Tenet Healthcare (THC -10.6%) is the S&P 500's worst performer as Q4 earnings beat forecasts but took on $400M in new debt and offered lower-than-expected guidance; the hospital operator sees Q1 adjusted EBITDA of $350M-$400M and FY 2014 EBITDA of $1.8B-$1.9B vs. analyst consensus estimates of $447M and $1.96B.
THC reported Q4 adjusted admissions fell 0.5%, as inpatient admissions fell 2.3%; operating margin narrowed to 4.3% from 9.1%, as operating expenses jumped 75%.
CRT Capital downgrades THC to Fair Value from Buy as accretion from the Vanguard Health Systems acquisition has not materialized in the near-term; instead of generating significant EBITDA growth, the business contracted from Q4 to Q1 and CRT's guidance suggests that the business will continue to shrink.
On the other hand, Mizuho says it would be buyers on today's stock weakness, viewing initial 2014 EBITDA guidance as achievable given conservative assumptions around health reform coupled with a continued soft admission outlook (Briefing.com).
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