Beverly Enterprises, Fort Smith, Ark., said its profits dropped sharply for the fourth quarter and year ended Dec. 31, 2004, because of discontinued operations, but the skilled-nursing company said operating earnings improved at its core facilities. Beverly earned $6.1 million, or 6 cents per share, in the fourth quarter, including an $8.8 million after-tax loss on discontinued operations. That was down 85% from $40.8 million, or 35 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter, when discontinued operations generated net profits of $29.4 million. The discontinued operations include 24 nursing homes and 10 outpatient clinics held for sale. Quarterly revenue climbed 9.9% to $516.6 million.
For the year, Beverly earned $28.2 million, or 25 cents per share, down 65% from $80.5 million, or 74 cents per share, in 2003. Revenue was up 10.4% to $1.99 billion. Beverly said its 2004 results were improved by debt refinancing that cut interest expense by 32% for the fourth quarter and 28% for the year. Beverly operates 347 nursing homes, 18 assisted-living facilities, 56 hospice and home-care centers and Aegis Therapies, which provides contract rehabilitation services. -- by Vince Galloro