Shares of Community Health Systems (NYSE:CYH), which operates 127 hospitals in 20 states, jumped 19.7% as of 11:17 a.m. EST on Thursday. Investors can thank the company's largest shareholder for the bump.
An SEC filing revealed that Shanda Group -- a China-based investment firm and Community Health Systems' largest shareholder -- increased its position in the company on Jan. 8. The filing shows that Shanda Group now owns 27.5 million shares of CYH, about 24% of the total.
Here's what Robert Chiu, group president of Shanda Group, had to say about the increased investment:
"We have consistently maintained a good relationship with CYH and are supportive of the Company and its management team as they continue to execute on the Company's strategic objectives."
Wall Street applauded the vote of confidence from the deep-pocketed investment firm.
Why is Shanda Group increasing its position in Community Health now? That's tough to say. The company's financial statements have been heading in the wrong direction for a while, and its stock performance has been an absolute train wreck for several years.
The only good thing I can say about this increased investment is that Shanda Group is buying at a multi-year low. If the hospital operator can turn its fortunes around, that may prove to be money well spent.
But will Community Health's management team be able to right the ship? The company still sports a debt load of more than $13.9 billion. That's a huge number for a company currently worth only about $540 million.
I've learned the hard way that turnaround stories rarely work out for investors. For that reason, I plan on keeping my capital far away from this troubled company.