April 21, 2010 / 9:17 PM / in 8 years

UPDATE 2-Community Health first-qtr profit rises

* Q1 net EPS of 75 cents beats average estimate by 1 cent

* Sales rise 8.5 percent to $3.2 billion (Adds detail on earnings, stock price)

CHICAGO, April 21 (Reuters) - Community Health Systems Inc (CYH.N), the nation’s largest publicly traded hospital company, said quarterly profit rose as total admissions increased 4.7 percent as a result of acquisitions during the past 12 months.

First-quarter net income was $84.9 million, or 75 cents a share, compared with $72.9 million, or 65 cents a share, a year ago.

Analysts on average expected 74 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Community Health, which owns, leases or operates 122 hospitals in 29 states, said first-quarter operating revenue rose 8.5 percent to $3.2 billion.

Excluding acquisitions, admissions fell 1.2 percent and net operating revenue increased 3.7 percent from a year ago.

Net cash provided by operating activities was $299.4 million in the quarter, compared with $259.4 million in the year ago period.

The shares closed at $40.82, down 58 cents, on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Debra Sherman; Editing by Tim Dobbyn, Bernard Orr)

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