Healthcare REITs Exposed to this Top Independent Living Tenant

chart01Last week, we showcased Genesis Healthcare, one of the largest providers of skilled nursing (SNF) in the United States. We discussed how a single operator could have a tremendous impact on multiple healthcare REITs. Genesis is such a sizeable tenant that they influence the bottom line of Omega Healthcare, LTC Properties, and Welltower. Today we will be featuring Holiday Retirement, another operator in the healthcare segment.

With over 300 senior living communities, Holiday Retirement is one of the largest providers of independent living in the U.S. Along with New Senior Investment Group, a healthcare REIT, Holiday is under the wing of Fortress Investment Group, LLC. Fortress is a global, publicly traded investment management firm with approximately $71 billion in AUM.

In addition to New Senior, Holiday has lease agreements with Ventas (NYSE:VTR), Sabra Health Care REIT (NasdaqGS:SBRA), and National Health Investors Inc.(NYSE:NHI).

Unlike Genesis Healthcare, Holiday is not publicly traded. Due to this fact we certainly cannot paint the entire picture. That being stated, we do know that Holiday’s founder sold the company to Fortress in 2007, and is set to mature as an investment in 2017. In addition, Fortress reduced the company’s assets by fifty-percent from 2013 to 2015. As you will notice the business sold many of their properties to REITs.

Is Independent Living Dependent On Medicare/Medicaid?

According to the above-mentioned REITs, we can infer that most independent living facilities do not have the high levels of exposure to both Medicare and Medicaid. These types of properties, different from SNFs, are subject to less government regulation due to the fact that they rely on private sources. On the other hand, when being compared to SNFs, independent living facilities share the exact same level of competitiveness resulting in the potential that their rent coverage may be thin.

What Is Their Exposure?

Holiday encompasses 76% of New Senior’s net operating income. Blue Harbor, a company that is also manages senior living properties and is a part of Fortress Group, covers an additional 12%. Together, these two companies consist of over 88% of New Senior’s net operating income. Based on that reason alone, any investment in New Senior is also highly concentrated in both Fortress and its funds.

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Holiday is a Ventas’ top tenant contributing 3% of net operating income. They certainly have been a contributing factor by increasing Ventas’s current footprint to 786 senior housing communities. In 2014 alone, Ventas acquired 29 senior housing communities in Canada from Holiday Retirement. This transaction is referred to as the Holiday Canada Acquisition.

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Holiday is Sabra Health Care’s second largest tenant. In fact, 17% of Sabra’s annualized revenues have been generated directly from a master lease with Holiday. In 2014, Sabra added 21 independent living facilities from Holiday. These properties are located in fifteen states, and have lease terms of 15 years.

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Holiday is a significant tenant for National Health Investors, encompassing 21% of their total rental income. In December 2013, National Health acquired 25 independent living facilities from an affiliate of Holiday. The company was able to ink a master lease term of 17 years.

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Source: New Senior Investment Group In(NYSE:SNR), Ventas (NYSE:VTR), Sabra Health Care REIT (NasdaqGS:SBRA), National Health Investors Inc.(NYSE:NHI).

Disclaimer: This newsletter is not engaged in rendering tax, accounting, or other professional advice through this publication. No statement in this issue is to be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any security or other investment. Please do your own due diligence before making any investment decision. Some information presented in this publication has been obtained from third-party sources considered to be reliable. Sources are not required to make representations as to the accuracy of the information, however, and consequently the publisher cannot guarantee accuracy.

Disclosure: The author has no positions in any shares mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

This Healthcare REIT Share Price Hasn’t Taken Off Yet

chart02In hopes of a stock rebound, activist Levin Capital Strategies made an agreement with the externally managed healthcare REIT, New Senior Investment Group, last month. This is just another development by an activist in a market that has seen several stocks become underappreciated by sellouts in 2015 and has never recovered.

In addition to agreeing to add an independent board member, Levin Capital will not object to board director nominees at the next annual meeting. When Levin complained about New Senior’s stock performance last September, they owned 6.5% of New Senior; since then, they have likely not profited from them yet.

chart05New Senior Investment Group is externally managed. In November 2014, Fortress Investment Group LLC spun off New Senior Investment Group from one of its publicly traded funds, Newcastle Investment Group, hoping that the aggregate market value of both companies would be higher.

Nevertheless, the share price hasn’t taken off. In fact, last year the stock dropped by 40%, the worst performance among healthcare REITs. On the other hand, assets saw a 50% increase and debt level almost doubled. It appears that the management pushed the boundaries last year.

chart01Their share price performance has followed trends similar to other externally managed REITs, such as NorthStar Realty Finance and Ashford Trust. Interestingly, Levin also owns shares of NorthStar Realty Finance.

Despite its short history as a standalone company and being externally managed, New Seniors does have good things going for it. The defensive sector stock currently has the highest yield among healthcare REITs and its dividend payout to AFFO is below 90%.

For those who don’t like investments dependent on Medicaid and Medicare, New Senior sources their revenues primarily from private sources. They invest in independent living and assisted living/ memory care facilities. In a spectrum between minimal and intensive care, they are situated in the middle.

New Senior’s portfolio is composed of managed and triple net lease properties. In managed properties, the company has direct participation in the cash flow of the facilities. In Q4 2015, managed properties occupancy has advanced by 310 basis points year over year, and triple net lease properties occupancy has increased by 110 basis points. Like many, their triple net lease tenants don’t have much room to cover rental payments, EBITDARM is around 1.28x.

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Additionally, AFFO per share increased 58% in Q4 2015 year over year. Their AFFO multiple is around 8.4x, as opposed to the sector median of 16x.

What concerns us most is that their total debt to total enterprise has reached 71%, which is high. Management is well aware of the leverage level, but they don’t seem to be too concerned about it. While they are selling some properties, they prioritized stock repurchases for now, where they can extract higher cap rates (even more than buying properties, according to management). As of now, their debt hasn’t been rated by major credit agencies, so it’s difficult to know exactly where they stand.

chart04In conclusion, we believe that New Senior does have some very good qualities, but they also have very bad ones. Given its share price discount and the existence of an activist as a catalyst of change, we are placing this on our activist/speculative bucket.

Source: New Senior Investment Group (NYSE:SNR), SEC

Disclaimer: This newsletter is not engaged in rendering tax, accounting, or other professional advice through this publication. No statement in this issue is to be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any security or other investment. Please do your own due diligence before making any investment decision. Some information presented in this publication has been obtained from third-party sources considered to be reliable. Sources are not required to make representations as to the accuracy of the information, however, and consequently the publisher cannot guarantee accuracy.

Disclosure: The author has no positions in any shares mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.