Brookdale having trouble filling beds after Emeritus deal

Investors want occupied beds and claim Emeritus isn't filling them fast enough to suit Wall Street, which has punished the company's new owner with declining share value.

Brookdale Senior Living, the nation's largest senior housing and care provider, tempered shareholder expectations this week when it announced its fourth-quarter performance took a hit from less-than-expected demand for the new Emeritus homes. The expected earnings forecast dropped from $2.95 to $3.10 per share to $2.60 to $2.75 per share.

Higher insurance reserve adjustments also took a toll, the Wall Street Journal reported. Shares tumbled 14% after the Monday announcement and closed Thursday right around $34.

Brookdale's CEO Andy Smith said overall occupancy was at 88.3% in December, down about 0.2% from the third quarter, due mainly to sluggish performance at Emeritus, which the company acquired last year for $2.8 billion.

Tennessee-based Brookdale told investors it plans renovations at 150 Emeritus properties in 2015. It will issue fourth-quarter and full 2014 financial results after market close Wednesday.