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Tenet Healthcare shares soar more than 20% on smaller-than-expected loss, hospital sale

  • Tenet Healthcare stock zooms a day after the for-profit hospitals operator reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss.
  • Tenet also announced it will sell its hospitals to larger rival HCA Holdings.
Trevor Fetter, CEO of Tenet Healthcare
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Trevor Fetter, CEO of Tenet Healthcare

Shares of Tenet Healthcare skyrocketed Tuesday, a day after the company reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss amid a choppy environment for health-care stocks.

The stock closed up more than 21 percent.

The Dallas-based hospital operator reported an adjusted loss of 27 cents per share for the first quarter, compared with a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of a 51 cent loss.

Tenet also announced it will sell a number of its hospitals in Houston to a competitor, HCA Holdings. Net proceeds of this sale will be $725 million, Tenet said, and the deal should close in the third quarter.

The news comes at a time when health-care companies and hospitals are seesawing on President Donald Trump's every word about the industry. Republicans in Congress are still short of the votes to get an Obamacare replacement bill passed in the House — what has been one of Trump's top goals since the onset of his presidential campaign.

Tenet has said it's been implementing more cost-cutting programs that are focused on raising hospital segment margins, thereby turning its business around. Selling off assets in its hospitals portfolio, for example, allows Tenet to ease its debt load.

Along with the earnings beat, Tenet said it has signed a multiyear deal with Humana in which all of Tenet's hospitals, hospital-affiliated outpatient centers and physicians will be phased back into the insurer's network by October.

Even with this week's stock gains, though, shares of the company have fallen a more than 41 percent over the past 12 months.

THC 12-month performance

Source: FactSet