Senior Living – A Tale of Two Outcomes? | Gordian Perspectives for July 2021

Each month members of Gordian Group team pick articles, posts or current news events that we found interesting and worth sharing with Gordian clients and our growing network . We provide some commentary and context and where applicable how Gordian Group can help. This month’s perspectives post discusses the senior living and nursing home industry troubles and opportunities.

Senior Living – A Tale of Two Outcomes: Distress and Opportunities

The senior living sector is experiencing stress on various fronts, as we set forth in our June 29th post.  Occupancy contraction, increasing costs and high leverage have converged to create crises for a huge percentage of industry participants.  The chart below shows the eroding effect these pressures have had on industry stock prices.[1]

Senior Living and Nursing Home Stock Prices vs. S&P 500 Index

Senior Living and Nursing Home Stock Prices vs. The S&P 500 Index

[1] The senior living and nursing home index is comprised of the following companies: Brookdale Senior Living, Capital Senior Living, Diversicare Healthcare Services, Extendicare, Five Star Senior Living, Genesis HealthCare, Healthpeak Properties, LTC Properties, National Health Investors, National Healthcare, Omega Healthcare Investors, the Pennant Group, Sabra Health Care REIT, Ventas, and Welltower.  For each company, its stock price at the beginning of the period was set to 1.00, and the subsequent movements were based on such initialization.

However, one of the truisms of our distressed company practice is that industry misfortunes can provide opportunities for well-financed companies.  The senior living arena is no different.  Companies with “dry powder” can acquire troubled competitors at bargain-basement prices, turn them around, and reap the subsequent valuation benefits.

In our view, The Ensign Group has been successfully pursuing just such a strategy during the last several years – almost tripling its asset base through acquisitions.  The stock market has reacted positively, with Ensign’s market price significantly outstripping the rest of the industry, as shown in the chart below.

 

Senior Living Graph

Senior Living and Nursing Home Stock Prices vs. The Ensign Group

Ensign’s stock price has increased over 4-fold, while its leverage ratios remain intact (Debt-to-EBITDA remains below 4x).

We believe that this example gives ample support for Private Equity firms and other significant owners in the senior living industry to consider this and other strategies that take advantage of the current market dynamics.  Through a strategy of distressed acquisitions and capital infusions, there is a lot of money to be made.

RELATED: Nursing Home Bankruptcies

Gordian Group specializes in just this type of advice for Private Equity firms.  We welcome the opportunity to discuss how we may be of assistance in the senior living space. Please contact Leslie Glassman to set up a discussion.  We look forward to our conversation.

 


 

Commentary by Gordian Group CEO Henry Owsley