Education Realty Trust, Inc. (EDR)

Q2 2010 Earnings Conference Call

July 22, 2010 5:00 pm ET


Randy Churchey - President & CEO

Randy Brown - EVP, CFO, Treasurer & Secretary

Tom Trubiana - EVP & CIO


Steve Swett - Morgan, Keegan & Company, Inc.

Paula Poskon - Robert W. Baird

Michael Levy - Macquarie Research Equities

Karin Ford - Keybanc Capital Markets

Alexander Goldfarb - Sandler O’Neill & Partners L.P.

Michelle Ko - BofA Merrill Lynch

Anthony Paolone - JPMorgan

Andrew McCulloch - Green Street Advisors

Michael Levy - Macquarie Research Equities



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Previous Statements by EDR
» Education Realty Trust, Inc. Q1 2010 Earnings Call Transcript
» Education Realty Trust Inc. Q3 2009 Earnings Call Transcript
» Education Realty Trust Inc. Q4 2008 Earnings Call Transcript

Thank you. Good afternoon. During today’s call management may make forward-looking statements. These statements are based upon current views and expectations. Such statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause the actual results to differ materially from future results. Risk factors relating to the company’s results and management statements are detailed in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Forward-looking statements refer only to expectations as of the date on which they are made. Education Realty Trust assumes no obligation to update or revise such statements as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.

It is now my pleasure to turn the call over to Randy Churchey, President and Chief Executive Officer. Randy?

Randy Churchey

Good afternoon. Thank you for joining us for the Education Realty Trust Second Quarter 2010 Earnings Call. I’m joined by our Chief Financial Officer, Randy Brown in our Memphis Corporate office and by our Chief Investment Officer, Tom Trubiana by phone. I hope you had an opportunity to review our press release.

Our second quarter 2010 adjusted FFO per share of $0.12 is consistent with our expectations. Randy Brown will discuss our second quarter results and revision to our full year outlook shortly. I’m very pleased with our progress during the first half of the year. We are showing intangible positive results in each of our lives of business.

First, I will speak the property operations. In the first half of 2010, we made leadership changes. We structured many of our property operation processes, improved our daily preleasing monitoring reports and more recently rolled our new property level websites for all our owned and managed properties.

These process changed in improved monitoring reports have enables our regional and community managers to better focus on those three top priorities. One, preleasing our customers; two, generating increases in net operating income and three, preleasing for fall 2010.

The positive impact that our new property level websites are having on increasing leasing traffic is quite compelling. Our new sites contain photos of the properties, 3D for plans and commerce areas such as the ability to schedule a tour, schedule our maintenance request and paying bills online.

Additionally, social media has been integrated so that students can follow us Facebook and Twitter. We currently have over 15,000 students following us on Facebook. Furthermore, we have been averaging a 50% increase in unique visitors month-over-month with an impressive rate of over 50% of traffic as repeat visitors.

We’ve also received over 2,000 online requests to schedules tours since May 1. We believe these process changes in new tools have helped us proactively manage our leasing activity and attract additional leasing traffic and we expect it continue in the years to come.

Next to preleasing. We are nearly end of the fall 2010 leasing term. Last fall, our last year fall opening, our portfolio was 90% occupied; currently we have applications to 90% of our inventory and are preleased at 83%.

Our preleasing is 3.1 percentage points ahead of last year at this time with net rental rates, 1.9% ahead of last year. Specifically, the Legacy Community signed leases are two percentage points ahead of this time last year and the Place community signed leases are nearly seven percentage points ahead of this time last year.

We have continued to gather strength throughout the fall 2010 leasing term, especially in net rate. This positive term has continued to build throughout the year. A few comments about two of our newer communities, which include the same communities in our fall 2010 preleasing data; Syracuse and Southern Illinois. Our community at Syracuse opened in August 2009. This is an on-campus development owned by EDR under the ONE Plan.

For the fall 2010 leasing term, we have signed leases for 100% of our inventory versus opening up 79% last fall at rates more than 5% higher. We expect our community at Syracuse to generate unleverage returns in this second year, equivalent to our initial underwriting for year two of approximately 8%.

Our community at Southern Illinois opened 76% leased last fall. We are currently 77% preleased for fall 2010 versus 60% last year at this time, at net rental rate 3% behind last year.

These two communities were excluded from our same-store data. Our occupancy preleasing would still be ahead by 2.1 percentage points versus the 3.1 percentage points, I previously mentioned, and our net rate would continue to be 1.9% ahead of last year.

Now turning to development. This week, we announced two exciting development; ONE Plan investment at the University of Texas at Austin and an $18 million investment at Johns Hopkins. These investments meet the criteria that we have mentioned on previous calls, namely being at large and growing universities, we invest in being sufficient size. The opportunity had informidable barriers to entry or other competitive advantages and the forecast of investment returns exceeding our weighted average cost of capital.

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