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UPDATE 1-HCA posts higher profit as hospital admissions rise

Tuesday, 5 Nov 2013 | 9:15 AM ET

Nov 5 (Reuters) - HCA Holdings Inc, the largest publicly owned U.S. hospital operator, on Tuesday reported higher third-quarter earnings and increased admissions to its facilities.

HCA has attracted more patients to its facilities at a time when admissions at other hospitals have fallen because many Americans are avoiding the doctor due to lack of insurance or high deductibles on their plans.

Hospitals are expected to benefit from President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law as more people become eligible for insurance coverage beginning in 2014.

HCA reported net income of $365 million, or 79 cents a share, up from $360 million, or 78 cents a share, a year earlier.

The results were in line with a forecast the company gave in October, when analysts were expecting a profit of 71 cents a share.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, excluding special items, rose 4.6 percent to $1.60 billion.

Revenue increased 4.9 percent to $8.46 billion. Same-facility admissions rose 0.7 percent.

The Nashville, Tennessee-based company expects adjusted EBITDA for 2013 to be near the upper end of its previously forecast range of $6.25 billion to $6.50 billion.