As expected, Triad Hospitals, Plano, Texas, reported lower profits for the third quarter because of a $50.6 million charge to increase its provision for bad debt. Triad said it earned $10.4 million, or 14 cents per share, for the third quarter, down 68% compared with profits of $32.6 million, or 43 cents per share, in 2002's third quarter. Revenue climbed 9.8%, to $982 million. For the nine months ended Sept. 30, Triad posted profits of $95.7 million, or $1.28 per share, compared with $105.8 million, or $1.42 per share, in the year-ago period. Revenue for the period rose 10.2% from a year ago, to $2.9 billion.
Triad also provided an update on the acquisition front. The company said it anticipates a possible sale of two hospitals and three ambulatory surgery centers that it owns in the Kansas City, Mo.-area to Nashville-based HCA. HCA has been operating the facilities since its $1.1 billion acquisition of not-for-profit Health Midwest on April 1. Triad also said it expects to complete its acquisition of four Arkansas hospitals from Tenet Healthcare Corp., Santa Barbara, Calif., on Dec. 1. Around the same date, Triad said, the company hopes to complete a joint venture agreement to operate Valley Hospital, Palmer, Alaska. Not including these pending deals, Triad owns or operates 49 hospitals. -- by Vince Galloro