The net loss attributable to Community Health Systems (CHS) stockholders totalled $1.7 billion for 2016, compared with net income of $158 million for 2015, according to a financial report released Monday.
Full year operating revenues fell to $18.4 billion in 2016 from $19.4 billion in 2015 and are expected to fall to $16.2 million or lower in 2017.
- The struggling hospital operator plans to sell an additional 25 hospitals this year, the report states, after it announced last week it would continue divestiture with the sale of eight hospitals to Steward Health Care.
The downfall of CHS continued into the fourth quarter of 2016, although it could have been worse. On a per share basis, earnings came in at 46 cents per share while financial analysts had predicted earnings of 12 cents per share, according to an Associated Press report.
How CHS will proceed from here remains unclear. The hospital operator divested from dozens of hospitals last year and deals to sell additional hospitals are in the works. Reports surfaced last year that CHS was considering a sale, but it may be difficult to find a buyer willing to take on debt accumulated by CHS.
In 2016, CHS' net losses were "primarily related to impairment charges totaling approximately $315 million to reduce the value of long-lived assets," the earnings report states. "These impairment charges were partially offset by the gain of $91 million on the sale of a majority ownership interest in the company’s home care division, which closed on Dec. 31, 2016."
CHS has made some progress paying off its debt, but there is still a long way to go. Long-term debt totaled $16.5 billion at the end of 2015 and dipped to $14.8 billion at the end of 2016. The hospital operator has entered into agreements and letters of intent, "consisting of ten separate contemplated transactions," to divest the additional 25 hospitals, which represent about $3.0 billion of 2016 net revenue.