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Here's Why Acadia Healthcare Company Inc. Is Sinking Today

What happened

Shares of Acadia Healthcare Company Inc. (NASDAQ: ACHC) have fallen 25.6% as of 11:01 a.m. EDT on Wednesday after the company reported softer-than-expected results on Tuesday. The provider of psychiatric and chemical dependency services in the U.S. and U.K. posted third-quarter revenue 2.4% below that of the prior-year period.

So what 

A handful of Wall Street analysts lowered their ratings for Acadia after it revealed total third-quarter revenue of $716.7 million, which was about 1.5% lower than consensus expectations. It also disappointed on the bottom line by earning $0.58 per share when the market expected $0.65.

Image source: Getty Images.

Citing a lack of visibility in the U.K. business, Baird analyst Whit Mayo slashed his price target from $55 to $38 per share. Acadia divested 22 U.K. facilities last November but the region still kicked in about 36% of total revenue during the first nine months of the year. Facilities across the pond collect far less revenue per patient day and admit fewer patients, but those who are admitted stay 16 to 17 times longer than those in the U.S.

Now what

Acadia lowered its full-year adjusted earnings expectations from a range of $2.42 and $2.47 per share down to somewhere between $2.23 to $2.25. While the lowered expectations are a letdown, management was quick to note that in the U.S., same-facility third-quarter revenue grew 6.3% year over year. Also, total revenue grew 4.8% year over year once you adjust for the 22 divested facilities. 

At recent prices, the stock is trading at just 14.8 times the lower end of management's adjusted earnings estimates for the year. The average stock in the S&P 500 has been trading at around 19.6 times forward estimates, which makes Acadia look awfully cheap for a company expected to expand its bottom line by 13.1% annually for the next five years.

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Cory Renauer has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.