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CCA 2Q earnings top Wall Street estimates

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Corrections Corporation of America, a private operator of correction facilities, said that its second-quarter profit fell as it spent money looking into changing its business structure. It also dealt with costs to start up a new facility, wage increases and fewer inmates in some facilities.

The Nashville, Tenn., company announced in May that it was looking into becoming a real estate investment trust. REITs receive special tax consideration and their securities sell like stock on major exchanges.

CCA said Wednesday that it is still analyzing the process and working with the IRS. It believes a conversion to an REIT would be beneficial to the company and would lower its cost for capital, draw a larger base of investors and provide more flexibility for future growth.

CCA reported a second-quarter profit of $37.3 million, or 37 cents per share. That's down from $42.2 million, or 40 cents per share, a year ago. After adjusting for special items, it earned 38 cents per share.

Revenue increased to $442.9 million from $429.9 million.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected the company to earn 37 cents per share on an adjusted basis and revenue of $436.5 million.

CCA expects to earn 39 to 41 cents per share in the third quarter and $1.53 to $1.57 for the full year. Analysts forecast earnings of 42 cents per share for the quarter and $1.55 per share for the year.

CCA is one of the largest prison operators in the U.S., behind only the federal government and three states. It operates 67 facilities across the country.

Its shares fell 1 cent to close at $30.95.