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LifePoint Hospitals 2Q profit sinks 32 percent

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (AP) -- LifePoint Hospitals Inc.'s second-quarter net income sank 32 percent, and the rural hospital operator lowered its 2013 earnings forecast as admissions at established locations fell while salaries and other expenses rose.

The Brentwood, Tenn., company said Friday that it earned $27.4 million, or 57 cents per share, in the three months that ended June 30. That compares with net income of $40.3 million, or 83 cents per share, in last year's quarter.

Adjusted earnings, which exclude some one-time items, totaled 65 cents per share.

Revenue climbed 8.2 percent to $894.9 million.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected, on average, earnings of 71 cents per share on $908.4 million in revenue.

LifePoint runs 57 hospitals in rural areas in 20 states. It is the lone community hospital in most of its communities. The company said admissions at hospitals it has operated for at least a year fell 3.3 percent while inpatient surgeries sank nearly 7 percent.

Meanwhile, salaries and benefits climbed 14 percent to $422.1 million. Supplies and other operating expenses also climbed more than 14 percent to a combined $367 million.

LifePoint said it now expects 2013 earnings to range between $2.67 and $2.94 per share. That's down from a forecast it made earlier this year for earnings of $2.73 to $3.11 per share. The company also reaffirmed its revenue forecast at a range of between $3.65 billion and $3.75 billion.

Analysts expect, on average, earnings of $2.95 per share on $3.68 billion in revenue.