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The Ensign Group Reports Quarterly Earnings Up 27%; Adjusted Earnings Of $0.61 Per Share; Issues 2013 Guidance

Stocks in this article: ENSG

Adjusted non-GAAP earnings for the quarter were $0.61 per diluted share, compared to $0.48 in the fourth quarter of 2011, an increase of 27.1%. Adjusted non-GAAP earnings for the year were $2.54 per diluted share, compared to $2.34 in 2011, an increase of 8.5%.

A discussion of the company's use of non-GAAP financial measures is set forth below. A reconciliation of net income to adjusted EBITDAR and adjusted 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-K, which was filed with the SEC today and can be viewed on the Company's website at .

2013 Guidance Issued

Management issued 2013 annual guidance, projecting revenues of $915 million to $931 million, and adjusted net income of $2.79 to $2.88 per diluted share for the year. The guidance is based on diluted weighted average common shares outstanding of 22.5 million and assumes, among other things, no additional acquisitions or dispositions beyond those made to date, the anticipated effects of sequestration followed by an anticipated Medicare rate increase in October 1, 2013, an approximately 1.0% increase in Medicaid reimbursement rates net of expected provider tax increases, and that tax rates do not materially increase. It excludes acquisition-related costs and amortization costs related to intangible assets acquired. It also excludes expenses related to the DOJ investigation, which can vary widely from quarter to quarter depending on the DOJ's activities and the required response by the Company, and any costs associated with an eventual settlement or litigation thereof if the matter is not otherwise resolved.

DOJ Investigation Progress

Explaining the $15 million reserve taken in the quarter, General Counsel Beverly Wittekind said, "Over the past months and years, as we have previously indicated, management and the special committee have been interacting with government representatives to advance the matter toward resolution. While the interactions continue, progress to date has allowed the conversation between our representatives and the government to move toward active settlement discussions." She further noted that the taking of the reserve is neither final nor a guarantee of a settlement, but rather represents an estimated liability related to the Company's efforts to achieve a global, company-wide resolution of any claims, if a settlement can be achieved. She also added that the ultimate settlement amount, if any, could differ materially from what has been recorded, and that it is impossible to predict the outcome of the investigation, further settlement discussions, or any litigation that might yet follow, and she directed investors to the more complete discussions of the matter contained in the company's 2012 10-K, for additional disclosures.

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