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The Ensign Group, Inc. Reports Fourth Quarter 2008 Earnings of $0.38 per Share; Issues 2009 Guidance
Date:2/18/2009

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Commenting on the results, Ensign President and Chief Executive Officer Christopher Christensen said, "Notwithstanding the challenges in the wider economy, we are pleased to be reporting record earnings and continued growth in our operations." He attributed the company's continuing success largely to the efforts of Ensign's 200-plus owner-leaders, who "continue to improve clinical quality, serve more skilled residents, adjust quickly to changing economic environments, and lead previously underperforming operations to higher levels."

Referring to the company's prior comments regarding anticipated acquisition opportunities in the current economic cycle, Mr. Christensen noted that the company has acquired seven very compelling facilities since its last earnings release.

"We are particularly pleased to report our recent expansion into the important state of Colorado," he said. On February 1, Ensign acquired a portfolio of four facilities in the Denver metro market. "These outstanding facilities and, more importantly, the wonderful leaders we've been fortunate to retain with them, will be an excellent platform for further expansion into Colorado and neighboring states," he added. The company expects the Colorado facilities to be accretive to earnings in 2009. Additional facilities were acquired in California, Texas and Utah.

Mr. Christensen also discussed Ensign's balance sheet and its industry-low debt ratio, noting that the company's adjusted net-debt-to-EBITDAR ratio is less than 2.0x. As of December 2008, cash and cash equivalents were $41.3 million, which excludes approximately $10.1 million in additional cash which was held in escrow on December 31 to complete two then-pending January 1, 2009 acquisitions. The company generated net cash from operations of $46.7 million for the year. Net cash used in investing activities for the year was $50.9 million, which was primarily related to purchases of pr
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SOURCE The Ensign Group, Inc.
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