Universal Health Services quarterly results beat on higher hospital admissions

(Reuters) - Universal Health Services on Wednesday beat Wall Street estimates for first-quarter profit aided by higher patient admissions, amid a resurgence in demand for some non-urgent surgeries and easing staff shortages.

Shares of the company rose 2.5% to $170 in extended trading.

Hospital operators have been benefiting from a revival in planned, non-urgent medical surgeries which were delayed during the pandemic, especially from older adults, while increasing medical costs for health insurers.

Universal Health Services, however, did not share any commentary on net revenue forecast for 2024 in the earnings release. Last quarter, it had forecast 2024 net revenue between $15.41 billion and $15.71 billion.

Analysts expect 2024 net revenue of $15.52 billion, according to LSEG data.

Same facility-adjusted admissions rose by 4.5% at the company-run acute care hospitals during the reported quarter, while it fell by 0.8% at its behavioral healthcare facilities. Higher admissions, mainly in acute care hospitals, increased the company's quarterly net revenue by 10.8% to $3.84 billion, compared with analysts' estimate of $3.78 billion.

The Pennsylvania-based company reported an adjusted profit of $3.70 per share for the quarter ended March 31, topping analysts' estimate of $3.16 per share.

Larger rival HCA Healthcare, the biggest for-profit hospital operator in the United States, is set to report first-quarter results before markets open on Friday.

(Reporting by Pratik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)