I will also remind you that some of the statements made during this call will include forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Federal Securities law. Although Liberty believes the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, we can give no assurance that these expectations will be achieved. As forward-looking statements, these statements involve risks, uncertainties, and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the expected results, risks that were detailed in the issued press release, and from time-to-time in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company assumes no obligation to update or supplement forward-looking statements that become untrue because of subsequent events.
Bill, would you like to begin?
Thank you, Jeanne and good afternoon everyone. First quarter represented a good start for Liberty in 2012 and was consistent with our budget and plans for the year. We leased 4.3 million square feet in the quarter, our renewal rate declined from the fourth quarter to 56% consistent with our historical cycles and plan for the year. Occupancy declined as expected for the first half of the year to 90.5%. We continue to improve the company's financial position through the redemption of high dividend preferred securities. These transactions resulted in a one-time gain which has led us to revise our guidance upward to $2.50 to $2.65 a share. George will walk you through the details of that in a moment. Subsequent to quarter's end, we completed our sale of 49 properties for $195 million. We have now exited 5.5 million square feet of suburban office and high-finish flex in the last five quarters, significantly advancing our strategy of increasing Liberty's industrial and metro office product, while decreasing our suburban office product. This transaction also represents an inflection point going forward in Liberty's strategy execution. We will be moving from emphasizing an approach of subtraction i.e. suburban office sales to an approach of addition i.e. through acquisitions and development.