quarterly cash dividend of 56 cents per share on its common stock. The dividend is payable Mar 31, 2022, to its shareholders of record on Mar 17, 2022.

2021 Update

Revenues for the full year came in at $58.752 billion, up 14% year over year.

Adjusted EBITDA for the year improved nearly 26% year over year.

Net income was $21.16 per share compared with $10.93 for 2020.

Zacks Rank

HCA Healthcare currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Other Medical Sector Releases

Of the medical sector players that have reported fourth-quarter results so far, the bottom-line results of Abbott Laboratories (ABT - Free Report) , UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (UNH - Free Report) and Anthem, Inc. (ANTM - Free Report) beat the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate.