January 30, 2018 / 2:21 PM / 7 months ago

UPDATE 1-Hospital operator HCA's revenue rises 8.7 pct on higher admissions

(Adds fourth-quarter details, share move)

Jan 30 (Reuters) - HCA Healthcare Inc, the largest U.S. for-profit hospital operator, said its quarterly revenue rose 8.7 percent as more patients were admitted to its hospitals.

Hospital operators have been plagued by low patient admissions in the past few quarters, but HCA has been buying hospitals from rivals in the face of the decline in volumes.

The company’s shares, which were down in premarket trading before the results, reversed course to trade up 7 percent.

HCA’s same-facility equivalent admissions, which include patients who stay in the hospital overnight and those who are treated on an outpatient basis, rose 2.3 percent in the fourth quarter.

Net income attributable to HCA plunged 48.5 percent to $474 million, or $1.30 per share, as it booked a $301 million charge related to the recently passed U.S. tax reform.

The company, which operates 179 hospitals and 120 freestanding surgery centers, said its revenue rose to $11.56 billion from $10.64 billion.

The company also said it was initiating a quarterly dividend of 35 cents per share. (Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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