LifePoint Health, Inc. (LPNT)

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LifePoint Hospitals, Inc. (LPNT)

Q4 2012 Earnings Conference Call

February 15, 2013 10:00 a.m. ET


David M. Dill – President and COO

William F. Carpenter III – Chairman and CEO

Jeffrey S. Sherman – EVP and CFO


A.J. Rice – UBS

Justin Lake – JP Morgan

Josh Raskin – Barclays Capital

Ralph Giacobbe – Credit Suisse

Tom Gallucci – Lazard Capital Markets

Andrew Schenker – Morgan Stanley

Darren Lehrich – Deutsche Bank

Chris Rigg – Susquehanna Financial

Kevin Fischbeck – BofA Merrill Lynch

Gary Taylor – Citigroup

Frank Morgan – RBC Capital Markets

Kevin Campbell – Avondale Partners

Whit Mayo – Robert W. Baird



Before we begin on today’s call, LifePoint will be making forward-looking statements based upon management's current expectations. Numerous factors could cause LifePoint's results to differ from these expectations and LifePoint has outlined these factors in its filings with the SEC. The company encourages you to review these filings.

LifePoint also asks that you please review the cautionary language under the caption Important Legal Information in the company's press release issued this morning. The company undertakes no obligation to update or make any other forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Also, please visit LifePoint's website for links to various information and filings.

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the LifePoint Hospitals’ Fourth Quarter and Year End 2012 Earnings Conference Call. During the presentation, all participants will be in a listen-only mode. Afterwards, we will conduct a question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions)

As a reminder, this conference is being recorded, Friday, February 15, 2013. I would now like to turn the conference over to Bill Carpenter, Chief Executive Officer. Please go ahead, sir.

William F. Carpenter

Thank you. Welcome everyone to the LifePoint Hospitals’ Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2012 Earnings Call. We hope you’ve had a chance to review the press release we issued earlier this morning. After my initial remarks, Jeff Sherman, our Chief Financial Officer will discuss in detail LifePoint’s results for the fourth quarter and full year, as well as our outlook for 2013. After our prepared remarks, Jeff and I, as well as David Dill, our President and Chief Operating Officer will be available to answer your questions.

I’ll begin by reviewing our results for the fourth quarter in which revenues from continuing operations grew to $893 million, up 14% from the same period last year. EBITDA was $135 million, up 3.8% over last year and EPS was $0.76, exceeding the high end of our adjusted guidance range. And for the year, revenues from continuing operations were up 12% compared to 2011. EBIDTA increased 1.8% over the prior year and EPS was $3.14.

While volumes continue to be a focus for us, respiratory and OB volumes contributed to an improvement in the fourth quarter. We’ll continue to deploy appropriate strategies intended to capture market share and to improve our volume trends.

During 2012, we completed three hospital acquisitions with over $400 million in annualized revenues. As expected, in the fourth quarter we saw a good improvement in the performance of our recent acquisitions. Our acquisition pipeline remains very active. We continue to identify new opportunities to purchase hospitals that we believe will complement our strategy to develop regional integrated health systems.

Effective January 1 2013, we completed our acquisition of Scott Memorial Hospital. This is our first purchase through a new partnership with Norton Healthcare in Louisville, Kentucky, the region’s leading and most comprehensive healthcare system. This acquisition advances our effort to establish a broader healthcare system in a marketplace where we already have an existing network.

Throughout the year, we implemented a number of programs designed to improve quality and long term operating efficiency. We started the transition of certain functions to Parallon that will be completed in 2014. Further resources we’ve added, we continue to improve quality through our hospital engagement network contract with CMS. In addition, we’re focused on improving the patient experience and growing volumes throughout our hospitals and in our emergency departments, with a dedicated service line team.

We had good cost controls in the fourth quarter and improved productivity year over year. We’re also recruiting the right physicians and improving our training and leadership development processes across our network.

Las week we announced that Dr. Russell Holman has been named Chief Medical Officer following the planned retirement of Dr. Lanny Copeland. We’re delighted to welcome Dr. Holman to LifePoint and thank Dr. Copeland for his exceptional leadership and contributions to our organization since 2007. Dr. Holman brings extensive knowledge and experience to the team and a shared passion for quality patient care. He’s led hospital quality efforts and safety initiatives on both local and national levels as well as enterprise wide initiatives to improve clinical performance. We look forward to Russell’s leadership of our ongoing quality efforts. Dr. Holman will further enhance our engagement with physicians to improve quality and performance.

I’d like to comment briefly on healthcare reform. We believe there is bipartisan recognition of the importance of rural hospitals to the communities they serve. And clearly, more coverage for more people is a good thing. While there’s still uncertainty about the overall impact of reform, including how coverage will be achieved, we will continue to advocate in Washington about the negative consequences of further reimbursement cuts for community based hospitals.

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