Tenet Healthcare Inc , the No. 3 U.S. hospital chain, posted a quarterly net loss on Tuesday as it restructured debt to reduce interest expense but raised its earnings forecast for 2012.

Earnings excluding items in the fourth quarter were below analysts' expectations due to delays in receiving some insurer reimbursements. But the company raised its full-year outlook in anticipation of receiving those payments.

While we recognize this timing issue could create some noise, we would characterize Tenet's results as in line and its operations as stable, Barclays Capital analyst Adam Feinstein said in a note to clients.

Tenet posted a fourth-quarter net loss of $76 million, or 17 cents per share, hurt by costs for the early debt restructuring. That compared with net income of $74 million, or 14 cents per share, a year ago.

Fourth-quarter income excluding debt-related costs was 10 cents per share, up from 8 cents a share in the same period a year ago but below the average analyst estimate of 14 cents per share according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Fourth-quarter adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, increased 4.6 percent to $294 million.

Net operating revenue in the quarter rose 5.4 percent to $2.23 billion, boosted by stronger patient trends and better pricing for its services.

Admissions increased 0.3 percent in the quarter and surgeries rose 3.2 percent.

Dallas-based Tenet said it raised its forecast for 2012 EBITDA to a range of $1.225 billion to $1.350 billion as it anticipates receiving favorable settlements from some insurers.

Tenet shares rose less than 1 percent to $5.68 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting By Susan Kelly; Editing by Maureen Bavdek and Mark Porter)