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Brookdale names Smith new CEO, reports 4Q loss

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Brookdale Senior Living Inc. has named its general counsel, T. Andrew Smith, to become the senior living facility operator's next CEO. He will replace retiring CEO Bill Sheriff in about a week.

The Nashville, Tenn., company also said Monday after markets closed that its fourth-quarter loss widened as operating expenses rose along with an increase in occupancy rates.

Smith joined Brookdale in 2006 and has managed the company's acquisitions, finance and strategic planning as well as legal affairs.

Brookdale said in August that Sheriff planned to retire after the company found a replacement. He had served as CEO since 2006. That announcement came a month after Brookdale said non-executive Chairman Wesley Edens had resigned his post but would remain on the board.

The company named Jeffrey Leeds as non-executive chairman in July.

Smith will take over as CEO on the first business day after Brookdale files its annual report with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Brookdale runs independent living, assisted living and dementia-care communities and continuing care retirement centers. It has 647 locations in 36 states.

The company lost $24.5 million, or 20 cents per share, in the three months that ended Dec. 31. That compares to a loss of $14.9 million, or 12 cents per share, in the final quarter of 2011. Revenue climbed 4 percent to $699.7 million.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected, on average, a loss of 7 cents per share on $670 million in revenue.

Brookdale said occupancy rates climbed in 16 of its top 20 markets during the quarter, which led to resident fee revenue growth. Facility operating expenses also climbed 7 percent to $417.2 million compared to the final quarter of 2011, mainly due to added costs from the occupancy increases.

The company also recorded a $19.3 million asset impairment expense in the quarter, up from $2 million in the prior year's quarter.

For the full year, Brookdale lost $65.6 million, or 54 cents per share, on $2.77 billion in revenue.

Its shares finished at $26.88 on Monday. Its shares have ranged from $14.99 to $28.37 over the past year.