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Community Health posts net loss as acquisition costs drag

May 6 (Reuters) - Hospital operator Community Health Systems Inc on Tuesday reported a first-quarter net loss, weighed down by costs for acquiring smaller rival Health Management Associates.

Community Health, which completed the acquisition in January, posted a loss of $112 million, or $1.04 a share, compared with net income of $79 million, or 86 cents a share, a year ago.

Net operating revenue rose 28 percent to $4.2 billion in the quarter.

Shares of Community Health, the second-largest U.S. for-profit hospital operator behind HCA Holdings Inc, closed 1.1 percent lower at $39.42 Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Susan Kelly in Chicago)