Ventas Slashes Dividend

Ventas Slashes Dividend

In an expected development, Ventas slashed its dividend today. What was unexpected was the size of the cut. The July dividend was reduced from the previous per-share amount of $0.7925 to $0.45 per share, a drop of 43%. This will be saving Ventas $130 million of cash each quarter, or $520 million a year if they keep it at this lower level. Management stated a few months ago that if they lowered the second quarter dividend they would revisit it as operations improved. Don’t expect a large increase any time soon.   Management indicated that its Seniors Housing Operating Portfolio (SHOP) was showing positive momentum with move-ins and leads improving, but that... Read More »
“Benevolent Incarceration” in Assisted Living

“Benevolent Incarceration” in Assisted Living

Some assisted living residents are getting restless. Why should they be any different from the rest of us? The Wall Street Journal recently published an opinion piece by a 94-year old resident of an assisted living community in New Jersey, where he wrote that he had mixed feelings about his “benevolent incarceration” during this pandemic. While he understands that the current restrictions are to keep him and the other residents safe, he raises some valid questions. At his community, no residents have tested positive for COVID-19, while three staff members have already recovered from it. Yet, the residents still can’t eat in the dining room, all meals are delivered to the apartments where... Read More »
Shifting Sales and Marketing Strategies in Seniors Housing: A Q&A with Joe Roche

Shifting Sales and Marketing Strategies in Seniors Housing: A Q&A with Joe Roche

The COVID-19 pandemic has likely changed the way seniors housing operators do business for some time to come, So, how do social distancing measures and a new threat to resident safety impact the sale and marketing strategies of these communities? We asked Joe Roche of The Roche Associates for answers. We’re more than a couple of months into the COVID-19 crisis, and the seniors housing industry has experienced a bit of a PR problem. Given the virus’ effect on the frail and elderly, the media’s coverage of outbreaks at communities (mostly unfair, but also sometimes fair), and some people’s comingling of skilled nursing facilities with seniors housing, what would you say to a potential... Read More »
Brookdale and Capital Senior Volatile

Brookdale and Capital Senior Volatile

During the course of this pandemic, the entire stock market has been extremely volatile. The quick 35% plunge was followed by a nearly as quick return, with the NASDAQ hitting new highs this week. This happened despite more than 40 million people recently hitting the unemployment lines.  This week, however, we saw volatility reaching new highs in the senior living sector. As an example, Brookdale Senior Living hit a near-term low of $2.66 per share on May 13. By June 5, it jumped by 64% to $4.37 per share. Maybe the turnaround was coming around. But by June 11 (just four trading days later), it plunged by 35% to $2.82 per share. After all that volatility, between May 13 and... Read More »
“Benevolent Incarceration” in Assisted Living

Assisted Living: Recession Resistant or Not?

Assisted living emerged from the Great Recession largely unscathed. Will history repeat itself 10 years later? Well, I just found out on Monday we are officially in a recession. Not that anyone needed to get the official notice, since we all know what 40 million recently unemployed means for the economy. But what does it mean for assisted living? In the “Great Recession” assisted living came out looking pretty good because of its need-driven characteristics. In the ensuing 10 years, average per-unit prices soared to record levels even as over-development caused some census issues. So, is this recession, or potential depression, going to be different? The elderly will continue to need care,... Read More »
“Benevolent Incarceration” in Assisted Living

Seniors Housing M&A Market Comes to Life

Welltower’s recent announcement of two portfolio sales at low cap rates during the pandemic bodes well for the market. It has been a quiet past few weeks in the seniors housing M&A market. Last week was the first time we can remember when we have gone an entire week without one announced acquisition. That leaves us worried as to the liquidity in the market and what we may expect in the coming weeks. Well, we breathed a sigh of relief when Welltower announced two separate transactions for seniors housing portfolios completed by Newmark Knight Frank with a total value close to $800 million. When the MOBs are added in, the total comes to about $1.3 billion.  More details on these... Read More »