Health Management Associates and Universal Health Services reported higher profits for the quarter ended Sept. 30, but HMA said patient volume rose for the quarter compared with a year ago, while UHS reported flat volume. HMA, Naples, Fla., earned $69.8 million, or 28 cents per share, for its fourth quarter, compared with $60.1 million, or 24 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenue climbed 10.6% to $657.6 million. For its fiscal year, HMA reported profits of $283.4 million, or $1.13 per share, compared with $246.4 million, or 97 cents per share, in fiscal 2002. Revenue was up 13.2%, to nearly $2.6 billion. HMA owns and operates 47 hospitals.
Despite flat volume at its acute-care hospitals, King of Prussia, Pa.-based UHS said it was able to slightly increase the operating margin and profits for its third quarter, thanks largely to gains at its psychiatric hospitals. UHS earned $47.4 million, or 76 cents per share, in the quarter, compared with $41.5 million, or 65 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenue was up 10.2%, to $896.3 million. For the nine months, UHS' profits rose nearly 15% to $151.1 million, or $2.42 per share, compared with $131.5 million, or $2.05 per share, in the year-ago period. Revenue rose 11.1% to $2.7 billion. The company owns 26 acute-care and 39 psychiatric hospitals in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. -- by Vince Galloro