Tenet Healthcare Corp., Dallas, said in an earnings preview that it posted its best operating margin in six years in the first quarter of 2009, thanks to cost control and a moderation of its weak volume trends.
The company said it expects to report net income of $178 million for the quarter, compared with a loss of $31 million in 2008s first quarter. The 2009 first-quarter results include an after-tax gain of $84 million on the companys recently completed exchange of $1.4 billion in debt to lengthen its maturities. Tenet said it expects to report operating earnings of $275 million, a 28% increase compared with the year-ago quarter in a measure that excludes the debt exchange gain, tax-related adjustments and other one-time factors. It expects to report a 4.7% increase in revenue, to $2.28 billion.
Tenet said its same-hospital admissions declined 1.3%, but were flat comparing the quarters once the effect of 2008s Leap Day were taken into account. Its same-hospital outpatient visits were up 1.8% on a Leap Day-adjusted basis.