LifePoint 3Q income halved; company cuts outlook

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. -- Rural hospital operator LifePoint Hospitals Inc. said Friday that the costs of an acquisition, lost admissions due to weather and other factors cut its net income in half in the third quarter, and the company lowered its profit forecast for the full year.

Net income fell 51 percent because of the costs of purchasing Marquette General Health System, a Medicare recovery audit, greater service expenses, lost admissions because of Hurricane Isaac, and greater losses from physician practice as it hires more physicians.

LifePoint runs 56 hospitals in rural areas, up 10 percent from a year ago, in 19 states.

Profit came to $19.2 million, or 39 cents per share, in the three months through September, from $38.8 million, or 77 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding one-time items, LifePoint said it earned 60 cents per share. Its revenue rose 11 percent, to $820.2 million from $739.2 million. Analysts expected the company to report net income of 75 cents per share and revenue of $814.7 million, according to FactSet.

Looking forward, the company said it now expects net income of $2.97 to $3.10 per share in 2012, down from its previous estimate of $3.45 to $3.60 per share. LifePoint said its revenue will be between $3.35 billion to $3.4 billion.

Analysts were expecting significantly higher net income of $3.35 per share and revenue of $3.33 billion on average.

Shares of the Brentwood, Tenn., company closed at $40.04 on Thursday.