Beverly Enterprises doubles expected first quarter earnings

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Beverley Enterprises reported whopping first-quarter earnings of $23.4 million, compared with $12.2 million the year earlier, killing Wall Street estimates. The Fort Smith, AR-based company saw its revenues jump 10.7% to $527.4 million from $476.2 million, mostly due to higher per diem rates, increased occupancy levels and a higher percentage of Medicare patients.

Analysts had expected the company to earn $9.6 million on revenues of $513.4 million. On news of the report, shares of Beverly stock rose almost 30% to $8.24.

The company also said its revenues had a boost from substantial growth in its Aegis Therapies and hospice service businesses. 

Beverly shed five facilities during the quarter. Beverly has sold or closed 89 facilities since the first quarter of 2003 as part of a strategy to strengthen and streamline its nursing facility portfolio.