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HCA to acquire urgent-care provider, sets share buyback

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(Reuters) — HCA Holdings Inc., the largest U.S. hospital operator, on Tuesday announced a deal to acquire a Dallas-based provider of urgent-care services and said its board authorized the repurchase of up to $1 billion of its outstanding shares.

HCA, which previewed its third-quarter results earlier this month, also said its quarterly profit rose from a year ago as it admitted more patients to its hospitals.

The Nashville-based company said it was acquiring CareNow, a privately held operator of 24 urgent-care centers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

HCA said its third-quarter net income rose to $518 million, or $1.16 a share, compared with $365 million, or 79 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue increased 9% to $9.22 billion.

Admissions increased 2.8% in the quarter compared to the prior-year period at facilities open at least one year.

HCA reiterated the higher 2014 outlook it gave two weeks ago for earnings excluding special items in a range of $4.40 to $4.60 a share on revenue of $36.5 billion to $37 billion.

The company said it expects to complete the CareNow acquisition in the fourth quarter.