Community Health warns of profit shortfall, shares fall 18 percent

Thu Jul 18, 2013 6:26pm EDT

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(Reuters) - Hospital operator Community Health Systems Inc (CYH.N) on Thursday said its second quarter results were hurt by a combination of weak volumes in May and June, bad debts and deteriorating reimbursements.

The Franklin, Tennessee, company also said the U.S. Department of Justice has broadened an investigation into short-stay admissions of Medicare patients, and its shares fell more than 18 percent after hours.

In a preliminary release, Community Health said it expects flat year-over-year net operating revenue for the quarter ended June 30 of around $3.24 billion. Wall Street analysts, on average, had forecast $3.37 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company projected second-quarter adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $414 million, down from $483 million a year earlier.

Community Health said the projections reflect a 5.1 percent decrease in total admissions for the quarter compared with a year earlier.

The company said it expects report its complete results for the latest quarter on July 29.

Shares of Community Health, which closed at $47.31 on the New York Stock Exchange, were trading at $38.51 after hours.

(Reporting by Deena Beasley in Los Angeles; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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