Tenet ( THC) is stuck in the intensive care unit with no discharge date in sight. After undergoing months of exploratory surgery, Tenet has yet to identify exactly when -- or even how -- the company plans to recover. Investors had expected Tenet to offer a clearer prognosis when it reported year-end financial results on Monday. But some big questions remained unanswered even after Tenet filed more than 100 pages of financial information, then hosted a lengthy conference call, early this week. Specifically, analysts continue to wonder how Tenet will achieve break-even operating results this year. They're also waiting for specific guidance on the company's potential operating margins and when those margins might improve. Fulcrum analyst Sheryl Skolnick, who upgraded Tenet from sell to neutral just ahead of Monday's report, marveled at the lack of clarity. She called Tenet's fourth-quarter report "a mess" and found herself backing away from her expectations for 2004. "THC reported one of the most confusing quarters this analyst has ever seen," stated Skolnick, who has covered the industry for years. "We have read the 10-K and the earnings release, and the only conclusion that we can legitimately draw is that our 2004 estimate ... is likely to be wrong." Prudential analyst David Shove went a step further by calling his own 2004 forecast "a guess at best" and suspending his price target on Tenet's stock after exhausting his means of evaluating it. He declared the company's fourth-quarter results "far worse than our bearish expectations." And he adopted an ominous tone when discussing the company's future. Shove believes that just one of three risks -- earnings shortfalls, asset-sale delays or government fines -- could push Tenet over the edge as early as this year. He expressed particular concern about the first threat on that list.