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Ensign Group board OKs share buyback renewal

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MISSION VIEJO, Calif. (AP) — The Ensign Group Inc. is renewing a plan to repurchase up to $10 million of its common shares over the next year.

The Mission Viejo, Calif., company said Wednesday its board authorized it to buy back shares in the open market and in privately negotiated deals and block trades. The number of shares repurchased will depend on available cash.

Ensign provides urgent-care, assisted-living, rehabilitative and other services at 107 health care facilities, four hospice companies and six home health businesses mostly in the western United States.

The company said its strong balance sheet and the "untapped equity" of its real estate portfolio allow it to repurchase shares while continuing to buy skilled nursing and assisted living operations and hospice and home health agencies.

Ensign shares closed at $25.68 on Tuesday. They have traded in a 52-week range of $23.40 to $31.25.

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