HCA Holdings Inc., the biggest for-profit U.S. hospital chain by patient volume, raised its 2014 earnings forecast and said it would announce second-quarter earnings that are higher than analyst estimates. HCA expects 2014 earnings excluding certain items of $4 to $4.25 per share, compared with a previous forecast of $3.45 to $3.75 per share, the Nashville, Tennessee-based company said in a statement today. Second-quarter profit excluding some items will be $1.07 per share, compared with 92 cents average estimate of 21 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The results "exceeded our internal expectations, both in terms of our core operations and healthcare reform," said Milton Johnson, HCA's chief executive officer, in a statement. HCA is scheduled to release its full second-quarter results on July 29.