Hospital operator Tenet Healthcare Corp. on Tuesday said its third-quarter profit plunged due to the lack of a hefty tax benefit it recorded last year, but revenue and admissions rose during the quarter.

For the three months ended Sept. 30, Tenet posted net income of $6 million, or 2 cents per share, compared with $932 million, or $1.68 per share, in the 2010 third quarter.

Excluding impairment and restructuring charges and litigation costs, Tenet said earnings for the quarter came to 4 cents per share.

Last year's quarter included a tax benefit of $1 billion.

Revenue rose 4 percent to $2.34 billion, from $2.26 billion last year.

Analysts, on average, were expecting the company to break even on a per-share basis, and take in revenue of $2.32 billion.

Admissions increased by 1.5 percent and rose 2.3 percent on an adjusted basis. Outpatient visits increased by 3.4 percent, while surgeries increased 3.2 percent.

Citi analyst Gary Taylor said the results were slightly better than the company had indicated when it issued a warning last month. Nevertheless, the company kept the full-year forecast it issued on Sept. 12 for adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization to range between $1.18 billion and $1.28 billion. That was at the low end of its previous guidance.

In midday trading, Tenet shares added 10 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $4.83. The stock has changed hands between $3.46 and $7.70 in the past 52 weeks.