Barry Port of Ensign

The Ensign Group picked up 19 facilities in California and Colorado in the first quarter of 2023, hastening the growth trajectory it has sustained through the pandemic.

The company’s “locally driven strategy led to improvement in occupancies, skilled revenue, skilled days and managed care revenues,” CEO Barry Port said during an earnings call Thursday. “The record results they achieved this quarter are particularly impressive given the continued disruption in the labor markets.”

Port said he was especially pleased that the company saw sequential growth in overall occupancy for the ninth consecutive quarter, with same-store and transitioning operations increasing by 4.2% and 5.4%, respectively, over the same quarter in 2022. 

As of the end of the quarter, Ensign’s same-store occupancy reached 78.8%, “and we continue to get closer and closer to our pre-COVID occupancy levels, which was at 80.1% in March 2020,” Port said.

In a press release issued in conjunction with the earnings call, Chief Investment Officer and Executive Vice President Chad Keetch noted that Ensign “has increased its acquisition pace recently to take advantage of an attractive acquisition environment.”

The company added 19 operations in the first quarter. That’s 42 new operations, totaling 4,640 beds, over the past 12 months, Keetch said. In total, those additions bring Ensign’s portfolio to 290 healthcare operations, 26 of which also include senior living operations, across 13 states. 

And the company is preparing for even more growth this year, Keetch said. 

Port said that Ensign is seeing positive results from the recent acquisitions and, therefore, the company is increasing its annual 2023 earnings guidance to between $4.64 and $4.77 per diluted share, up from $4.60 to $4.74 per diluted share. 

“This new midpoint of our 2023 earnings guidance represents an increase of 13.8% over our 2022 results and is 29.4% higher than our 2021 results,” he said. 

Additionally, Ensign is raising annual revenue guidance to between $3.68 billion and $3.73 billion, up from its previous guidance of $3.55 billion to $3.62 billion. 

“We are excited about the upcoming year and are confident that our partners will continue to manage and innovate through all the lingering challenges on the labor front,” Port said.

According to Ensigns Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Suzanne Snapper, the company’s liquidity remains strong, with approximately $327 million of cash on hand and $593.3 million of available capacity under its line of credit.