(Bloomberg) — Hospital chains’ shares dropped after industry leader HCA Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HCA) released preliminary third-quarter results that missed analysts’ estimates.
HCA said it expects to report net income of $1.17 a share, while the average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was $1.22 a share. Shares of the Nashville, Tenn.-based company fell 7.8 percent to $70.09 at 9:48 a.m. Tenet Healthcare Corp. (NYSE:THC) and Community Health Systems Inc. (NYSE:CYH) also tumbled.
While inpatient and emergency room admissions rose, the proportion of uninsured patients and labor costs also increased, HCA said. The company also admitted a lower rate of privately insured patients who provide its strongest revenue, said Sheryl Skolnick, an analyst with Mizuho Securities USA Inc.
“Losing those cases for managed-care-centric HCA really hurts margins,” Skolnick said Wednesday in a note to clients. She reduced her price target to $86 from $103, maintaining a buy rating.
The influx of uninsured patients — 8 percent of admissions at hospitals open for at least year compared with 7.3 percent a year earlier — at the biggest publicly traded U.S. hospital chain bodes poorly for the industry, said Ana Gupte, an analyst with Leerink Partners.