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Essex Property Trust Management Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Stocks in this article: ESS

It is now my pleasure to introduce your host, Mr. Michael Schall, President and Chief Executive Officer for Essex Property Trust. Thank you. Mr. Schall, you may now begin.

Michael J. Schall

Thank you, operator, and welcome, everyone, to our second quarter 2012 earnings call. Erik Alexander and Mike Dance will follow me with brief comments on operations and finance, respectively; John Eudy and John Lopez are here for Q&A.

I'll cover the following 3 topics on the call: number one, Q2 results and market commentary; second, the investment market; and third, an update on California, California itself and the policies and political situation.

First topic, Q2 results and market commentary. Last evening, we reported core FFO of $1.66 per share for the second quarter of 2012, which was at the high end of the company's guidance range discussed on last quarter's call. We continue to see strong growth in Northern California and Seattle and an uneven recovery with pockets of strength in Southern California. Apartment conditions remain strong, demonstrated by same-store revenue and NOI growth of 6.3% and 9.2%, respectively. These results lead us to reiterate our expectation for a strong second half of 2012 and continuing into 2013, driven by limited supplies of housing and job growth that exceeds the national averages in Northern California and Seattle and is modestly below the national average in Southern California. We don't see a significant departure from this basic theme until at least 2014. Erik will discuss portfolio trends in greater detail.

Our research team tracks many of the major employers in our coastal markets for insights into hiring expectations and other trends that can affect apartments. While job growth has remained quite strong, there are several companies, including Hewlett-Packard, Yahoo! and Cisco, that have reported job reductions, along with restructuring programs. Still, other tech companies have missed analyst expectations and have reported slower earnings growth.

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