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NHI Divests Skilled Nursing Facilities

Zacks Equity Research

National Health Investors, Inc. (NHI) announced the closure of its divestiture of 3 skilled nursing facilities in Texas. The facilities have been sold to an associate of Fundamental Long Term Care Holdings, LLC for $18.5 million. With a total of 484 beds, the average age of these 3 properties is 41 years.

National Health Investors has planned to postpone any tax gain recognition from this divestiture through the application of the like-kind exchange rules (under Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code). As a matter of fact, this healthcare real estate investment trust (:REIT) will carry on its lease agreement with Fundamental Long Term Care Holdings for 4 skilled nursing properties.

We expect this transaction to enhance National Health Investors’ financial flexibility and aid in profitable investment opportunities. Notably, the company has been focusing on diversifying its investments so as to lessen its dependence on revenue from governmental payers, primarily Medicare and Medicaid. These revenues are subject to annual statutory and regulatory changes, and in recent years, have been reduced due to federal and state budgetary pressures.

Instead, the company is tapping properties that do not rely mainly on Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, but rather on private pay sources. As such, last month, National Health Investors completed the buyout of 25 independent living facilities from an affiliate of Holiday Retirement for $491 million. These transactions bode well for the company’s long-term growth.

National Health Investors currently holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Apart from National Health Investors, other stocks worth considering in REIT-Equity Trust include Ventas, Inc. (VTR), Omega Healthcare Investors Inc. (OHI) and Medical Properties Trust Inc. (MPW). All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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