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Hill-Rom raises profit forecast after quarterly earnings jump

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Hill-Rom Holdings Inc. profit soared in the third quarter, easily beating the expectations of Wall Street analysts and prompting the company to raise its full-year forecast.

The Batesville-based maker of hospital beds and furniture announced Wednesday night that it earned $30.6 million, or 48 cents per share, in its fiscal third quarter ended June 30. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $20.2 million, or 32 cents per share.

Excluding a gain on a sale of assets, Hill-Rom would have earned 45 cents per share. But that was still well above analysts’ average forecast of 31 cents per share, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

Revenue rose nearly 8 percent in the quarter to $360.6 million, fueled by 15-percent growth in international sales. During the quarter, Hill-Rom launched a new medical-surgical hospital bed in the European market.

Hill-Rom now expects to earn full-year profit of $1.61 to $1.65 per share, excluding special charges. Its previous forecast, given in May, anticipated profit ranging from $1.33 to $1.43 per share.

The company's share price has risen 19 percent this year with its improving business results. The shares closed Wednesday at $28.65 apiece.

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