May 02, 2019
AUTHOR: Kara Hartnett
HCA Healthcare’s first-quarter earnings topped analysts’ projections, rising 10 percent jump compared to the same period of 2018 and leading company leaders to up their guidance for the year.
Nashville-based HCA saw net income fall 9.2 percent to $1.04 billion in the quarter, but that was due largely to a $405 million gain last year on the sale of the company's Oklahoma hospitals. Adjusted EBITDA climbed 20 percent to $2.54 billion — adjusted EBITDA margins topped 20 percent for the quarter — on the back of 0.9 percent same-facility admissions growth. CEO Sam Hazen pointed out that the company has now grown same-facility admissions for 20 consecutive quarters.
HCA reported $12.5 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2019, a number boosted by recent acquisitions and an increase of 9.6 percent from the first three months of 2018. CFO Bill Rutherford said the leadership team is very pleased with the performance of its recent acquisitions, including Asheville-based Mission Health and Memorial Health in Savannah, Georgia. New facilities accounted for three percentage points of EBITDA growth, which totaled $2.5 billion on the quarter.
Also helping revenue growth by $86 million was the finalization of an arbitration case against Aetna which awarded HCA $150 million in out-of-network emergency room payments last October.
Their Q1 results spurred HCA executive to increase their annual guidance. They now see adjusted EBITDA coming in between $9.45 billion and $9.85 billion and annual revenue to fall between $50.5 billion and $51.5 billion — a $100 million increase from their previous range.
“We typically don’t address guidance after just one quarter, but given our performance we believe it was appropriate,” Rutherford said.
Shares of HCA (Ticker: HCA) rose 1.4 percent to $127.23 Tuesday. Year to date, they have risen about 5 percent.