Shares of locally based Community Health Systems were trading down nearly 50 percent after hours following the release Wednesday of the hospital company’s second quarter earnings report.

CHS reported a quarterly loss per share of $2.52, compared to the Zacks Consensus Estimate of just a $0.01 per-share loss. The prior quarter, CHS posted per-share earnings of $0.14, in line with projections. The company is now projecting a year-end loss.

“Our results in the second quarter were affected by challenging operating dynamics that included lower-than-anticipated volume, lower net revenue per adjusted admission and significant contract labor costs driven by labor market and inflationary pressures,” CEO Tim Hingtgen said. “We have initiatives underway intended to actively address these pressures by accelerating strategic growth opportunities in key markets, aggressively working to recruit and retain permanent staff to replace contract labor, achieving incremental expense reductions and leveraging our centralized resources to achieve improved results.

"Over the past several quarters, we have made strategic investments in our markets, and we continue to believe we are well-positioned to meet health care demand and take market share as patient volumes return," Hingtgen added. "We are committed to intense operational execution, and we remain confident that our strategies will deliver long-term growth and value.”

The use of contract labor has been hurting local hospital companies including CHS and HCA Healthcare in recent months, though HCA last week reported an improved labor cost outlook for the second quarter.

CHS reported that admissions were down more than 3 percent from the same period in 2021. Same-store net operating revenues were also down 2.6 percent compared to the second quarter of 2021.

Net operating revenues totaled $2.93 billion in the second quarter of 2022, down by 2.4 percent from the same period in 2021.

CHS (ticker: CYH) shares closed the day trading at $5.02 but lost more than $2 in value in after-hours trading following the release of the earnings report.

Franklin-based CHS will hold an earnings call Thursday morning. CHS and its subsidiaries own or lease 83 hospitals comprising approximately 13,000 beds and operate more than 1,000 other care sites including imaging centers and physician practices.