Move-ins for Capital Senior Living’s (NYSE: CSU) senior living communities are on track to hit a two-year watermark in March, signaling to the company’s executives that senior living demand is on the mend. At the same time, 87% of the company’s residents are fully vaccinated, and the company expects to finish out the rest of its vaccination clinics within two weeks.
Capital Senior Living also has a slimmed-down portfolio composed of properties that have historically been the Dallas-based operator’s top performers. Those properties need little to no significant capital expenditures in the short term, and the operator plans to spend about $1,200 per unit on CapEx this year, President and CEO Kim Lody said.
For Lody, these are all signs that the company’s three-year turnaround plan is bearing fruit, and it is even more evidence that the senior living operating environment is continuing to improve in 2021.
“Leading indicators of leads and tours began to rebound in December, and move-in and move-out trends began to stabilize and improve in the first quarter of 2021,” Lody said during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call with investors and analysts Wednesday. “March move-ins are tracking to be at the highest monthly level in more than two years, indicating that demand for senior living housing and services is beginning to rebound.”
Capital Senior Living reported a net loss of $20.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2020, which is less than the company’s net income of $10.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2019. Lody did not offer guidance for the full year of 2021, as was the case at other publicly traded senior housing companies in their fourth-quarter earnings reports this year, owing to pandemic-related uncertainty.
Capital Senior Living has 60 owned communities, and expects to have eight other communities under third-party management agreements once Welltower (NYSE: WELL) and Ventas (NYSE: VTR) complete a series of operator transitions by the end of the second quarter of this year.
Occupancy for the company’s senior housing portfolio was 74.2% in the fourth quarter of 2020, representing a drop of 190 basis points since the third quarter of last year. For the company’s 60 owned assets, occupancy sat at 76.1% as of Wednesday.
Revenue for the 60-property portfolio fell $4.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2020, representing a 7.7% decline versus the fourth quarter of 2019. Average rent for the operator’s 60 communities was $3,586 for the fourth quarter of 2020, representing relatively no change from the operator’s rate in 2019.
While Capital Senior Living lost 430 basis points of occupancy at its owned communities overall in 2020, executives analyzed disclosures from some of the company’s publicly traded peers, and believe the operator outperformed them.
“Others in the industry declined on average by 658 basis points [in 2020], making our performance approximately 35% better by comparison,” Lody said.
The company also reported a 41% vaccination rate among its employees, and Lody said the company would continue to inform and educate its workers about the benefits of the vaccine to bring that rate up.
Before the pandemic, Capital Senior Living’s 60 owned communities saw occupancy rates in the mid- and high-80% range, and margins in the mid-30% range. And if current trends continue and the operating environment stabilizes, Lody expects they will return to those levels of performance once again.
“We have stabilized the portfolio in the business, we have invested in our communities, our processes and our resident programs, we have nurtured our lead generation and sales processes,” Lody said. “And now we are ready to grow.”