What happened

Shares of Brookdale Senior Living (BKD 4.54%) soared Friday, closing the trading session up by 11.1%. That big gain came after the company announced its first-quarter results after the market closed Thursday.

So what

Brookdale reported total Q1 revenue of $749.4 million. This result reflected a 26% year-over-year decline and was below the consensus Wall Street estimate of $764.4 million. The company also posted a net loss of $108.3 million, or $0.59 per share, down from earnings of $369.5 million, or $2.01 per share, in the prior-year period. The average analysts' estimate had been for a net loss of $0.50 per share.

So why did the healthcare stock jump after missing both top- and bottom-line expectations? Apparently, investors liked that Brookdale's outlook appears to be improving quite a bit.

Older man receiving a vaccine shot

Image source: Getty Images.

CEO Lucina Baier stated that occupancy at its senior communities had begun growing again by the end of the quarter. Net occupancy turned positive in March for the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and continued to look good in April. COVID-19 vaccines are helping -- the vaccine acceptance rate among Brookdale's residents is at 93%.

Now what

The company thinks that it will continue to experience positive momentum with respect to occupancy in Q2 and even stronger growth in Q3. It also projects that its pandemic-related expenses will fall by more than 50% sequentially in Q2.

Brookdale Senior Living isn't totally out of the woods yet after a year of challenges caused by COVID-19. However, the company's future appears to be brighter than it's been in quite a while.