HealthSouth posts wider quarterly loss

/ Source: The Associated Press

Rehabilitation facilities operator HealthSouth Corp. on Thursday posted a wider third-quarter loss, as the company experienced pricing pressure across all divisions, as well as weaker volumes in the acute care hospital sector.

HealthSouth said losses after paying preferred dividends grew to $82.6 million, or $1.04 per share, from $11.5 million, or 15 cents per share, a year ago. Losses from continuing operations totaled $79.4 million, or $1 per share, in the latest period.

Revenue dipped 5 percent to $731.2 million from $766.3 million last year due to negative Medicare pricing pressure in the inpatient division and facility closures in the outpatient, surgery, and diagnostic divisions.

On average, analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for a loss of a penny per share on revenue of $800.2 million.

Birmingham, Ala.-based HealthSouth, whose former CEO Richard Scrushy was acquitted of charges in an accounting scandal but is awaiting sentencing for a conviction in a government bribery case, said it is seeing downward pressure on market prices, from both commercial and government payers, and expects this pressure to continue.