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DALLAS (AP) — Tenet Healthcare Corp. returned to a profit in last year’s fourth quarter, as outpatient procedures rose for the hospital operator and it left behind some one-time costs.

The Dallas company said Tuesday it earned $49 million, or 45 cents per share, in the three months that ended Dec. 31. That compares to a loss of $76 million, or 70 cents per share, in the final quarter of 2011, when the company took hits totaling $148 million from the early extinguishment of debt and litigation-related costs.

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