The leaders of the Blakeford at Green Hills senior housing community are looking into adding 60 independent-living units to its current offering of 124. The team led by CEO Van Cluck has hired consulting firm Dixon Hughes Goodman to study the project, which would start in the middle of next year at the earliest if approved. That information came our way Friday from analysts at Fitch Ratings, who have affirmed their rating and outlook for the $30 million in bonds the nonprofit Blakeford issue in 2012.
Blakeford has made significant investments in technology and created a tool that can monitor performance improvement online, which has also contributed to improved operations. Net operating margin of 16.8% in fiscal 2013 and 22% through the three month interim period ending March 31, 2014 has remained stable and above the 'BBB' category median of 9.9%.
David Lassiter, the senior vice president of corporate affairs at National HealthCare Corp., last Thursday took advantage of the pop in shares of the nursing home operator by selling 5,000 of his 37,000-plus shares. The move generated about $270,000 for Lassiter, who has been with the Murfreesboro-based company since 1995. NHC shares (Ticker: NHC) are up about 3 percent so far this year.
S&P Capital analyst Jeffrey Loo late last week cut his rating on the company from 'buy' to 'hold' and placed a $35 target on shares (Ticker: BKD) that ended the week at $34.20. Loo said his downgrade was based primarily on valuation but that he remains upbeat about Brookdale's longer-term prospects. Nevertheless, he added, “We expect near-term results to be impacted by Medicare reimbursement pressure and we see continued housing volatility and pressure on some ancillary services.”
Bill Sheriff, the former CEO of Brookdale Senior Living, has told the senior living company he will not stand for re-election to its board of directors at this year's annual shareholders' meeting. Sheriff led American Retirement Corp. before its 2005 merger with Brookdale and stepped down as CEO of the combined company early last year. Word of his decision to retire from Brookdale's board comes shortly after the company said current CEO Andy Smith had joined the board following the departure of two executives from Fortress Investment Group.
Long-term care provider Diversicare Healthcare Services announced the company has acquired the operations of a skilled nursing center in Nicholasville, Kentucky, south of Lexington.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed in a release. Aviv REIT has acquired the 73-bed facility, which Diversicare will lease and rebrand as Diversicare of Nicholasville. The company reports the acquisition is expected to contribute more than $4.5 million in annual revenues.
"Over the past 24 months we have integrated 14 new facilities," said Kelly Gill, Diversicare CEO. "These numerous facility integrations have provided us with tremendous experience that allows us to integrate new additions quickly and efficiently onto our operating platform. Our experienced integration team allows the operating managers of newly acquired facilities to better remain focused on improving quality of care."
Shares of Diversicare (Ticker: DVCR) fell about 2 percent Wednesday to $6.64. Year to date, they are up about 40 percent.
National Health Investors has tapped its revolving credit line to the tune of $11.5 million to buy a 56-unit assisted living community in Sacramento, California. The private-pay facility, which was built in 1999, specializes in memory care services and is 94 percent occupied. NHI has contracted with Chancellor Health Care to manage the facility.
Mark Montagna at Avondale Partners isn't convinced Genesco's results will improve markedly during the second half of the company's fiscal 2015 and beyond. Several fashion trends — or the clear lack thereof — are working against the shoe and hat retailer, he says, and the rollout of its lower-margin Locker Room chain will hurt profits. But he expects the company will keep its premium valuation, which now is about 14 times earnings, and has hiked his price target to $77 from $70. That leaves about 5 percent of upside for Genesco (Ticker: GCO), which is up slightly year to date.
Jefferies analyst Brian Tanquilut has begun covering shares of Brookdale Senior Living with a 'buy' rating and a price target of $40, which is more than 20 percent above where the stock (Ticker: BKD) now trades. Tanquilut likes the growth prospects of senior housing in general and says the planned acquisition of Emeritus "will yield better-than-expected synergies and incremental equity value as the combined entity puts up healthy growth and exerts its market power."
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