Fitch Ratings: Negative outlook for continuing care retirement communities

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The continuing care retirement community sector is facing a negative outlook over the next 12 to 24 months, according to the newly released CCRC Median Ratios report from Fitch Ratings. Fitch will hold a conference call at 11a.m. EST this morning to discuss the findings.

Almost all financial indicators in the CCRC sector showed declines in 2009, according to Fitch. In 2008, investment portfolios took a serious hit and fell below 2007 levels. Figures for days' cash on hand fell by 16%, while coverage by EBITDA dropped 17%. Excess margins fell by 75%. Fitch expects that downgrades will exceed upgrades in the CCRC sector over the next one to two years.

The report will be available online at www.fitchratings.com before the conference call. To participate, call (877) 233-9813 (domestic) or (706) 679-8437 (international) at least five minutes prior to the start and give "Fitch's 2009 CCRC Medians" or "Jim Mitchell" as the call-in code.