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San Clemente, CA-based CareTrust REIT began the year with strong investment activity, according to executives. The real estate investment trust completed investments of $118.8 million during the first quarter quarter, and a total of $206.5 million in investments year to date.

“Because the pipeline continues to replenish itself, we continue to position the balance sheet to capitalize on the consistent, steady flow of attractive investment opportunities and sourced, ‘off-market’ acquisitions in front of us,” CareTrust President and CEO Dave Sedgwick stated in a press release issued in conjunction with a Friday earnings call. “The replenished investment pipeline sits today at roughly $260 million, not including larger portfolio deals under review.”

The REIT reported selling 11.6 million shares in the first quarter under its at-the-market, or ATM, program, for gross proceeds of $273.2 million. 

“We have continued to use our ATM program to take advantage of a current cost of equity that allows us to fund a replenishing pipeline of accretive investment opportunities,” Chief Financial Officer Bill Wagner said.

The company also reported that it collected 98% of contractual rent and interest during the quarter.

According to Wagner, during the first quarter, the REIT had net income of $28.7 million, or $0.22 per diluted weighted-average common share; normalized funds from operation of $46.5 million, or $0.35 per diluted weighted-average common share; and normalized funds available for distribution of $48.7 million, or $0.37 per diluted weighted-average common share. 

The REIT, Wagner added, has nothing outstanding on its $600 million revolving credit line, with no scheduled debt maturities before 2026 and approximately $345 million in cash on hand.

CareTrust also updated guidance for 2024. Wagner projected, on a per-diluted weighted-average common share basis, net income of approximately $1.01 to $1.03, normalized FFO of approximately $1.42 to $1.44, and normalized FAD of approximately $1.46 to $1.48. He noted that the 2024 guidance is based on a diluted weighted-average common share count of 140 million shares.

During the quarter, CareTrust increased its quarterly dividend from $0.28 to $0.29 per common share. On an annualized basis, the payout ratio was approximately 83% based on first-quarter normalized FFO and 78% based on normalized FAD, according to the company. 

For additional coverage of the earnings call, see McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Long-Term Care News.