Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD) narrowed its losses from $12 million in the third quarter of 2012 to just under $1 million for the same quarter in 2013, attributing its performance in part to the success of a recent rebranding campaign that the company says is paying off.
Brookdale reported a net loss of $967,000, or $0.01 per diluted common share, for the three months ending September 30, 2013, up from a net loss of $12.2 million, or $0.10 per share, compared to the same period in 2012.
Despite the third quarter loss, Brookdale reported strong uptick in cash flow from operations during the quarter.
CFFO was $75.2 million, or $0.61 per share, a 13.8% increase compared to CFFO of $66.1 million, or $0.54 per share, reported during the third quarter of 2012.
“This year-over-year improvement in both our consolidated and our same community results came through rate growth, occupancy gains and solid expense management,” said CEO Andy Smith during a third quarter earnings call Thursday.
The company also attributed the annual growth to its laser focus on improving sales and marketing functions, noting continued efforts toward its national branding campaign as a driver in ongoing operations.
“We continue to be excited about our national branding activation effort,” said Smith. “We believe that we have a meaningful opportunity to differentiate Brookdale in our communities in a marketplace that doesn’t have strong national brand.”
Brookdale announced the launch of its self-proclaimed “game-changing” branding campaign in May that featured televised advertisement on channels like CNN, Home and Garden TV and the Food Network as well as magazine placements in Better Homes & Gardens and Real Simple. Since then, the senior living provider said it has seen increasing activity in web and mobile traffic by as much as 66%.
Comparing data from the 150-day period of pre- and post-branding activation, Brookdale saw visits to its website increase 22%, while searches originating from mobile devices rose 96%, according to Smith during the third quarter earnings call. Additionally, prospects searching for information on a specific community via the company’s webpage also increased by 27%.
“Over time, we are confident that the name Brookdale will become top of mind for our prospective customers, and will come to symbolize the trusted provider of the highest quality, senior living solutions,” Smith said.
When asked during the earnings call if the company expects to see a bigger contribution from its branding campaign during the fourth quarter, in terms of occupancy increases, Smith acknowledged that Brookdales expects to “gradually improve all of the metrics” the company is currently tracking, including brand activation.
“We think the momentum will continue to build in terms of developing new leads, more inquiries, and producing greater conversion ratios, so that we’ll see greater move-ins,” Smith said.
As part of its increasing brand performance moving forward, Brookdale says it will continue working to develop a social media presence that will provide new channels for public advocacy of its communities, the company’s residents and their families.
Written by Jason Oliva