Manor Care profits fall 32% to $32 million in fourth quarter

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Manor Care Inc.'s earnings nosedived in the fourth quarter, largely due to debt refinancing, hurricane-related losses and a higher tax rate.

Profits at the nation's largest nursing home chain fell 32% to $32 million in the quarter, compared to $48 million during the same period last year. Revenues, meanwhile, rose by 7% to $864 million.
For the year, profits slipped 4% to $161 million, while revenues expanded by 6% to $3 billion.

Despite the drop in profits, Manor Care's board of directors increased the quarterly cash dividend by a penny (7%) on the strength of the company's operating performance. Census in the company's skilled nursing facilities grew during the fourth quarter to the chain's highest level in 2005. This was due, in part, to a focus on post-acute care and rehabilitation.