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 »
Seniors Housing Occupancy Slides Further, But Slower

Seniors Housing Occupancy Slides Further, But Slower

Well, it shouldn’t have surprised anyone, but occupancy levels for stabilized independent living and assisted living continued their drop in the month of May, according to NIC MAP. Across the country’s 31 largest metropolitan areas, assisted living properties first fell by 170 basis points from 87.8% in March (the first full month of the COVID-19 pandemic) to 86.1% in April. The sector occupancy fell by a lesser degree in May, by 90 basis points to 85.2%. So, in total, that is a 360-basis point drop for assisted living since the pandemic began.   The independent living sector has so far fared better than assisted living, but it also has the benefit of being in a stronger position going... Read More »
Two REITs Provide COVID and Census Updates

Two REITs Provide COVID and Census Updates

Welltower recently disclosed what has been happening at its large seniors housing operating portfolio (SHOP), and we again give them credit for being transparent with investors as to the operating performance of its customers. In the second quarter through May 29, its SHOP portfolio has seen occupancy decline by 420 basis points. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the weekly declines of 50 and 60 basis points in April have been cut in half to 20- and 30-basis point weekly declines in the latter half of May, ending with a 20-basis point drop the last week of the month. That still implies an 80-basis drop for a month, which would be terrible in normal times, but it is all... Read More »
Avoiding The MAC Clause?

Avoiding The MAC Clause?

Last week, we were surprised to hear that a few companies quickly drew down on their revolving lines of credit. In the case of Ventas, the amount was $2.75 billion and they withdrew 2020 earnings guidance as well. For Brookdale Senior Living, they did a full drawdown of an unspecified amount, and also withdrew their 2020 earnings guidance. Omega Healthcare Investors drew down $300 million. Mostly, these were stated to be for precautionary and future liquidity reasons.   We were a little surprised that a few more companies did not withdraw 2020 guidance, but perhaps they are not at risk as much as Brookdale and Ventas with the seniors housing uncertainty and... Read More »
Irrational Valuations for REIT Shares

Irrational Valuations for REIT Shares

What a week it has been. At the market’s close on Wednesday, Ventas was yielding 18.7%, Omega Healthcare Investors 18.0% and Sabra Health Care REIT 30.4%. This assumes they all maintain their current dividend rates. Ventas just announced the payment date for its dividend at the same rate as last year.  Of course, Ventas plunged by 19% on Wednesday, Omega by 17% and Sabra by 20%. These drops, on top of the previous weeks’ plunge, caused yields to skyrocket. Obviously, this is irrational, even in these days of the coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic (CV-19). All of the other healthcare REITs fared poorly as well. But does this represent a buying opportunity?... Read More »