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The Ensign Group, Inc. Reports Third Quarter 2008 Earnings; Reaffirms 2008 Guidance
Date:10/30/2008

>He noted that the record third quarter performance builds on record first and second quarters, adding, "We believe that these results graphically reconfirm the fundamental strength in our basic business model. As our outstanding facility leaders and their teams continue market-by-market to improve clinical quality, serve more skilled residents, adjust quickly to changes on the ground and lead previously-underperforming facilities to higher levels, Ensign continues to perform in spite of economic conditions."

Chief Financial Officer Alan Norman reported that revenue was also impacted by the recent California budget delay. "Because of the late budget California, which accounts for about half of our operational beds, has not yet finalized its 2009 Medi-Cal rate increase which should have gone into effect August 1, and so no increase was booked during the period in our California facilities." He noted that if the final rate resulted only in a 2.0% increase, the assumption used to develop management's previously-issued guidance, total revenue would have climbed to $116.7 million, additional an additional $0.01 in earnings per fully diluted share for the quarter. "We expect the rate to be finalized soon, and we will pick up any retroactive reimbursement increase in the 4th quarter," he added.

Christensen also discussed Ensign's industry-low debt ratio and the strength in its balance sheet. "We have been steadily building this balance sheet to prepare for both difficult economic cycles as well as compelling acquisition opportunities, and we believe that we are seeing the convergence of both of these events now and in the coming months," he said. "We believe we are well-positioned to perform and grow during the current economic downturn."

Year-to-date EBITDAR improved 20.5% to $52.4 million, compared to $43.5 million in the first nine months of 2007. Year-to-date EBITDA improved 32.9% to $41.2 million, compared to $31.0 million in the first nine months
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SOURCE The Ensign Group, Inc.
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