UPDATE 1-HCA says 2nd-quarter admissions rose; hospital shares up
(Adds sector share moves, analyst comment)
July 16 (Reuters) - HCA Holdings Inc, the largest U.S. for-profit hospital operator, said on Tuesday that admissions rose more than 1 percent in the second quarter and that earnings and revenue also increased, pushing shares up for it and its competitors.
The news contrasts with a slow first quarter for the company. HCA and other hospitals have been struggling with low admissions as consumers have been using medical services less often.
HCA shares were up 4.8 percent at $39. Other hospital operators, including Community Health Systems and Tenet Healthcare, gained a few percentage points after the announcement.
"That lift may not be deserved as we suspect that the volume rebound may be HCA-market-specific," CRT Capital analyst Sheryl Skolnick wrote in a research note.
HCA said same-facility admissions rose 1.3 percent in the second quarter. In the first quarter, the company previously said, they were up only 0.1 percent.
HCA said that it expected to report second-quarter earnings of about 91 cents per share, up from 85 cents a year earlier and above the analysts' average estimate of 78 cents.
The company forecast revenue at $8.45 billion, up from $8.11 billion a year earlier.
HCA said it expected net income before taxes to rise to $806 million from $699 million, and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, excluding special items such as the losses or gains related to sales of facilities, to increase to about $1.69 billion from $1.57 billion.
The company also backed its outlook for 2013 earnings and said it would report the full quarterly results around Aug. 1.
Shares of Community Health were up 2.6 percent at $48.65, and Tenet rose 3.3 percent to $45.16.
(Reporting by Caroline Humer; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Lisa Von Ahn)