Universal Health Services, King of Prussia, Pa., said a 2% decline in admissions at acute-care hospitals owned for more than 12 months and poor margins at five new hospitals contributed to a drop of nearly 25% in third-quarter earnings. The company reported profits of $37.8 million, or 62 cents per share, down from $49.1 million, or 79 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenue was up 16.2% at $1.01 billion. For the nine months ended Sept. 30, Universal earned $132.3 million, or $2.14 per share, down 13% from net income of $152.8 million, or $2.45 per share, in the year-ago period. Revenue for the nine months rose 16.3% to $3.07 billion. Admissions fell 1.4% at the 22 acute-care hospitals operated in both the 2003 and 2004 nine-month periods. However, same-store admissions at 39 behavioral-health facilities showed strong growth -- 5% for the quarter and 7.2% for the nine months. As of Sept. 30, Universal owned or operated 27 acute-care and 44 behavioral-health hospitals. -- by Vince Galloro
Universal's income falls with declining admissions
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