Universal Health Services, King of Prussia, Pa., said the costs that Hurricane Katrina imposed on its New Orleans-area facilities wiped out three-fourths of its earnings for the fourth quarter and reduced earnings by 78 cents per share for 2005. Universal said it expects to report earnings, excluding its still-shuttered New Orleans operations, of 43 cents to 45 cents per share for the fourth quarter and $2.55 to $2.57 per share for the year when it reports its full results on Feb. 27. In 2004, fourth-quarter earnings per share were 61 cents and the year's earnings were $2.75 per share. The company expects to report revenue of approximately $967 million in the fourth quarter and $3.93 billion for the year. Excluding New Orleans, inpatient admissions increased 3.4% in the fourth quarter of 2005 and increased 2.7% for the year, both in comparison with the year-ago periods. When comparing the years, New Orleans-area operations are excluded only from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31. -- by Vince Galloro
Universal Health cites Katrina in lowered profits
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