Tenet Healthcare 4Q Profit Beats Wall Street

Helped by tighter expenses and improved pricing, Tenet Healthcare (NYSE:THC) ticked to a 52-week high premarket after revealing a stronger-than-expected 252% jump in fourth-quarter profit.

The Dallas-based company posted net income of $74 million, or 14 cents a share, compared with $21 million, or 4 cents a share, in the same quarter last year, and ahead of average analyst estimates polled by Thompson Reuters of 8 cents.

Revenue for the operator of general hospitals and related healthcare facilities was $2.3 billion, up 1.8% from $2.26 billion a year ago, virtually matching the Street’s view of $2.35 billion.

“Our volume trends showed significant improvement in November and December compared to the first ten months of the year,” said Tenet CEO Trevor Fetter. “Strong pricing growth and continued excellent cost performance also contributed to a solid quarter.”

Declines in admissions and paying admissions, off 2% and 2.2%, respectively, were offset by increases in outpatient visits and paying outpatient visits, which climbed 2.9% and 3.2%, respectively.

Cushioning the results was a decrease in total controllable operating expenses, which slipped 1.8%, or $33 million, partially due to a favorable variance in malpractice expense.