HCA Healthcare Returning $6 Billion In Federal Coronavirus Aid

It’s rare when a company returns federal money. It’s rarer still when that money amounts to billions of dollars. Yet that’s the situation with top U.S. hospital operator HCA Healthcare (NYSE:HCA), which aims to return gobs of government largesse from whence it came.

All told, HCA announced that it’s planning to return roughly $6 billion, $1.6 billion of which consists of federal COVID-19 grants and $4.4 billion in Medicare loans. Both were provided as part of the government’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) passed in the early stages of the current pandemic.

HCA benefited from the loans and grants bestowed upon operators of healthcare facilities to help keep them afloat.

The company will pay those funds back because it continues to thrive, even though many elective surgeries have been postponed or canceled in the face of the coronavirus.

Last week HCA published a “preview” of its Q3 of fiscal 2020 results, indicating year-over-year revenue growth approaching 5%, to an estimated $13.3 billion. It is also projecting only a relatively modest drop in profitability, with non-GAAP (adjusted) EBITDA — earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization — sliding to around $2.03 billion from the year-ago result of almost $2.29 billion.

“During the early days of the pandemic, the Company took a conservative approach which included a number of actions to meet the operational and financial challenges this global health crisis was expected to present,” HCA explained in the press release heralding the preliminary Q3 figures.

The company did not provide a timetable as to when it would repay the federal grants and loans.

Tuesday was a good day for HCA stock; it rose by almost 2.1%, against the 0.6% drop of the S&P 500 index.

This article originally appeared in the Motley Fool.

Eric Volkman has no position

Cleveland Metroparks outdoor education programming returning this weekend

Get ready for some adventure! 



a group of people walking in a park


© Provided by WKYC-TV Cleveland


Cleveland Metroparks announced that their outdoor education programs will be returning this weekend. Beginning Saturday, October 17, you will be able to take daily hikes guided by park naturalists across the Park District to explore the fall season in the Emerald Necklace.

A number of hikes will be offered for all ages including birding, history, night hikes as well as family-friendly hikes. Visitors will also have the opportunity for “try-it” sessions, where guests can learn a new outdoor recreation skill from specialists. 

Approximately 40 programs per week will be made made available to those looking to stay active and explore the parks.

“Parks have provided an important outlet for our community this past year and we hope these guided hikes can help us stay active and connected with nature through the cooler months,” said Brian M. Zimmerman, Cleveland Metroparks CEO.

Each program will be limited to less than 10 people, per the CDC’s guidelines and advance registration online only is required. Facial covers are also required to be worn by all guests unless under the age of six. Due to high demand and limited group sizes, guests are limited to only one program per week. 

The popular “Ask a Naturalist” digital series on Facebook Live every Friday at 1:00 p.m. will continue to be offered for those unable to participate during in-person programming.

The guided hikes will be free to the public with the exception of Outdoor Recreation events that require a $5 equipment rental such as bicycle or watersport rentals. 

RELATED: Cleveland Metroparks Zoo offering free virtual classroom via

Apple and Epic Games Spar Over Returning Fortnite to the App Store

But by taking on Apple so directly and publicly, Epic — a 29-year-old privately held company worth $17.3 billion and based in Cary, N.C. — may be in for the fight of its life. Apple has a market capitalization of nearly $2 trillion and almost unlimited resources. Last month, it cut off its support for Epic’s Unreal Engine, a software development tool that thousands of developers use. That took the smaller company by surprise.

“We recognized the theoretical possibility in advance, but thought it would be so foolish of” Apple to cut off Unreal Engine, Tim Sweeney, Epic’s founder and chief executive, said in an interview last week.

In court on Monday, Judge Gonzalez Rogers sharply criticized Epic’s decision last month to break with Apple’s payment rules. “There are plenty of people in the public who consider you guys heroes for what you did, but it’s still not honest,” she said.

Epic argued that Fortnite’s removal from the App Store had caused it irreparable harm. But Judge Gonzales Rogers noted that Epic’s publicity campaign around the fight, including a parody video of Apple’s famous “1984” ad and a hashtag, #FreeFortnite, had probably increased good will toward the company.

Epic’s attorney, Katherine B. Forrest, a partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, defended the publicity campaign.

“When you are taking on the biggest company in the world and you know it’s going to retaliate, you don’t lie down in the street and die,” she said. “You plan very carefully.”

Apple said it would reinstate Fortnite to its App Store only if Epic complied with its rules.

“They don’t need this court’s emergency help — they have the keys to free Fortnite right there in their pocket,” said Apple’s attorney, Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., a partner at Gibson Dunn.

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