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Tenet Posts Another Quarterly Loss

By Jack O'Brien  
   February 25, 2019

The for-profit hospital operator experienced a $5 million loss in Q4, as admissions dropped once again.

Tenet Healthcare Corp. posted its second straight quarter of losses, recording a net loss of $5 million, according to its Q4 2018 earnings report released Monday afternoon.

One quarter after reporting $9 million in losses attributable to shareholders, the Dallas-based healthcare company improved slightly but still found itself in the red. Tenet's net loss did show a significant improvement over its $229 million net loss in Q4 2017. 

For the full year, Tenet's net operating revenues were $18.3 billion, a 4.5% slip, while achieving a net income of $466 million, a turnaround from the $320 million loss in 2017. Additionally, the company's adjusted earnings per share (EPS) were $1.86, beating the highest range of the Tenet's estimates at $1.83 per share. 

Related: Tenet Slips Into Losses Again, Revenues Down in Q3

A point of emphasis for Tenet during Q4 was growth in its hospital operations, a segment which produced an adjusted EBITDA of $1.4 billion during the quarter. Similarly, same-hospital net patient revenue rose 3.6% throughout 2018, despite a 1.7% dip in overall admissions. 


"We delivered strong results in the fourth quarter and beat consensus expectations for revenue, Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EPS," Ronald Rittenmeyer, CEO of Tenet, said in a statement. "2018 was a year of significant change for the company. We meaningfully improved our financial results, and made significant progress to create a more efficient, agile enterprise with new leadership helping to reshape strategy and drive consistency in execution. We expect to make additional progress in each of our business segments in 2019 in line with our plan to deliver long-term sustainable growth."  

Tenet enacted a number of organizational changes to address hospital operations following a difficult Q3, naming a new COO and eliminating the president of hospital operations position three weeks after its last earnings report.

Related: Tenet C-suite Shakeup Follows Sluggish Q3

Another area of notable growth was Tenet's ambulatory care segment, which saw its revenue rise 5.1% for the full year, though its Conifer segment experienced a 4% decrease in revenues during the same period of time.

As with fellow for-profit hospital operator Community Health Systems, Tenet continued the process of divesting some of its assets, ending the year with four less hospitals including its remaining presence in the Chicago area.

Related: Tenet Sells its Last 3 Chicagoland Hospitals

Tenet's cash and cash equivalents registered at $411 million, down from $500 million at the end of Q3. Also down was Tenet's Q4 adjusted EBITDA, which dropped 34.6% to $352 million. 

Looking forward to 2019, Tenet has issued a financial guidance of operating revenues between $18 billion and $18.4 billion, net income between $15 million and $115 million, and an adjusted EBITDA between $2.65 billion and $2.75 billion.


  • Total outpatient visits declined 9.5% year-over-year in Q4.
  • Net patient revenues grew in every area except for Medicare, which saw a 1.4% decrease.
  • Total selected operating expenses rose 3.1% in Q4.

For complete financial information, review Tenet's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Related: Tenet, Humana Renew Multiyear Contract

Jack O'Brien is the finance editor at HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.

Photo credit: KONSKIE, POLAND - December 01, 2018: Tenet Healthcare Corporation logo displayed on smartphone - Image / Editorial credit: Piotr Swat /


Tenet experienced a net loss of $5 million in Q4 and saw its full year operating revenues decline 4.5%.

The Dallas-based company's quarterly adjusted EBITDA fell 34.6% year-over-year.

CEO Ron Rittenmeyer praised the "significant progress" Tenet made to "create a more efficient, agile enterprise with new leadership."

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