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DDR's CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

From a balance sheet perspective, we have obvious rating agency momentum and extended debt maturity profile and a significant debt to EBITDA decline to 7.26x on a consolidated basis and 7.74x on a pro rata basis. The bottom line when looking at the DDR story today is that we are still a bit of a contradiction. While our stock continues to trade as a high beta name, our operational performance and balance sheet are increasingly devoid of risk, and we are confident that our operations will continue to improve and our balance sheet will continue to de-risk moving forward.

All the above being said, we are under no illusions regarding the environment in which we operate. We all currently live in an economy impacted by quantitative easing, which artificially and temporarily provides the opportunity for businesses to correct deals of the past, improve the present and prepare for the future. As we continue our quest to further de-risk our balance sheet, we do so in acknowledgment of the fact that quantitative easing is not a policy that will last forever and financial opportunities will undoubtedly be more expensive in the future. As a result, we have pursued opportunistic refinancings, and in many cases have accelerated our plans in order to take advantage of current pricing rather than letting the market take advantage of us. Our goal is to keep it real, acknowledge the unique capital opportunity that currently exists and prepare ourselves for the future with balance and capacity. We have raised approximately $8 billion over the past 3 years, completely recapitalized our company and have taken advantage of the opportunity to dramatically improve our balance sheet, enhance our portfolio and grow our business. The current recovery is fragile at best, and absent a subsidized economy, growth is tepid. We understand that long-term investors are not fooled by short-term financial engineering, artificially inflated FFO growth or chronic spread investing at the expense of NAV. We also recognize that savvy investors know the difference between real growth and CapEx-induced growth. We absolutely believe that those who fail to seize the moment to enhance their portfolio quality and financial standing will present future opportunities for those of us currently pursuing a contrary strategy. Financial stability and a realistic view of today will lead to additional opportunity tomorrow.

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