CEO Wayne Smith bets on CHS turnaround with $3M investment

Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems Chairman and CEO Wayne Smith has purchased nearly 1 million shares of CHS since May 3, according to the Nashville Business Journal.

The transactions, which boosted Mr. Smith's ownership in CHS by more than 60 percent, occurred over three days and totaled roughly $3.3 million, according to the report.

Mr. Smith upped his stake in CHS amid the company's turnaround efforts. CHS has been selling off hospitals over the last few years to drive down its debt load. The company carried $13.88 billion in long-term debt when it announced its divestiture plan at the end of 2017. CHS' long-term debt totaled $13.39 billion as of March 31.

Although Mr. Smith is betting his own cash on CHS' turnaround, others aren't confident the company's financial position will improve. During the Ira Sohn Investment Conference on May 6, Firefly Value Partners Co-Founder and Portfolio Manager Ryan Heslop said CHS will likely go bankrupt over the next few years due to rising debt costs and dwindling revenue per hospital bed, according to Reuters.

Shares of CHS closed May 8 at $3.46, up 9.8 percent from the day prior.

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