Beverly profits drop 37% in first quarter as sales jump 17%

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Beverly Enterprises Inc., the nation's largest nursing home chain, which recently put itself up for auction, said Wednesday its first-quarter profits fell 37%, due in part to expenses related to the sales process.

The company, now known as BEI, earned $15 million, compared to $23 million last year in the same quarter. Sales improved by 17%, growing from $481 million last year to $562 million. Earnings reflected $18.7 million worth of expenses related to the expression of interest in acquiring Beverly and the resulting sales process, and $7.4 million due to retroactive Medicaid rate adjustments in Pennsylvania.

Excluding these two items, net income on a continuing operations basis totaled $24.6 million in the quarter. That compared to $21.1 million during the year-earlier period.

Nursing home revenues rose 13.8% to $501 million. Medicare revenues increased 7% to $122 million. Medicare revenues as a percentage of total revenues averaged 30.8% for the quarter – the highest level in eight years, the company said. 

"We achieved double-digit percentage increases in both revenues and pre-tax income in all of our major business units – Nursing facilities, Aegis Therapies and AseraCare Hospice – compared to the year-earlier period," said Bill Floyd, chairman and CEO of Beverly.