Shares of HCA Healthcare Inc. hiked up 2.5% into record territory in premarket trading Thursday, after the hospital operator reported first-quarter profit that more than doubled and beat expectations, and raised its full-year outlook, even as same-facility admissions declined. Net income grew to $1.42 billion, or $4.14 a share, from $581 million, or $1.69 a share, in the year-ago period. The FactSet consensus for earnings per share was $3.32. Revenue increased 8.7% to $13.98 billion, beating the FactSet consensus of $13.63 billion. Same-facility equivalent admissions declined 6.5%, while same-facility revenue per equivalent admission increased 16.6%. Same-facility emergency room visits dropped 18.4% and same-facility inpatient surgeries were down 5.4%, while same-facility outpatient surgeries increased 2.3%. For 2021, the company raised its guidance ranges for EPS to $13.30 to $14.30 from $12.10 to $13.10 and for revenue to $54.0 billion to $55.5 billion from $53.5 billion to $55.5 billion. The stock, which closed at a record $197.53 on Wednesday, has rallied 18.3% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 8.6%.
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