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The Ensign Group Reports Record Quarter; Raises Guidance

Saturday, August 7, 2010 Corporate News J E 4
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MISSION VIEJO, Calif., Aug. 6 The Ensign Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: ENSG), the parent company of the Ensign(TM) group of skilled nursing, rehabilitative care services, home health, hospice care and assisted living companies, today reported record results for the second quarter of 2010.

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Financial Highlights Include:

Operating Results

Ensign's President and Chief Executive Officer Christopher Christensen praised Ensign's operational leaders and their teams for the outstanding quality standards maintained during the quarter, noting that financial performance follows clinical excellence. "We understand that our patients, our staff and our business all benefit from one essential thing: high quality care," he said.

He also remarked on progress in the 19 facility acquisitions completed by the Company in 2009 and 2010 to date, noting that all but one are already profitable, and nearly all are running at or ahead of proforma since acquisition. He also reported that Horizon Home Health and Hospice, Ensign's Idaho home health and hospice business which was acquired on May 1, is seeing a surge in census and is also running ahead of proforma.

Mr. Christensen also referenced Ensign's balance sheet and its industry-low adjusted net-debt-to-EBITDAR ratio of approximately 2.1x. He further noted that the company continues to generate strong cash flow, with net cash from operations of $14.9 million through June 30, 2010. "Our balance sheet, together with our accumulated operating and turnaround expertise, position us well to continue our pattern of disciplined growth," he added.

Fully diluted GAAP earnings per share were $0.46 for the quarter, compared to $0.39 per share in the prior year. Excluding $0.1 million in acquisition expenses and amortization of recently-acquired patient bases, adjusted net income was $9.7 million or $0.46 per diluted share for the quarter.

A discussion of the company's use of non-GAAP financial measures is set forth below. A reconciliation of net income to EBITDAR and EBITDA, as well as a reconciliation of GAAP earnings per share and net income to adjusted net earnings per share and adjusted net income, appear in the financial data portion of this release.

More complete information is contained in the Company's 10-Q, which was filed with the SEC today and can be viewed on the Company's website at http://www.ensigngroup.net.

2010 Guidance Increased

Management increased its 2010 annual guidance, projecting revenues of $628 million to $638 million, and net income of $1.79 to $1.83 per diluted share for the year. The guidance is based on diluted weighted average common shares outstanding of 21.4 million and assumes, among other things, no additional acquisitions or dispositions beyond those made to date, and an aggregate 1.0% projected decline in overall reimbursement rates. It also assumes that tax rates do not materially increase, and no negative impact associated with the implementation of RUGs IV and MDS 3.0.

Quarter Highlights

During the quarter, the company's Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.05 per share of Ensign common stock. Ensign has been a dividend-paying company since 2002.

The company also announced the acquisition of two long-term care facilities and a home health and hospice business in two separate transactions during the quarter. The real estate and operations were purchased with cash, and include:

The two facility acquisitions brought Ensign's growing portfolio to 81 facilities, 51 of which are Ensign-owned, with Ensign affiliates holding purchase options on eight of Ensign's 30 leased facilities. Ensign also owns one home health and two hospice businesses. Management reaffirmed that Ensign is actively seeking additional opportunities to acquire both well-performing and struggling long-term care operations across the Western United States.

Conference Call

A live webcast will be held on Tuesday, August 10, 2010, at 8:00 a.m. Pacific Time (11:00 a.m. Eastern Time) to discuss Ensign's second quarter results. To listen to the webcast, or to view any financial or statistical information required by SEC Regulation G, please visit the Investors section of the Ensign website at http://investor.ensigngroup.net. The webcast will be recorded, and will be available for replay via the website until 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time on Tuesday, August 17, 2010.

About Ensign(TM)

The Ensign Group, Inc.'s independent operating subsidiaries provide a broad spectrum of skilled nursing and assisted living services, physical, occupational and speech therapies, home health and hospice services, and other rehabilitative and healthcare services for both long-term residents and short-stay rehabilitation patients at 81 facilities, two hospice companies and a home health business in California, Arizona, Texas, Washington, Utah, Idaho and Colorado. Each of these facilities is operated by a separate, wholly-owned independent operating subsidiary that has its own management, employees and assets. References herein to the consolidated "Company" and "its" assets and activities, as well as the use of the terms "we," "us," "its" and similar verbiage are not meant to imply that The Ensign Group, Inc. has direct operating assets, employees or revenue, or that any of the facilities, the hospice business, the Service Center or the captive insurance subsidiary are operated by the same entity. More information about Ensign is available at http://www.ensigngroup.net.

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995:

This press release contains, and the related conference call and webcast will include, forward-looking statements that are based on management's current expectations, assumptions and beliefs about its business, financial performance, operating results, the industry in which it operates and other future events. Forward-looking statements can often be identified by words such as "anticipates," "expects," "intends," "plans," "predicts," "believes," "seeks," "estimates," "may," "will," "should," "would," "could," "potential," "continue," "ongoing," similar expressions, and variations or negatives of these words. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding growth prospects, future operating and financial performance. They are not guarantees of future results and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results to materially and adversely differ from those expressed in any forward-looking statement.

These risks and uncertainties relate to the company's business, its industry and its common stock and include: reduced prices and reimbursement rates for its services; its ability to acquire, develop, manage or improve facilities, its ability to manage its increasing borrowing costs as it incurs additional indebtedness to fund the acquisition and development of facilities; its ability to access capital on a cost-effective basis to continue to successfully implement its growth strategy; its operating margins and profitability could suffer if it is unable to grow and manage effectively its increasing number of facilities; competition from other companies in the acquisition, development and operation of facilities; and the application of existing or proposed government regulations, or the adoption of new laws and regulations, that could limit its business operations, require it to incur significant expenditures or limit its ability to relocate its facilities if necessary. Readers should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements and are encouraged to review the company's periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Form 10-Q, which was filed today, for a more complete discussion of the risks and other factors that could affect Ensign's business, prospects and any forward-looking statements. Except as required by the federal securities laws, Ensign does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, changing circumstances or any other reason after the date of this press release.





Discussion of Non-GAAP Financial Measures

EBITDA consists of net income before (a) interest expense, net, (b) provisions for income taxes, and (c) depreciation and amortization. EBITDAR consists of net income before (a) interest expense, net, (b) provisions for income taxes, (c) depreciation and amortization, and (d) facility rent-cost of services. The Company believes that the presentation of EBITDA and EBITDAR provides important supplemental information to management and investors to evaluate the Company's operating performance. The Company believes disclosure of adjusted non-GAAP net income and non-GAAP diluted earnings per share has economic substance because the excluded expenses are infrequent in nature and are variable in nature, or do not represent current cash expenditures. A material limitation associated with the use of these measures as compared to the GAAP measures of net income and diluted earnings per share is that they may not be comparable with the calculation of net income and diluted earnings per share for other companies in the Company's industry. These non-GAAP financial measures should not be relied upon to the exclusion of GAAP financial measures. For further information regarding why the Company believes that this non-GAAP measure provides useful information to investors, the specific manner in which management uses this measure, and some of the limitations associated with the use of this measure, please refer to the Company's Report on Form 10-Q filed today with the SEC. The Form 10-Q is available on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov or under the "Financial Information" link of the Investor Relations section on Ensign's website at http://www.ensigngroup.net.

-- Adjusted earnings were a record $0.46 per diluted share, up 15.0% over the second quarter of 2009; -- Total revenue was a record $157.9 million, up 19.5% on a consolidated basis; -- Same-store skilled mix increased by 284 basis points to 52.9%; -- Same-store skilled revenue increased by 10.4%; -- Consolidated EBITDAR climbed 19.9% to $25.7 million, with consolidated EBITDAR margins of 16.3%; and -- Net income rose 17.5% to $9.6 million for the quarter.

SOURCE The Ensign Group, Inc.
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