Ventas, Inc. (NYSE:VTR) Q4 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript
Feb 08, 2019 • 10:00 am ET
Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Q4 2018 Ventas Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question-and-answer session and instructions will be given at that time. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.
I would now like to turn the call over to Juan Sanabria. You may begin.
Thanks, Michelle. Good morning and welcome to the Ventas conference call to review the Company's announcement today regarding its results for the year and quarter ended December 31, 2018. As we start, let me express that all projections and predictions and certain other statements to be made during this conference call may be considered forward-looking statements within the meanings of the federal securities law.
The Company cautions that these forward-looking statements are subject to many risks, uncertainties and contingencies, and stockholders and others should recognize that actual results may differ materially from the Company's expectations, whether expressed or implied. Ventas expressly disclaims any obligation to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements to reflect any changes in expectations.
Additional information about the factors that may affect the Company's operations and results is included in the Company's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017 and the Company's other SEC filings. Please note that quantitative reconciliations between the non-GAAP financial measures referenced on this conference call and its most directly comparable GAAP measures, as well as the Company's supplemental disclosure schedule are available on the Investor Relations site on our website www.ventasreit.com.
I will now turn the call over to Debra A. Cafaro, Chairman and CEO of the Company.
Debra A. Cafaro
Thank you, Juan. We're very happy to have you join us on this side of the table for your first call. And good morning to all of our shareholders and other participants, and welcome to the Ventas year-end 2018 earnings call.
I am delighted also to be joined on today's call by my outstanding Ventas colleagues. In 2018, Ventas extended its two-decade track record of sustained excellence. We delivered positive total return to our shareholders, substantially outperforming both the REIT Index and the S&P 500. We increased our dividend, harvested proceeds from successful investments that we redeployed to enhance balance sheet strength and invest in future growth. We added selective premier private pay assets to our portfolio and we built a high-quality research and innovation development pipeline, exceeding $1.5 billion with leading research universities. Importantly, we also enhanced and expanded our relationships with key industry partners, Wexford, PMB, Ardent, Atria and Sunrise during the year. And we crafted new beneficial arrangements with care providers, including Brookdale and ESL.
In addition to achieving these strategic objectives, we also delivered on our financial goals. 2018 normalized FFO per share was $4.07 at the high-end of our improved expectations on a best-in-class balance sheet. During the year, we were gratified that our team and our Company were recognized repeatedly for our track record of