What happened

Shares of Amedisys (AMED 0.03%) were down 21.2% as of 11:29 a.m. EDT on Thursday. The big decline came after the home health and hospice company announced its second-quarter results following the market close on Wednesday.

So what

Amedisys reported Q2 revenue of $564.2 million, up 16% year over year. The company posted adjusted earnings of $55.7 million, or $1.69 per share. Analysts' consensus estimate was for adjusted earnings of $1.67 per share. So why did the healthcare stock sink?

A nurse measuring the blood pressure of a seated patient.

Image source: Getty Images.

For one thing, Amedisys' revenue came in a little below analysts' average estimate of $566.2 million. More importantly, though, the company provided disappointing guidance.

Amedisys expects full-year revenue between $2.230 billion and $2.245 billion. Analysts were looking for revenue of $2.32 billion. The company projects adjusted earnings per share in the range of $6.37 to $6.49. That's well below the consensus estimate of $6.96.

COVID-19 is the culprit behind this weaker-than-anticipated guidance. Amedisys stated that the pandemic has negatively impacted its ability to hire and retain staff in its hospice business.

Now what

The big wild card for Amedisys going forward continues to be COVID-19. The company acknowledged that any further disruptions -- including government actions, staff sidelined due to quarantines, and delays in elective procedures -- could make it harder to meet its guidance.