Cafaro: Consistent execution drives Ventas' success.

CHICAGO-Ventas Inc. capped a year of accretive investment with its best-ever showing for funds from operations, the healthcare REIT reported Friday. Normalized FFO reached $4.14 per diluted common share, or $1.2 billion in total, for the 12 months that ended Dec. 31, 2013, a 9% gain year over year.

Debra A. Cafaro, chairman and CEO of Ventas, calls ’13 “another outstanding year,” one that also saw the company drive cash flows from operations to a new high of $1.2 billion, up 20% Y-O-Y. Further, Ventas last year increased its dividends by 10%, during a period that saw the company “maintaining financial strength and flexibility and executing our strategy consistently,” adds Cafaro.

The REIT attributes its performance to $1.8 billion of investments last year, full-year results from its 2012 acquisitions, strong same-store growth in the 235 seniors housing properties managed by Atria Senior Living and Sunrise Senior Living, rental increases from its triple-net lease portfolio and lower weighted average interest rates. Ventas added two more seniors communities to its portfolio in Q4.

Looking ahead, Ventas on Friday projected 2014 normalized FFO per diluted share, excluding the impact of unannounced acquisitions, divestitures and capital transactions, of between $4.31 and $4.37. That guidance range represents growth of approximately 5.5% to 7% per share.

Ventas in Q4 also lined up a new $3-billion unsecured credit facility, with a balloon feature that allows it to expand its borrowing to $3.5 billion. For more insight into the company’s success and how Cafaro has approached her leadership role as she built the company into one of the REIT world’s biggest players, check out this Real Estate Forum profile of the CEO and her mentor, Shelli Rosenberg.