Apr 17, 2017

Hospital stocks tumble following HCA's lackluster preview

Richard Drew / AP

So much for that upbeat Medicare payment proposal from last week. Stocks of hospital operators plunged Monday morning after HCA — a bellwether company and the country's largest for-profit hospital chain by revenue — previewed first-quarter results below analysts' expectations. HCA's stock tumbled 3% in early morning trading, and its competitors took a bigger beating: Tenet Healthcare dropped 8%, Community Health Systems fell 7.5% and Quorum Health was down 5.5%.

What HCA expects: Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (a juiced-up form of profitability) are expected to stay the same year over year in the first quarter at $2 billion. That's still a hefty profit margin, but it was 6% below what Wall Street projected. HCA said it was "affected by changes in payer mix" — industry jargon that means the company is treating fewer patients with higher-paying commercial insurance and more patients with lower-paying government insurance. It's possible the tepid Obamacare enrollment for this year contributed to that.

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 1,502,618 — Total deaths: 89,915 — Total recoveries: 339,775Map.
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  3. Business: The Fed will lend up to $2.3 trillion. — Another 6.6 million jobless claims were filed last week
  4. Federal government latest: Congress' $250 billion PPP injection could come too late for some businesses.
  5. Public health latest: Anthony Fauci said social distancing could reduce the death toll to 60,000.
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Fed will lend up to $2.3 trillion amid coronavirus crisis

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell at a press conference in March. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

The Federal Reserve announced Thursday that it will support the coronavirus-hit economy with up to $2.3 trillion in loans to businesses, state and city governments — made possible in part by Treasury funds set aside in the government stimulus package.

Why it matters: The Fed has taken more action amid the coronavirus outbreak than it has in any other financial crisis in U.S. history in an effort to blunt the effects of the resulting economic shutdown.

DetailsArrowUpdated 16 mins ago - Economy & Business

Senate Democrats block Republicans' $250 billion PPP injection

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Before the Paycheck Protection Program formally launched last Friday, we knew two things: The rollout would be rocky, and the initial $250 billion wouldn't be enough for America's small businesses.

The state of play: Banks and government officials have been working to smooth out the process. On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's attempt to pump another $250 billion into the program via unanimous consent was blocked by Democrats, who are proposing an alternative that includes billions more for hospitals and states.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 18 mins ago - Economy & Business