St. Louis-based Catholic hos­pi­tal sys­tem As­cen­sion saw its sur­plus drop nearly 40% in its most re­cent quar­ter as in­vest­ment re­turns plum­meted from a year ago, even though re­turns on its port­fo­lio are sta­bi­liz­ing.

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Sur­plus in the sys­tem’s third quar­ter ended March 31 fell to $228.1 mil­lion on $5.1 bil­lion in to­tal op­er­at­ing rev­enue, com­pared to a $371.5 mil­lion sur­plus on $5 bil­lion in rev­enue last year. For the first three quar­ters of its fis­cal year, As­cen­sion’s sur­plus plunged 81.5%, al­most en­tirely from de­clin­ing in­vest­ment earn­ings. The sys­tem said its per­for­mance within most mar­kets, in­clud­ing global eq­ui­ties, has been neg­a­tive.

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