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HCA expects 2013 profit to surpass prior forecast

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Hospital operator HCA Holdings Inc. expects a measure of profitability to come in about $65 million to $75 million above the top end of its previous forecast.

The Nashville, Tenn., company offered no explanation for the more optimistic view, which it issued Tuesday in a brief statement announcing a company presentation at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco.

HCA had said in November that it expected adjusted adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization at the high end of the forecast range of $6.25 billion to $6.5 billion.

The company runs about 165 hospitals and 115 free-standing surgery centers in 20 states and England and employs about 204,000 people. It will detail its fourth-quarter and 2013 performance on Feb. 4.

HCA also said Tuesday that its TriStar Division will buy the 70-bed Grandview Medical Center in Jasper, Tenn., from Capella Healthcare. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Company shares rose more than 1 percent, or 59 cents, to $51.55 in midmorning trading, a bigger advance than broader trading indexes. That put the stock up 8 percent so far this year. The price of HCA shares jumped 58 percent last year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index climbed nearly 30 percent.