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COLUMBIA REPORTS RECORD FOURTH QUARTER RESULTS FROM OPERATIONS

 COLUMBIA REPORTS RECORD FOURTH QUARTER RESULTS FROM OPERATIONS
 FORT WORTH, Texas, Feb. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Columbia Hospital Corporation (NASDAQ: CHOS) today announced record results from operations for the quarter and year ended Dec. 31, 1991.
 Revenues for the fourth quarter of 1991 were $137.2 million, up 44 percent from $95.1 million in the fourth quarter of 1990. Net income for the current quarter was $4.1 million, or 22 cents per share, compared to pro forma net income of $2.4 million, or 17 cents per share, for the prior year's fourth quarter.
 Revenues for 1991 totaled $499.4 million, exceeding revenues of $290.3 million for 1990 by 72 percent. Net income before extraordinary loss in 1991 was $15.2 million, or 92 cents per share, compared to pro forma net income of $8.4 million, or 65 cents per share, for the same period last year.
 In the third quarter of 1991, Columbia completed a refinancing of debt at its El Paso subsidiary, which resulted in an extraordinary loss of $269,000, or 2 cents per share, due to a write-off of unamortized financing costs. Net income after extraordinary loss for 1991 totaled $14.9 million, or 90 cents per share. David C. Colby, chief financial officer of Columbia, stated, "The refinancing improved the capital structure and financial position of our El Paso subsidiary and will allow us to aggressively pursue expansion plans in that market."
 The growth in net income before extraordinary loss between 1990 and 1991 (48 percent for the fourth quarter and 54 percent for the year) was less than the growth in pretax income (73 percent for the fourth quarter and 84 percent for the year) because Columbia had an unusually low effective tax rate in 1990. In addition to the impact of a normalized tax burden in 1991, the reported growth in earnings per share is negatively impacted by the computation of average common shares outstanding under generally accepted accounting principles which distorts the comparability of earnings per share between 1990 and 1991. Earnings per share was computed for 1990 using only a portion of the shares that were ultimately issued to Columbia's predecessor owners in the May 1990 merger with Smith Laboratories, Inc.
 COLUMBIA HOSPITAL CORPORATION
 Summary of Consolidated Operating Results
 (Dollars in thousands, except per share data)
 Periods ended Three Months Pct. Year Pct.
 Dec. 31 1991 1990 Inc. 1991 1990 Inc.
 No. of hospitals
 in operation 12 11 NM 12 11 NM
 Weighted aver.
 licensed beds 2,542 2,127 19.5 2,369 1,580 49.9
 Revenues $137,180 $95,129 44.2 $449,427 $290,322 72.0
 Income before
 depreciation &
 amort., int.,
 minority int.
 in earns. of
 consolidated
 entities and
 taxes 21,745 13,910 56.3 80,779 46,737 72.8
 Pretax income 6,739 3,888 73.3 24,960 13,569 83.9
 Income before
 extraord. loss 4,107 2,776 47.9 15,202 9,848 54.4
 Extraord. loss -- -- -- (269) -- NM
 Net income $ 4,107 $ 2,776 47.9 $ 14,933 $ 9,848 51.6
 Earns. per share:
 Bef. extraord.
 loss $0.22 $0.20 10.0 $0.92 $0.83 10.8
 Extraord. loss -- -- -- (0.02) -- NM
 Total $0.22 $0.20 10.0 $0.90 $0.83 8.4
 Pro forma
 computations (A):
 Net inc. before
 extraord.
 loss $ 4,107 $ 2,357 74.2 $ 15,202 $ 8,360 81.8
 Extraord. loss -- -- -- (269) -- NM
 Net income $ 4,107 $ 2,357 74.2 $ 14,933 $ 8,360 78.6
 Earns. per share:
 Bef. extraord.
 loss $0.22 $0.17 29.4 $0.92 $0.65 41.5
 Extraord. loss -- -- -- (0.02) -- NM
 Total $0.22 $0.17 29.4 $0.90 $0.65 38.5
 (A) -- Represents adjusted 1990 data assuming a normalized tax rate of 38 percent and assuming all predecessor owners' shares were outstanding for the entire 1990 periods presented.
 NM -- Not meaningful.
 Richard L. Scott, chairman and chief executive officer of Columbia, said, "We are very pleased with our current year results and are looking forward to 1992. We are actively evaluating a 'subsidiary initial public offering' of our medical rehabilitations services company, Sutter Corporation. Sutter has experienced significant growth in both revenue and profitability in the last two years. Selling a portion of Columbia's ownership to the public may be a way to maximize its value to our shareholders as well as provide Sutter an opportunity to maximize its own development."
 Columbia Hospital Corporation currently owns and manages 11 general acute-care hospitals and two psychiatric hospitals, with 2,815 total licensed beds in five markets. Columbia also owns various related businesses in its markets, including outpatient diagnostic centers, an outpatient surgery center, a cardiac rehabilitation center, physical therapy centers, mobile lithotripsy services and an outpatient radiation therapy center. Additionally, Columbia owns Sutter Corporation, a medical products company that manufactures and distributes medical and surgical products, primarily continuous passive motion devices.
 -0- 2/28/92
 /CONTACT: Stewart J. Campbell of Columbia, 817-870-5900; or Susan A. Noonan of Noonan/Russo Communications, 212-979-9180, for Columbia/
 (CHOS) CO: Columbia Hospital Corporation ST: Texas IN: HEA SU: ERN


GK-TS -- NY009 -- 3624 02/28/92 09:59 EST
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Date:Feb 28, 1992
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