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Hospital operator Community Health shares spike after acquisition speculation

An ambulance leaves Community Health's Pottstown Memorial Hospital in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.
Bradley Bower | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Shares of Community Health spiked in late Friday afternoon trade after a report that raised speculation the hospital operator could be acquired.

Community Health Systems is said to be exploring options, including a sale, according to Bloomberg, citing sources familiar with the matter. The report also said the company's deliberations are in early stages, and high debt levels and operational limits could be possible hurdles for a buyer. There is no certainty of a deal, the news agency said.

Shares gained more than 20 percent following the report, before a final close of more than 15.5 percent Friday. They have still fallen more than 40 percent this year.