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Coventry Health Care Profit Rises 51.7 Percent

Wednesday, May 4, 2005; Page E03

Coventry Health Care Inc., a managed care company, yesterday reported a 51.7 percent increase in its first-quarter profit. The Bethesda firm said it earned $112.7 million ($1.09 a share), up from $74.3 million (82 cents) during the corresponding period last year. For the three months ended March 31, revenue increased 21.7 percent, to $1.57 billion from $1.29 billion.

Coventry, which operates in 14 states under the names Altius and Carelink, among others, also added 18,000 members, bringing total membership in Coventry's health plans to 2.45 million.

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During the first quarter, Coventry, which has expanded in recent years through acquisitions, closed its $1.8 billion purchase of First Health Group Corp., a Downers Grove, Ill., health care company. As part of the acquisition, Coventry eliminated 213 positions and plans to terminate an additional 255 before the end of the year.

Shares of Coventry closed at $68.25, down $1.59, in New York Stock Exchange trading.

• Sunrise Senior Living Inc., an operator of nearly 400 assisted-living communities, said first-quarter profit fell 42.5 percent from the comparable period last year, when results were lifted by gains from selling property. The McLean company said it earned $8 million (37 cents a share), down from $13.9 million (60 cents). Operating revenue totaled $390.4 million, up 10 percent from $354.5 million a year earlier. Management services brought in revenue of $305.5 million, up 12 percent from last year, while resident fees declined slightly to nearly $85 million.

Sunrise's earnings missed the average estimate of 39 cents per share from analysts polled by Thomson Financial, and its shares fell $3.37, or 6.5 percent, to $48.28.

• Comstock Homebuilding Companies Inc. of Reston said strong housing sales helped boost first-quarter revenue by 60 percent. The company, which went public last year, said it earned $3.8 million (32 cents a share), up from $2.1 million during the year-ago period. Revenue rose to $28.7 million from $17.9 million.

Comstock said it delivered 78 new houses during the quarter at an average per-unit revenue of $365,000, compared with 46 houses at an average per-unit revenue of $329,050 in the first three months of 2004.

• Performance Food Group Co., a Richmond food distributor, said first-quarter profit nearly doubled as sales rose and benefits from the proposed sale of its fresh-cut produce division to Chiquita Brands International boosted results. The company reported a profit of $13.7 million (29 cents a share), up from $7.5 million (16 cents) in the year-ago period. Revenue was $1.42 billion, a 16 percent increase from $1.22 billion a year earlier.

American Capital Strategies Ltd., a Bethesda business-lending and investment company, said first-quarter earnings more than tripled, rising to $111.7 million ($1.22 a share) from $34.6 million (51 cents) in the comparable period a year ago.

Total revenue, which includes fees, interest and dividends from its portfolio of loans and investments, rose to $100.9 million from $66.5 million.

The company also declared a second-quarter 2005 dividend of 75 cents, to shareholders of record as of May 16, payable on July 1.

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