Ventas Inc. Earnings Call Nuggets: Kindred Assets, Deal Pipeline

On Friday, Ventas Inc. (NYSE:VTR) reported its first quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call. Take a look.

Kindred Assets

Quentin Velleley – Citi: It’s Quentin here with Michael. Just sticking with Kindred assets firstly; once you’ve sort of moved to re-leasing those assets and given that your private pay portion of the portfolio is moving about 80%. I’m just wondering whether you sort of investigate selling out of that part of the business as you focus more on senior housing and medical office.

Debra A. Cafaro – Chairman and CEO: We’re very focused on maximizing the value of these assets. While we would consider potentially selected sales, our real focus is on re-leasing the assets to qualified healthcare providers and that’s the path that we are going down.

Quentin Velleley – Citi: Is there some point in the future once you sort of – you get them re-leased that you would investigate that you would think about selling them or are you comfortable having the nursing exposure and are you comfortable with the reimbursement risk?

Debra A. Cafaro – Chairman and CEO: Well, what we believe is it’s all about balance and diversification. We think that skilled nursing assets have an important place in the healthcare delivery system. So, we believe in the asset class. I will tell you that now that we have over 1,400 assets, I think we will be more active capital recyclers and more rigorous in our kind of disposition strategy and methodology. But overall, I think that it’s all about balance in the portfolio. Skilled nursing assets are an important part of the healthcare delivery system to seniors and so we’re not contemplating sort of a wholesale exit from the business. Just to repeat, I mean, we do intent to go down the path of re-leasing these 64 assets.

Deal Pipeline

Jana Galan – Bank of America Merrill Lynch: I guess also following up on the Kindred leases. How does given kind of Kindred’s change in strategy. How are you thinking about that next bundle of leases that you have expiring in 2014?

Debra A. Cafaro – Chairman and CEO: Actually those go through 2015, just to be clear. Look, I think that we’ll be happy to address that once we re-lease the 64. I am happy to do that. I think right now we are focused on having an excellent execution around our re-leasing project and these are good assets and they are profitable and we look forward to a good outcome.

Jana Galan – Bank of America Merrill Lynch: Then maybe just as you are reviewing the deal pipeline out there. Would the recent CMS proposals make you feel more comfortable about the public pay asset exposure and/or do you kind of like where you are now at the 80% private pay?

Debra A. Cafaro – Chairman and CEO: Well, certainly the focus of our investment activities has been on the private pay side and that’s been as Ray pointed our really great for our Company. I think you are discussing really the CMS preliminary rule that came out regarding long-term acute care hospitals earlier this week and not with a rule that had a uptick in spending for 2013 of about 1.9%, and that proposed rule subject to a 60 day common period and why is that fee, at the more positive end of our expectations for the 2013 Medicare reimbursement for LTACs. We were particularly pleased that CMS really endorsed the LTAC model in its proposed rule, and the rule may stay as it is or even get a little bit better in its final form. But again, it certainly is a positive development for LTACs in general and for the re-lease project.