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IStar Financial's CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Now, I’d like to turn the call over to iStar’s Chairman and CEO, Jay Sugarman. Jay?

Jay Sugarman

Thanks, Jason, and thank you all for joining us on the call this morning. During the fourth quarter we continued our efforts to reposition and streamline the balance sheet. We sold substantially all our interest in Oak Hill Advisors at a gain and monetized other assets at or prior to maturity. We reduced overhead where possible and made investments where returns were being compelling. We continue to bring down leverage and are in the process of launching a new financing that will help address our 2012 debt maturity.

Our goal through all this is to enable us to maximize the value of our diversified portfolio of assets overtime and create a stronger foundation for the company. Now while the credits markets have firmed and real estate markets have nicely recovered, we still have a large percentage of assets that do not yet generate GAAP earnings. We continue to invest in many assets that require repositioning before their full value can be realized.

As a result we reported a net loss of $35 million for the quarter and a net loss of $62 million for the full year. Excluding depreciation and non-cash provisions and impairments, net income for the quarter was a positive $5 million and net income for the year was approximately positive $70 million. Liquidity remains solid at over $350 million in cash at the end of the year, helped by loan pre-payments and asset sales. We also continued selectively invest in both new opportunities and existing portfolio assets, spending just over $80 million during the quarter, with approximately $40 million coming from the new origination and senior debt acquisition, and the remainder representing add-on investments in existing portfolio assets.

Lastly, on the liability side of the balance sheet. We have seen strong performance in the secured collateral pool for our 2011 secured financing facility and believe this new 2012 secured financing facility we are launching will enjoy strong performance as well. These financings together with continued asset monetizations should give us a clear runway to focus on ways to enhance shareholder value throughout the rest of the year. And as we enter 2012, our goals are to better match our asset liability profile, attract capital to our successful net lease and financing businesses, and demonstrate the growing potential in our own real estate and land development platforms.

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