The leaders of Community Health Systems said Tuesday they are putting a bow on their multi-year push to sell off hospitals.
In reporting their first-quarter results, which showed a small profit thanks mainly to a big tax benefit, CHS executives said the agreements they have signed since Jan. 1 to sell seven hospitals for about $400 million, “will mark the end of the formal portfolio rationalization strategy” they launched more than three years ago. Over that time, CHS has sold hospitals home to about half of the more than 30,000 beds it owned following the $7.3 billion acquisition of Health Management Associates in early 2014. In the past six years, its hospital count has shrunk from 206 hospitals in 29 states to 99 in 17 states.
The sales helped Franklin-based CHS trim its long-term debts to $13.5 billion from $19.2 billion at the end of 2014. But the company still has a shareholders’ deficit and interest expenses were nearly 9 percent of first-quarter revenues.
Shares of CHS (Ticker: CYH) were down 4 percent to $3.53 in pre-market trading Wednesday. Year to date, they have risen more than 25 percent.