CHS points out operational improvements as share price continues to slide

Shares of Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems closed July 11 at $2.90, their lowest closing price ever.

The hospital chain's stock price traded as low as $2.87 on July 11 after closing July 10 at $2.97.

CHS' share price began sinking in late June after the company priced a new offering of approximately $1.03 billion of senior secured notes. The company intends to use the proceeds to pay off about $1.01 billion in outstanding term loans, and the refinancing will allow CHS to make needed investments at hospitals in several of its markets, Tomi Galin, a CHS spokesperson, told The Journal Gazette on July 11.

"We have just completed a very successful refinancing that gives us time before any material debt maturities come due," she said. "This enables the company to continue making important investments in the communities we serve."

Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Lutheran Health Network is one of the hospitals CHS will invest in. CHS committed in May 2017 to make a $500 million capital investment in Lutheran Health Network, and Ms. Galin told The Journal Gazette CHS is on pace to meet that goal.

Ms. Galin also highlighted CHS' systemwide improvements. She said CHS' first quarter earnings report included "good improvements in … operational results," and that the company sees promise in the sale of underperforming facilities.

"Our divestiture program is robust, and we will emerge with a stronger portfolio as we complete additional divestitures this year," she told The Journal Gazette.  

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