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Tenet Healthcare posts wider 2Q loss on charges

DALLAS (AP) -- Hospital operator Tenet Healthcare Corp. said Tuesday it took a larger loss in the second quarter on lower admissions and a series of costs related to early debt repayment and other items.

During the quarter Tenet took a charge of $171 million related to the early retirement of debt, its second such charge this year. Tenet also reported greater depreciation and amortization expenses and impairment, restructuring, and acquisition costs. Tenet said its adjusted admissions fell 0.7 percent because of reduced inpatient admissions. Those admissions were weaker than expected for the first half of 2013.

The company's shares lost $1.92, or 4.3 percent, to $42.74 in midday trading.

Tenet reported a loss of $50 million, or 49 cents per share, after taking a loss of $6 million, or 6 cents per share, a year ago. Excluding one-time items, the company said it earned 66 cents per share, up from 41 cents per share in the second quarter of 2012. Its revenue increased 7 percent, to $2.42 billion from $2.27 billion.

Analysts expected income of 70 cents per share and $2.42 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

Tenet said outpatient visits grew 2.5 percent and inpatient admissions fell 3.5 percent, with emergency department visits and surgeries both rising. Adjusted admissions combines both inpatient admissions and outpatient procedures.

The company said bad debt costs, or bills the company does not expect to be paid, increased 9 percent to $207 million.

Tenet said it is lowering its guidance for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization because admissions weren't as strong as it expected over the first half of the year. It expects adjusted EBITDA between $1.25 billion and $1.3 billion for 2013, compared with a prior range of $1.33 billion to $1.43 billion. The new guidance represents growth of about 6 percent from 2012 adjusted EBITDA of $1.2 billion.

The company runs 49 hospitals, 129 outpatient centers, and Conifer Health Solutions, which offers business process services to health care providers.

In June Tenet agreed to buy fellow hospital operator Vanguard Health Systems Inc. for about $1.8 billion, in a deal that will expand its reach into new markets as millions of patients start to gain insurance coverage through the health care overhaul.

Tenet and Vanguard expect to close the deal, which is valued $4.3 billion including $2.5 billion in debt, by year-end.