Shares in Universal Health Services ( UHS ) fell sharply in premarket trading Monday after the company warned about its first-quarter profit.

The Pennsylvania-based hospital operator said EPS could be as much as 25% lower than the 84 cents a share it earned in the year-ago period. The analysts' consensus estimate is for 90 cents a share, according to Thomson One Analytics.

The company said its acute care hospitals have continued to experience a decline in inpatient admissions in the first two months of 2004 and its first quarter ending March 31. In addition, Universal Health Services said "the rising level of uninsured and self-pay patients continues to unfavorably impact our bad debt expense."

Recently, shares were down $5.93, or 11%, to $48.

More from Opinion

Trump Blinks on China Trade War That's Looking Harder to Win

Trump Blinks on China Trade War That's Looking Harder to Win

Monday Madness: GE, China, and Micron

Monday Madness: GE, China, and Micron

Attention 60 Minutes: Google Isn't the Only Big-Tech Monopoly

Attention 60 Minutes: Google Isn't the Only Big-Tech Monopoly

How Technology Will Unleash the Legal Marijuana Industry's Growth Potential

How Technology Will Unleash the Legal Marijuana Industry's Growth Potential

Apple Buys Tesla? Amazon Buys Sears? 3 Dream Mergers That Just Make Sense

Apple Buys Tesla? Amazon Buys Sears? 3 Dream Mergers That Just Make Sense