Welltower Inc. (NYSE:HCN) Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Feb 22, 2018 • 10:00 am ET


Welltower Inc. (NYSE:HCN) Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Fourth Quarter 2017 Welltower Earnings Conference Call. My name is Nicole, and I will be your conference operator today. [Operator Instructions]

We will be facilitating a question-and-answer-session towards the end of this conference. [Operator Instructions]

Now, I would like to turn the call over to Tim McHugh, Vice President, Finance and Investments. Please go ahead, sir.

Tim McHugh

Thank you, Nicole. Good morning everyone, and thank you for joining us today to discuss Welltower's fourth quarter 2017 results and outlook for 2018. Following my brief introduction, you will hear prepared remarks from Tom DeRosa, CEO; Mercedes Kerr, EVP, Business and Relationship Management; Shankh Mitra, SVP, Investments; and John Goodey, EVP, CFO.

Before we begin, let me remind you that certain statements made during this conference call may be deemed forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Although, Welltower believes results projected in any forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, the Company can give no assurance those projected results will be attained.

Factors and risks that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are detailed in this morning's press release, and from time to time in the Company's filings with the SEC. If you did not receive a copy of the press release this morning, you may access it via the Company's website at welltower.com.

Before handing the call over to Tom, I want to highlight a few significant points regarding our 2017 results. One, we realized full year total portfolio average same-store growth of 2.7%, at the high end of our original guidance, driven again by the consistent outperformance of our senior housing operating portfolio.

Two, we continue to opportunistically take advantage of favorable capital markets through disposing of $1.5 billion of non-core assets and raising over $600 million through our DRIP and ATN programs at an average stock price just above $71 per share. And three, we have redeployed that capital in a very disciplined manner, extinguishing $1.4 billion of high coupon debt in preferred securities and recycling $1.2 billion into high quality acquisitions and developments, finishing the year with a well-capitalized balance sheet and a 94.2% private pay mix.

And with that, I will hand the call over to Tom for his remarks on the year and the quarter.

Tom DeRosa

Thanks, Tim. In the most challenging environment we have seen for weeks in a number of years, I am pleased to report Q4 2017 financial results, our outlook for 2018 and some important strategic initiatives that all speak to our optimism about the power of the Welltower platform. We run this business to be the most effective global capital and operating partner to the broad healthcare delivery landscape including senior housing and have not been afraid to make bold decisions regarding people, capital deployment, asset mix and operator alignment to ensure our ability to drive our strategy and deliver shareholder value for years to come.

Here are some highlights.