Health Management Shares Plunge After Earnings Announcement

April 9 (Bloomberg) -- Health Management Associates Inc., the operator of acute-care hospitals, fell 12 percent in extended trading after it reduced the high end of its 2013 earnings forecast.

Health Management, based in Naples, Florida, fell $1.52 to $11.07 at 4:34 p.m. New York time after closing at $12.59. The company has gained 78 percent in the past 12 months.

The company now estimates annual profit from continuing operations will be 86 cents a share to 95 cents a share. Its previous forecast, made Jan. 13, was 86 cents to $1.01. Preliminary results show adjusted admissions fell 5.7 percent in the first quarter, Health Management said today in a statement, estimating annual admissions in 2013 would decline 3 percent to break even.

The first quarter is typically the busiest of the year, so the hospital operator hired extra staff to cope with an expected influx, Gary Newsome, Health Management’s chief executive officer, said in the statement. This year, the anticipated increase didn’t happen, he said.

Health Management operated 70 hospitals in 15 states as of Dec. 31, according to a regulatory filing.

--Editors: Andrew Pollack, Angela Zimm

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Lopatto in San Francisco at elopatto@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reg Gale at rgale5@bloomberg.net

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