CHS expects $137M net loss in Q2, says divestitures will continue

Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems ended the second quarter of 2017 with a net loss of $137 million, marking the fifth consecutive quarter the company has posted a loss, according to a preliminary earnings statement released Wednesday.

CHS recorded revenues of $4.14 billion in the second quarter of this year, down 9.7 percent from revenues of $4.59 billion in the same period of 2016. The drop was attributable, in part, to lower patient volumes. Total admissions were down 10.8 percent in the second quarter of 2017 compared to the same quarter of last year. On a same-facility basis, admissions were down 2.5 percent year over year.

In addition to a drop in patient volume, CHS said the lower than anticipated results in the second quarter were attributable to higher expenses related to purchased services, medical specialist fees and information systems. The company's financial results also included one-time expenses related to its hospital divestitures. 

The company ended the period with an operating loss of $131 million. That's compared to the $1.4 billion operating loss CHS reported in the second quarter of 2016.

To improve its finances and reduce its nearly $15 billion debt load, CHS put a turnaround plan into place last year. As part of the plan, the company announced earlier this year that it intended to sell off 30 hospitals.

CHS completed the sale of nine hospitals on June 30 and July 1, bringing its total completed divestitures to 20 out of the 30 it intends to sell off. The company said it expects to complete the divestiture of the remaining 10 hospitals by Sept. 30.

In its preliminary earnings release, CHS said it plans to continue to unload more hospitals.

"In addition to the previously announced divestiture of 30 hospitals, the company continues to receive interest from acquirers for certain of its hospitals. The company is pursuing this interest for sale transactions involving hospitals with a combined total of at least $1.5 billion in annual net revenue and combined mid-single digit adjusted EBITDA margins," CHS said. 

CHS will release its formal numbers for the second quarter and the first half of 2017 on Aug. 1.

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