MedCath Corp., Charlotte, N.C., had a net loss of $6.7 million, or 37 cents per share, in its fourth quarter and a net loss of $3.6 million, or 20 cents per share, in its fiscal 2004, ended Sept. 30. Its operating profits of $4 million and $29.4 million, respectively, were eroded by interest expenses and losses on debt refinancing. By comparison, the company recorded net losses of $62 million and $60.3 million in the respective year-ago periods and negative operating incomes in both periods because of a $58.9 million, fourth-quarter impairment to write off goodwill and other long-lived assets. Revenue increased 26.1% to $182.1 million in the 2004 fourth quarter and 27.6% to $692.8 million in the year. The company said same-facility adjusted admissions were up 11.7%.
MedCath last week pulled the plug on a 32-bed cardiac hospital outside Milwaukee, agreeing to sell the facility to a local health system. MedCath will operate 12 heart hospitals after the sale. Observers debated whether the company's action signaled a broader trend or reflected only steep competition in the market. Read Modern Healthcare's cover story and side bar on the topic. -- by Michael Romano