The new owner of Sparks Health System in Fort Smith on Monday reported first quarter net income of $46.94 million, up 2% compared to the first quarter 2009 net income of $46.01 million.
Naples, Fla.-based Health Management Associates said its first quarter revenue reached $1.285 billion, up 10.3% over the $1.164 billion in the first quarter of 2009.
HMA purchased Sparks Health System in a $138-million deal that closed Nov. 30. The company operates 55 hospitals — including Summit Medical in Van Buren — in 15 states and employs about 33,700. The publicly held (NYSE: HMA) hospital company is directly and indirectly affiliated with 8,000 physicians. The company has said it plans to invest $20 million in Sparks during 2010.
The first quarter per share earnings of 19 cents topped analyst estimates of 17 cents a share. Also, the company is boosting its 2010 earnings per share guidance from a range of 53-58 cents to 56-61 cents per share.
“What a great way to begin 2010! We are pleased with our results for the first quarter, and we remain confident in our ability to grow,” Gary D. Newsome, HMA president and CEO, said in a statement. “We believe that our cultural transformation is continuing to gain momentum, and we are more committed than ever to improving emergency room operations, physician recruitment and market service development. We are in the early stages of our operating initiatives and the prospects for acquisitions look very promising. We believe that all these factors bode well for our future.”
One of the few negatives of the report was the continued increase in the company’s bad debt allowances. HMA’s provision for doubtful accounts during the quarter was $158.8 million, or 12.4% of net revenue, compared to $139.4 million, or 12% of net revenue for the same quarter a year ago.
HMA shares (NYSE: HMA) closed Monday at $8.65, down 21 cents. The earnings report was released after the markets closed. During the past 52 weeks, the share price has ranged from a $9.12 high to a $3.38 low.