Investor confidence in Community Health Systems plummeted late last week after the company previewed third-quarter losses.
CHS' stock closed at $5.23 per share, down 47.9% from its closing price before the bad news was shared.
In a preview of results to be reported Nov. 1, Franklin, Tenn.-based CHS reported a loss from continuing operations before income taxes of $83 million, compared with $121 million in the third quarter of 2015.
Saddled with $15 billion in debt, CHS is exploring hospital divestitures, including the possible sale of the entire company. It is the second-largest investor-owned hospital chain in U.S. behind HCA.
HCA last week reported year-over-year gains in admissions, surgeries and emergency visits, contributing to a 38% surge in net income to $618 million.
At CHS, hospital divestitures, lower-than-expected volumes and reductions to reimbursement from state supplemental programs combined to cause revenue to fall in the quarter to $4.4 billion from $4.8 billion in the year-earlier quarter, the company said.
CHS is selling three hospitals in Mississippi and one in Florida to not-for-profit Curae Health of Clinton, Tenn., and plans to use the proceeds of the sale to reduce debt. All four hospitals were acquired in 2014 as part of the $7.6 billion acquisition of Health Management Associates, which the company has struggled to digest.
CHS also previously announced that it has four buyers for eight other hospitals on the block.