Tenet predicts rosier outlook for 2011

Hospital and outpatient operator Tenet Healthcare (NYSE: THC) predicts higher earnings for 2011 as more patients stream to its doors, President and CEO Trevor Fetter said this morning during a conference call.

He also couldn't help taking another jab at Community Health Systems' recent proposal of $6 per share which "grossly undervalued Tenet," he said. He went on to make the case that Tenet represents a "compelling investment," which he expects will exceed current industry margins.

Looking back, in Q4 2010, both inpatient admissions and outpatient visits performed better than in Q3, he said. Inpatient admissions dropped by 2 percent, compared with a 3.5 percent decline in Q3. Outpatient visits grew by 2.9 percent, compared with a 2.0 percent decline in Q3.

Tenet has led in same-hospital admissions growth over the last 15 quarters, compared with Hospital Corporation of America and CHS (NYSE: CYH). Another area where it led competitors was in same hospital EBITDA growth, which Fetter said was not due to acquisitions. "EBITDA margins grew despite strong head winds," he said.

To learn more:
- here's Tenet's PowerPoint presentation (PDF)

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