Community Health Systems CEO downplays rocky Q3

Just one week after releasing preliminary results for the third quarter of fiscal year 2015 that sent Community Health Systems' shares in a nosedive, the CEO of the Franklin, Tenn-based hospital operator assured investors the company's performance will improve, according to a Nashville Business Journal report.

CHS said its weak third-quarter earnings were due to a number of factors, including high labor costs and lower volumes. However, according to Wayne Smith, CEO of CHS, the system expects stronger financial performance in future quarters.

"We're absolutely committed to improving our operations," Mr. Smith said during the company's third-quarter earnings call Tuesday morning. "This is not a permanent problem, it's a temporary setback that can be fixed."

Larry Cash, the system's CFO, said there's potential for the hospital operator's finances to be strengthened as more states expand their Medicaid programs, according to the report.

CHS is already taking a number of steps to prevent another weak quarter, including increasing its share repurchase program, according to Mr. Smith. Offering further reassurance of the hospital's strong future, Mr. Smith said, "I personally just bought 50,000 shares," according to the report.

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