Brookdale Senior Living's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Brookdale Senior Living (BKD)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

May 03, 2012 9:30 am ET

Executives

Ross Roadman -

W. E. Sheriff - Chief Executive Officer and Director

Mark W. Ohlendorf - Co-President, Chief Financial Officer and Principal Accounting Officer

Analysts

Bryan Sekino - Barclays Capital, Research Division

Kristina Blaschek

Kevin M. Fischbeck - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Frank G. Morgan - RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Research Division

Dan Bernstein - Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc., Research Division

Presentation

Operator

Good morning. My name is Kimberly, and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Brookdale Senior Living First Quarter Earnings Call. [Operator Instructions] Thank you. I would now like to turn the conference over to Mr. Ross Roadman, Senior Vice President, Investor Relations. Please go ahead, sir.

Ross Roadman

Thank you, Kimberly. Good morning, everyone. I'd like to welcome you all to the first quarter 2012 earnings call for Brookdale Senior Living. Joining us today are Bill Sheriff, our Chief Executive Officer; Mark Ohlendorf, our Co-President and Chief Financial Officer; and Andy Smith, our Executive Vice President and General Counsel. This call is being recorded. The replay will be available through May 10, and the details on how to access that replay are in the earnings release. This call is also available via webcast on our website, www.brookdaleliving.com, for 3 months following the call.

I would also like to point out that today's -- that all statements today, which are not historical facts, may be deemed to be forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Actual results may differ materially from the estimates or expectations expressed in those statements. Certain of those factors that cause actual results to differ materially from Brookdale Senior Living's expectations are detailed in the earnings release we issued yesterday and in the reports we file with the SEC from time to time. I direct you to Brookdale Senior Living's earnings release for the full Safe Harbor statement.

With that, I'd like to turn the call over to Bill Sheriff. Bill?

W. E. Sheriff

Good morning, and welcome to our first quarter earnings call. The company performed well in the first quarter. While the macro environment for us was marked by mild weather and a mild flu season, the economy remained pretty uneven. And we did see the enactment of government reimbursement changes though the financial impact was as we had anticipated.

First, looking at occupancy. We increased quarter average occupancy by 60 basis points for the consolidated portfolio over the prior year. Significantly, our sequential average occupancy was flat with last quarter's 87.8%. During the first quarter, our attrition rate did tick up as this historically happens, but we produced higher move-ins to offset the losses. While the number of leads actually held pretty steady with 2011, we were able to produce a better inquiry to move-in close ratio than we've seen in the past couple of year -- first quarters. This was fairly uniform across all of our segments with loss holding steady from the prior quarter.

We continue to be focused on our sales execution. We talked previously about the impact of technology on the leads part of our business. In 2011, we saw a 72% increase in leads coming through the Internet, either from our website or others that carry our information such that it became almost 1/2 of our inquiry base. The conventional wisdom earned in the that inquiries is that those who have speed and persistence win the race. We feel we continue to lead with our efforts with technology, whether it's website design, Internet optimization, social media usage. We even have apps that can be downloaded on iPhones and Android platforms. We are working hard in continuing to innovate how we build our leads and execute closing them.

Looking at pricing, the pricing environment remained pretty consistent with the last several quarters. It is still competitive in a fair number of our markets, and so the increases in the peak rates remain muted. While we did raise in-place amounts on all of our freestanding assisted living communities in the first quarter at a level that approximate our expense increases. The revenue per unit increases in the quarter were in line with our expectations.

The first quarter Independent Living entry fee sales were good, given the quarter is typically the lowest of the year. We produced $15 million of gross entrance fee proceeds. Our refunds were, again, higher than normal but we still produced almost $7 million of net entry fee cash flow.

With the success we have had at pre-employing at the villages, the CCRC we opened in Q4 of 2009, we are now past the need to separately report the first-generation sales and refunds. Reemployment reached stabilization, a total occupancy of over 90% for the first quarter, up from 76% a year ago. We have had 240 sales in a community of 240 IL units, including a few Silent Generation sales.

Our ancillary services remain a vital part of the incremental cash flow we produce from providing services to our residents and more importantly, to our overall product strategy. We've had successfully accelerated our plans to roll out ancillary services to the Horizon Bay communities. We now have generated revenue at communities representing 5,000 formerly Horizon Bay units for home health and over 4,000 units for outpatient therapy. This gets us to approximately 50% of our expected coverage of Horizon Bay units with one of our services. Not only was the split trend expansion quite an accomplishment, but the total economic impact of all of these locations was close to breakeven. It will take several quarters, of course, to mature the results of these locations.

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