What happened

After the hospital conglomerate reported fourth-quarter and full-year results, shares of Community Health Systems (NYSE:CYH) were up 20% as of 10:25 a.m. EST on Thursday.

So what

Here's a look at the headline numbers from the quarter:

  • Revenue jumped 13% to $3.453 billion. That came in slightly ahead of Wall Street's estimate.
  • Adjusted admissions grew 0.1%. 
  • GAAP net loss was $328 million, or $2.91 per share.
  • Adjusted net loss came in at $0.42 per share. That was much higher than the $0.28-per-share adjusted loss recorded in the year-ago period, but it was better than the $0.58-per-share loss that analysts had predicted.

Here are the company's results for the full year:

  • Revenue fell 8% to $14.2 billion. The decline was mostly due to hospital divestitures and closures.
  • Net loss was $788 million, or $6.99 per share. 
  • Adjusted net loss came in at $1.94 per share. 
Exterior view of a medical office building dedicated to surgery

Image source: Getty Images.

Investors appear to be applauding the better-than-expected quarterly results. 

Check out the latest Community Health Systems earnings call transcript.

Now what

Community Health Systems remains in a precarious position. The company is burning through capital each quarter and is rapidly shedding hospitals in an attempt to pay off its substantial debt load (which at year-end still topped $13.3 billion).

Community Health Systems might be able to eventually turn the ship around and turn into a fine investment from here. However, I'm not a fan of investing in turnaround stories.

If hospital stocks interest you, then there are other companies out there that are more deserving of your attention.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.