Health Management Associates

(HMA)

has lowered its forecast for the fiscal second quarter and fiscal year 2001 after announcing a charge.

The company, which provides general acute health services in non-urban areas, said it would earn 19 cents a share in the second quarter, down from the 22 cents it predicted Oct. 17, 2000, and the 23 cents a share forecast by 15 analysts

First Call/Thomson Financial

polled. The estimate excludes the new charge. Health Management will take a 4-cent charge for the quarter related to the cost of the employment agreement with William Schoen, who stepped down as chief executive in January, and the sale of some hospital assets.

In 2001, Health Management, which is based in Naples, Fla., expects to earn 78 cents to 80 cents a share, not including the charge from the second quarter. The First Call estimate is 78 cents a share.

Health Management gained 14 cents, or 1%, to $14.54 in recent trading on the

New York Stock Exchange

.