Triad Hospitals, Plano, Texas, said that largely because of asset sales, its earnings doubled for the first quarter to $97.8 million, or $1.29 per share, from $47.3 million, or 63 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. The company's bad-debt expense was 10.2% for the quarter, compared with 7.9% for the 2003 first quarter. Triad said the expense was in line with company expectations and lower than in the third and fourth quarters of 2003. Revenue climbed 23.2% to $1.1 billion. Triad said adjusted admissions grew 6.8% at the 49 hospitals it has operated for at least a year. The company also recorded 6% or better growth in same-hospital inpatient and outpatient surgeries, but Triad said it expects volume growth to moderate over the rest of 2004. The company had a pretax gain of $84 million on the sale of two hospitals and three ambulatory surgery centers in the Kansas City, Mo., area to HCA for $136 million. Triad had leased the hospitals to Health Midwest, which HCA purchased in 2003. Earnings from continuing operations rose slightly -- to 66 cents per share from 63 cents per share. Triad owns or operates 54 hospitals. -- by Vince Galloro
Asset sales help Triad profit, bad debt still high
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