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Healthcare investment trust Ventas posts $651 million net income for 2016

Earnings per share rose to $1.88 in 2016, up from $1.23 in 2015; income spike partially due to lower office building, merger costs.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

Healthcare real estate investment trust Ventas posted net income exceeding $651 million in 2016, up sharply from the $419 million reported the year before, according to information from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. This capped off a year that saw a total shareholder return of 16 percent.

Ventas, whose holdings are comprised largely of senior living facilities and real estate, attributed much of its financial performance to an aging Baby Boomer population.

Earnings per share rose to $1.88 in 2016, up from $1.23 in 2015. The company's jump in net income is partially due to lower office building services costs -- just over $7 million in 2016, as opposed to about $26.5 million the year before -- and lower merger-related expenses. Mergers cost Ventas nearly $103 million in 2015, but just $24.6 million in 2016.

[Also: Ventas sells 36 skilled nursing facilities to Kindred for $700 million]

Revenues from office buildings and other services were down almost $20 million during that timeframe, but that was partially offset by $10 million more in revenue from interests and other income. Ventas also claimed close to $200 million more in income from continuing operations.

In total, Ventas posted assets of more than $23 million in 2016, a leap of almost $1 million from 2015.

The company invested about $1.5 billion in life science and innovation centers last year, with new tenants including Yale University, Duke University, Wake Forest University, Penn Medicine and Washington University.

[Also: Ventas to acquire Ardent Health Services for $1.75 billion]

Overall, Ventas' assets include senior housing facilities, acute care facilities, medical office buildings, life science and innovation centers and post-acute care properties. The company said private-pay senior housing accounts for more than half of its business.

Also in 2016, the company grew its acute care hospital platform, Ardent Health Services, by infusing it with $700 million to finance its acquisition of LHP Hospital Group, which was completed early this year. Ventas said Ardent is now a $3 billion business operating in six states.

Ventas said it spent $150 million last year on development and redevelopment projects. Its project pipeline for the next several years exceeds $500 million.

Twitter: @JELagasse

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