HCA Healthcare, Inc. HCA recently announced preliminary results for the third quarter ended Sep 30, 2020.

For the period, the company expected revenues to be $13.30 billion on a preliminary basis, indicating a 4.8% rise from the year-ago quarter’s reported figure.

Notably, Income before income taxes is anticipated to be around $950 million in the to-be-reported quarter, implying a 3% decrease from the prior-year quarter’s reported number. Results for the September quarter consist of a reversal of $822 million received as a government stimulus in the second quarter, which is related to general distribution funds received from the Provider Relief Fund established by the CARES Act.

For the third quarter of 2020, Adjusted EBITDA is anticipated to be $2.03 billion, suggesting an 11.2% decline from the year-ago quarter’s reported figure.

HCA Healthcare expects a 4% dip in its same facility admissions and a 9% decline in facility equivalent admissions, both from the year-ago reported figures. For the third quarter, same facility emergency room visits are expected to drop 20% from the year-earlier reported number. The company’s same facility revenue per equivalent admission is projected to rise around 15% from the prior-year reported number on the back of acuity for patients and favourable payer mix.

Moreover, management announced that it will repay around $6 billion of government assistance funds received as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, HCA Healthcare undertook several measures to address the operational and financial challenges. These actions made the company stable enough to return or repay all its share of Provider Relief Fund distributions of $1.6 billion and $4.4 billion of Medicare accelerated payments. HCA Healthcare intends to fund the amount from available cash and cash flow from future operations.

In the last reported quarter, the company reported earnings of $1.50 per share. The Zacks Consensus Estimate was of a loss of 94 cents per share. However, the bottom line declined 32.1% year over year due to lower admissions.

What to Expect

This hospital company might have continued to taking a hit from reduced admissions in the third quarter of 2020.

The company’s complete September-quarter results are scheduled to be reported on or about Oct 26, 2020.

Zacks Rank and Price Performance

Shares of this currently Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) company have gained 11.9% in a year’s time, outperforming the industry’s growth of 2.5%.

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Other companies in the same space, such as Tenet Healthcare Corporation THC, Community Health Systems Inc. CYH and Acadia Healthcare Company Inc. ACHC have rallied 27.7%, 18.1% and 11.1% each in the same time frame.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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