Nashville-based HCA did better than analysts expected in 2011. Monday the hospital chain announced a dividend payment of $2 a share.
Total revenues climbed to nearly $30 billion, with a profit of almost $2.5 billion for the year. Shareholders will get some of that back in a cash payment.
On a call with analysts, several gave company executives a pat on the back. Sheryl Skolnick is with CRT Capital Group.
“Well I think I’m just going to quit my job and go buy HCA stocks and bonds because you guys keep returning lots of value to shareholders, so thank you.”
Like all hospital chains, HCA faces continued uncertainty as to how Medicaid cuts will affect its bottom line. Still, the company expects to improve on 2011 this year, projecting between $32 and $33 billion in total revenue.
HCA Pushing Surgery Volumes in 2012
Admissions are a key indicator for hospitals, and HCA has had 17 straight quarters of growth, but not in surgery admissions, which are often the most profitable. So HCA is launching an initiative to grow its surgery numbers.
President of operations Sam Hazen tells investors that HCA wants to make it easier to book an operating room.
“Also, we are dedicating additional capital spending in our budget to enhance further the technology and equipment necessary to attract more surgeons.”
Doctors are the primary target. But Hazen says the company hopes the campaign will work as well as a more mass-market effort to boost emergency room visits, which included billboards with current wait times.