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The Ensign Group Reports Second Quarter 2009 Earnings of $0.39 per Share; Reaffirms 2009 EPS Guidance

MISSION VIEJO, Calif., Aug. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Ensign Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: ENSG), the parent company of the Ensign(TM) group of skilled nursing, rehabilitative care services and assisted living companies, today reported record results for the second quarter of fiscal year 2009.


Quarter-over-Quarter Highlights Include:

  • Total revenue was a record $132.2 million, up 14.6% compared to $115.3 million for the second quarter of 2008;
  • Same-store skilled mix by revenue increased to 49.6%;
  • The company's average daily Medicare rate increased by 9.4% to $542 per patient day, an increase of $46 per patient day, as the company's overall patient base continued shifting to a higher acuity mix;
  • Consolidated EBITDAR climbed to $21.5 million, an increase of $3.8 million, with consolidated EBITDAR margins improving by 88 basis points to 16.2%, and same-store EBITDAR margins improving 123 basis points to 16.6%; and
  • Consolidated net income climbed 25.5% to a record $8.2 million, compared to $6.5 million the year before, with net margins increasing to 6.2% from 5.7%.

Operating Results

Ensign's President and Chief Executive Officer Christopher Christensen congratulated Ensign's facility leaders and their teams. "Despite muted occupancy and skilled mix growth in isolated areas, we are pleased to report that our same-store skilled mix nonetheless rose by 11 basis points, and earnings were up over 25%," he said. He attributed the record performance to the responsiveness of Ensign's local leaders to unique changes in their individual markets.

He also commented on the national debate over healthcare, the recently-announced reductions in Medicare payments to skilled nursing facilities, and recent declines in state Medicaid rates affecting several of the Company's facilities. "Our operators have proven again this quarter that our unique operating model is well suited to, and even thrives in, uncertain operating environments," he observed. He added that company leaders "expect, based on our history and experience, to continue delivering solid returns and superior patient outcomes regardless of changes in reimbursement or regulation."

Revenue and earnings growth occurred in the quarter despite same-store occupancy that remained relatively flat at 81%, and an overall census decline of 1.6%. This decline was largely the result of lower census in newly acquired facilities, whose average occupancy for the quarter was 66%. It was also affected by the temporary unavailability of beds at the company's Upland Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center in Southern California, which renovated a wing and reopened it as a new 34-bed subacute unit on June 4, 2009, and which is now in fill-up, as well as the continued build in occupancy at Park Manor Heath and Rehabilitation Center, the company's recently-expanded Walla Walla, Washington facility.

The company generated net cash from operations of $18.7 million in the six months ended June 30, 2009. Net operating assets and liabilities grew by $5.6 million in the first half of 2009, which was primarily attributable to the growth in accounts receivable as revenues grew, particularly in recently added facilities. Net cash used in investing activities during the first six months was $24.1 million, which was primarily related to business acquisitions and purchases of property and equipment.

Consolidated EBITDA grew by 28.9% for the quarter, or $4.0 million, to $17.7 million from last year's $13.7 million. EBITDAR climbed to $21.5 million from $17.7 million in the second quarter of 2008, an increase of $3.8 million.

Fully diluted GAAP earnings per share were $0.39 for the quarter, compared to $0.32 per share in the prior year. Excluding FAS 141R acquisition expenses and amortization of patient bases, adjusted net income was $8.3 million or $0.40 per diluted share. When acquiring existing operations, the acquired patient base is amortized over a period of six to eight months, resulting in a non-cash charge to earnings. During the quarter the company was still amortizing a portion of the acquired patient bases in the 670 operational beds at seven of its recent acquisitions.

A discussion of the company's use of non-GAAP financial measures is set forth below. A reconciliation of net income to EBITDAR and EBITDA, as well as a reconciliation of GAAP earnings per share and net income to adjusted net earnings per share and adjusted net income, appear in the financial data portion of this release.

More complete information is contained in the Company's 10-Q, which was filed with the SEC today and can be viewed on the Company's website at

2009 EPS Guidance Reaffirmed; Revenue Guidance Revised

In light of recently announced changes in Medicare and Medicaid rates which will not produce the assumed 2.0% rate increase that was used to set the company's previous 2009 revenue guidance, Management revised its 2009 annual revenue guidance by $7 million, to $536 million to $541 million. However, Management reaffirmed its previously-published net income guidance of $1.58 per share to $1.63 per share for the year. The guidance is based on diluted weighted average common shares outstanding of 21.5 million and assumes, among other things, no additional acquisitions or dispositions beyond those made to date, and essentially flat overall reimbursement.

Recent Highlights

On May 12, 2009, Ensign announced the appointment of Suzanne D. Snapper to succeed CFO Alan J. Norman. Ms. Snapper has been serving as Vice President-Finance to Ensign Facility Services, Inc., the Ensign subsidiary that operates the company's Service Center.

As Vice President-Finance, Ms. Snapper played a key role in taking the company public in 2007. She also oversaw the implementation of Ensign's internal controls over financial reporting. Prior to joining Ensign she was a senior manager at KPMG LLP, where she spent ten years providing audit services for public companies in the technology, transportation and quick serve restaurant industries. Ms. Snapper is a certified public accountant. She holds a B.A. in Accounting from California State University Fullerton.

Ms. Snapper's appointment became fully effective following the filing of the company's second quarter 2009 10-Q. Mr. Norman will stay on in an advisory capacity to provide continuity of information and other services.

On July 23, 2009, Ensign announced the appointment of Van R. Johnson to the Company's board of directors. Mr. Johnson has served for more than 38 years in leadership capacities with two of the United States' leading healthcare providers. He most recently served for 25 years at Sutter Health, a non-profit health system with hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and other healthcare operations in California and Hawaii, where he was President and CEO. He also served for 13 years with Intermountain Healthcare based in Salt Lake City, Utah in various roles. During his term as president and CEO of Sutter Health, Mr. Johnson presided over the dramatic expansion of its health system, and helped establish Sutter as an industry leader.

Mr. Johnson also served as a member of the board of directors of VISICU, Inc., a publicly-traded healthcare information technology company, from August 2007 until February 2008 when VISICU was acquired by Philips Holding USA Inc., a subsidiary of Koninklijke Philips Electronics. Mr. Johnson's term runs until the company's annual stockholder meeting in 2012.

Conference Call

A live webcast will be held on Friday, August 7, 2009, at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time (1:00 p.m. Eastern Time) to discuss Ensign's second quarter financial results. To listen to the webcast, or to view any financial or statistical information required by SEC Regulation G, please visit the Investors section of the Ensign website at The webcast will be recorded, and will be available for replay via the website until 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time on Friday, August 14, 2009.

About Ensign(TM)

The Ensign Group, Inc.'s operating subsidiaries provide a broad spectrum of skilled nursing and assisted living services, physical, occupational and speech therapies, and other rehabilitative and healthcare services for both long-term residents and short-stay rehabilitation patients at 70 care facilities in California, Arizona, Texas, Washington, Utah, Idaho and Colorado. Each of these facilities is operated by a separate, wholly-owned independent operating subsidiary that has its own management, employees and assets. References herein to the consolidated "Company" and "its" assets and activities, as well as the use of the terms "we," "us," "its" and similar verbiage are not meant to imply that The Ensign Group, Inc. has direct operating assets, employees or revenue, or that any of the facilities, the Service Center or the captive insurance subsidiary are operated by the same entity. More information about Ensign is available at

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995:

This press release contains, and the related conference call and webcast will include, forward-looking statements that are based on management's current expectations, assumptions and beliefs about its business, financial performance, operating results, the industry in which it operates and other future events. Forward-looking statements can often be identified by words such as "anticipates," "expects," "intends," "plans," "predicts," "believes," "seeks," "estimates," "may," "will," "should," "would," "could," "potential," "continue," "ongoing," similar expressions, and variations or negatives of these words. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding growth prospects, future operating and financial performance. They are not guarantees of future results and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results to materially and adversely differ from those expressed in any forward-looking statement.

These risks and uncertainties relate to the company's business, its industry and its common stock and include: reduced prices and reimbursement rates for its services; its ability to acquire, develop, manage or improve facilities, its ability to manage its increasing borrowing costs as it incurs additional indebtedness to fund the acquisition and development of facilities; its ability to access capital on a cost-effective basis to continue to successfully implement its growth strategy; its operating margins and profitability could suffer if it is unable to grow and manage effectively its increasing number of facilities; competition from other companies in the acquisition, development and operation of facilities; and the application of existing or proposed government regulations, or the adoption of new laws and regulations, that could limit its business operations, require it to incur significant expenditures or limit its ability to relocate its facilities if necessary. Readers should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements and are encouraged to review the company's periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Form 10-Q, which was filed today, for a more complete discussion of the risks and other factors that could affect Ensign's business, prospects and any forward-looking statements. Except as required by the federal securities laws, Ensign does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, changing circumstances or any other reason after the date of this press release.

              Condensed Consolidated Statements of Income
               (in thousands, except per share data)

                            Three Months Ended     Six Months Ended
                            --------------------  ------------------
                                    June 30,            June 30,
                            --------------------  ------------------
                              2009        2008      2009      2008
                              ----        ----      ----      ----
      Revenue               $132,178    $115,318  $262,463  $229,097
       Cost of services
        (exclusive of
        facility rent and
        depreciation and
        shown separately
        below)               105,290      92,633   209,489   184,067
       Facility rent-cost
        of services            3,724       3,948     7,425     7,947
       General and
        expense                5,417       4,971    10,378    10,063
       Depreciation and
        amortization           3,209       2,173     6,174     4,163
                               -----       -----     -----     -----
        Total expenses       117,640     103,725   233,466   206,240
      Income from
       operations             14,538      11,593    28,997    22,857
      Other income
       Interest expense       (1,141)     (1,169)   (2,469)   (2,370)
       Interest income            69         372       139       855
                                  --         ---       ---       ---
        Other expense, net    (1,072)       (797)   (2,330)   (1,515)
      Income before
       provision for
       income taxes           13,466      10,796    26,667    21,342
      Provision for
       income taxes            5,282       4,277    10,560     8,489
                               -----       -----    ------     -----
      Net income              $8,184      $6,519   $16,107   $12,853
                              ======      ======   =======   =======
      Net income per
       Basic                   $0.40       $0.32     $0.78     $0.63
                               =====       =====     =====     =====
       Diluted                 $0.39       $0.32     $0.77     $0.62
                               =====       =====     =====     =====
      Weighted average
       common shares
       Basic                  20,586      20,508    20,579    20,502
                              ======      ======    ======    ======
       Diluted                20,874      20,636    20,883    20,637
                              ======      ======    ======    ======

         Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets
                     (in thousands)

                                   June 30,     Dec 31,
                                     2009        2008
                                   --------     -------
      Cash and cash
       equivalents                 $33,687      $41,326
      Other current assets          69,023       63,092
                                    ------       ------
        Total current assets       102,710      104,418
    Property and equipment,
     net                           180,274      157,029
    Other assets                    31,698       35,454
                                    ------       ------
      Total assets                $314,682     $296,901
                                  ========     ========
    Liabilities and
     stockholders' equity
    Current liabilities:
      Current liabilities,
       excluding  current
       maturities of
       long-term debt              $57,831      $56,575
      Current maturities of
       long-term debt                1,064        1,062
                                     -----        -----
      Total current
       liabilities                  58,895       57,637
    Long-term debt-less
     current maturities             58,953       59,489
    Other long-term
     liabilities                   25,367        23,754
    Total stockholders'
     equity                       171,467       156,021
                                  -------       -------
      Total liabilities and
       stockholders' equity      $314,682      $296,901
                                 ========      ========

                    Reconciliation of Net Income to EBITDAR
                               (in thousands)

                                 Three Months       Six Months
                                     Ended            Ended
                                    June 30,         June 30,
                                 ------------      -------------
                                 2009     2008     2009     2008
                                 ----     ----     ----     ----
    Net income                 $8,184   $6,519  $16,107  $12,853
     expense, net               1,072      797    2,330    1,515
    Provision for
     income taxes               5,282    4,277   10,560    8,489
     amortization               3,209    2,173    6,174    4,163
                                -----    -----    -----    -----
    EBITDA                     17,747   13,766   35,171   27,020
     rent-cost of
     services                   3,724    3,948    7,425    7,947
                                -----    -----    -----    -----
    EBITDAR                   $21,471  $17,714  $42,596  $34,967
                              =======  =======  =======  =======

           Adjusted Condensed Consolidated Statements of Income
                  (In thousands, except per share data)

                       Three Months Ended          Six Months Ended
                         June 30, 2009              June 30, 2009
                 ---------------------------   ---------------------------
                             Non-                         Non-
                             GAAP                         GAAP
                    As      Adjust-     As         As    Adjust-       As
                 Reported    ments   Adjusted   Reported  ments     Adjusted
                 --------   -------  --------  ---------  ------    ---------

    Revenue       $132,178            $132,178  $262,463             $262,463
      Cost of
       of facility
       rent and
       and amortiz-
       ation shown
       below)      105,290             105,290   209,489 (101)(1)     209,388
       rent-cost of
       services      3,724               3,724     7,425                7,425
      General and
       expense       5,417               5,417    10,378               10,378
       amortization  3,209 (152)(2)      3,057     6,174 (375)(2)       5,799
                     -----  ------      -----      -----  -------       -----
         expenses  117,640    (152)    117,488   233,466    (476)     232,990
    Income from
     operations     14,538     152      14,690    28,997     476       29,473
    Other income
       expense      (1,141)             (1,141)   (2,469)              (2,469)
       income           69                  69       139                  139
                        --      --          --       ---      --          ---
         net        (1,072)             (1,072)   (2,330)              (2,330)
    Income before
     provision for
     income taxes   13,466     152      13,618    26,667     476       27,143
    Provision for
     income taxes    5,282    61(3)      5,343    10,560   190(3)      10,750
                     -----    ----       -----    ------   -----       ------
    Net income      $8,184      91      $8,275   $16,107     286      $16,393
                    ======      ==      ======   =======     ===      =======
    Net income per share:
      Basic          $0.40               $0.40     $0.78                $0.80
                     =====      ==       =====     =====     ===        =====
      Diluted        $0.39               $0.40     $0.77                $0.78
                     =====      ==       =====     =====     ===        =====
    Weighted average
     common shares
      Basic         20,586              20,586    20,579               20,579
                    ======      ==      ======    ======     ===       ======
      Diluted       20,874              20,874    20,883               20,883
                    ======      ==      ======    ======     ===       ======

    (1)  Represents acquisition related costs expensed during the first
         quarter under Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (SFAS) No.
         141(R), Business Combinations, which were previously capitalizable
         under SFAS 141.
    (2)  Represents amortization costs incurred during the three and six
         months ended June 30, 2009 related to patient base intangible assets
         acquired.  Patient base intangible assets are amortized over a period
         of fits to eight months, depending on the classification of the
         patients and the level of occupancy in a new acquisition on the
         acquisition date.
    (3)  Represent the tax impact of non-GAAP adjustments.

Discussion of Non-GAAP Financial Measures

EBITDA consists of net income before (a) interest expense, net, (b) provisions for income taxes, and (c) depreciation and amortization. EBITDAR consists of net income before (a) interest expense, net, (b) provisions for income taxes, (c) depreciation and amortization, and (d) facility rent-cost of services. The Company believes that the presentation of EBITDAR provides important supplemental information to management and investors to evaluate the Company's operating performance. The Company believes disclosure of adjusted non-GAAP net income and non-GAAP diluted earnings per share has economic substance because the excluded expenses are infrequent in nature and are variable in nature, or do not represent current cash expenditures. A material limitation associated with the use of these measures as compared to the GAAP measures of net income and diluted earnings per share is that they may not be comparable with the calculation of net income and diluted earnings per share for other companies in the Company's industry. These non-GAAP financial measures should not be relied upon to the exclusion of GAAP financial measures. For further information regarding why the Company believes that this non-GAAP measure provides useful information to investors, the specific manner in which management uses this measure, and some of the limitations associated with the use of this measure, please refer to the Company's Report on Form 10-Q filed today with the SEC. The Form 10-Q is available on the SEC's website at or under the "Financial Information" link of the Investor Relations section on Ensign's website.


SOURCE The Ensign Group, Inc.
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All rights reserved

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