LifePoint Hospitals, Brentwood, Tenn., said its profits rose nearly 75% for the fourth quarter and 25% for 2002 on same-hospital volume growth, acquisitions and its ability to control costs. LifePoint said it earned $17.6 million, or 44 cents per share, for the fourth quarter, compared with $10.3 million, or 27 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Revenue was up 23% to $201.9 million. For the year, LifePoint earned $41.5 million, or $1.10 per share. Revenue rose 20% to $743.6 million. The company said same-hospital equivalent admissions were up 4.6% for the quarter and 4% for the year; surgery and emergency-visit volumes also were higher for both periods. LifePoint acquired five hospitals in the fourth quarter, giving it a total of 28 hospitals.
Surgery center chain AmSurg, Nashville, said its net income rose 43% to $6.5 million, or 31 cents per share, in the fourth quarter, compared with $4.6 million, or 22 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Revenue grew 22% to $68.2 million. For the year, net income increased 61% to $24 million, or $1.16 per share, from $14.9 million, or 78 cents per share, in 2001. Revenue was up 24% to $251.5 million. The company said its board authorized a $25 million stock repurchase in the next 18 months. As of Dec. 31, 2002, AmSurg owned a majority interest in 107 surgery centers and had nine centers under development with physician partners. The company expects to acquire or develop 12 to 15 additional centers in 2003. -- by Vince Galloro and Julie Piotrowski