The owners of National Health Investors have denied their board and management's request to more than double the number of shares the company can issue.
Officials at Murfreesboro-based NHI had asked investors to boost to 100 million from 40 million the number of authorized shares available to them as they seek to grow the company. The company has about 28.1 million shares outstanding. In their recent proxy, NHI officials had called the option to issue more stock "essential for the Company to successfully pursue its investment strategy" and said it would help them consider acquisitions as well as stock offering, dividends and the like.
But the proposal fell short, getting 63.1 percent of the votes outstanding when it needed two-thirds of that number.
The denial of a proposal that usually is a gimme for public companies won't affect NHI's growth plans in the near future, said Roger Hopkins, the company's chief accounting officer, in an email to NashvillePost.com.
"Our near-term capital plan is to deploy debt capital to grow and take advantage of our low leveraged balance sheet," Hopkins wrote.
NHI finished the first quarter with $95.3 million of debt, which amounted to just 21 percent of its equity. The team led by CEO Justin Hutchens has in the past year or so ramped up its financing activities to fuel a more ambitious acquisition strategy.
Shares of NHI (Ticker: NHI) were down slightly to $49.45 on Wednesday afternoon. They're up about 12 percent so far this year.