The Ensign Group Rebounds

Remind me again why we need to bail out the nursing home industry again? Ensign Group executives are predicting their operators will soon exceed the mark after another “record quarter.”

The California company reported occupancy improved by 2.8% — from 71.6% to 74.4% — when comparing the third quarter of 2020 to the quarter ended Sept. 30. Additionally, occupancy at its transitioning operations improved by 4.4% for the quarter — from 66% to 70.4% — between 2020 and 2021.

Ensign CEO Barry Port credited his company’s census improvements to operating leaders’ “relentless focus on market-specific occupancy growth strategies along with a persistent effort around operational fundamentals.”

Ensign expects to see continued improvement in the fourth quarter. The Board increased Ensign’s annual 2021 earnings guidance to between $3.60 and $3.68 per diluted share. That’s up from the previous guidance of $3.55 to $3.67 per diluted share. Ensign also announced the formation of a new captive real estate investment trust. Leaders said the REIT will provide additional acquisition opportunities with more flexibility in the use of and access to capital.

National occupancy among nursing homes continues to rebound exceeding 72%, according to recent data from the AHCA.