Post Properties Inc. ( PPS)

Q3 2010 Earnings Call

November 02, 2010 10:00 am ET

Executives

Dave Stockert - President and CEO

Chris Papa - CFO

Jamie Teabo - Head of Property Management

Analyst s

Michael Salinsky - RBC Capital Markets

Andrew McCulloch - Green Street Advisors

Daniel Greenberger - GEM Reailty

Dustin Pizzo - UBS

Ross Nussbaum - UBS

Eric Wolff - Citi

Haendel St Juste - KBW

Ralph Davies - JP Morgan

Steve Boyd - Cohen and Company

Michelle Ko - BofA Merrill Lynch

Rod Petrik - Stifel Investment Research

Karen Ford - KeyBank

Eric Wolff - Citi

Presentation

Operator

Good day, everyone and welcome to the Post Properties Third Quarter 2010 Earnings Conference Call. This call is being recorded. Today’s question-and-answer session will be conducted electronically. (Operator Instructions)

At this time, I will turn the call over to Post Properties’ President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Dave Stockert for opening remarks and introductions. Please go ahead, sir.

Dave Stockert

Good morning. This is Dave Stockert. With me are Chris Papa, our CFO; and Jamie Teabo, Head of Property Management. Welcome to Post Properties’ third quarter conference call.

Statements made on this call regarding expected operating results and other future events are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated, including those discussed in the Risk Factors section of our 2009 annual report on Form 10-K.

Forward-looking statements are made based on current expectations, assumptions and beliefs as well as information available to us at this time. Post Properties undertakes no obligation to update any information discussed on this conference call.

During this call, we will discuss certain non-GAAP financial measures. Reconciliations to comparable GAAP financial measures can be found in our earnings release and supplemental financial data.

I’ll now begin the business of this call. The company produced better than expected operating results in the third quarter, with FFO before net gains of $0.39 per share.

Our game plan all year has been to run the business and manage the balance sheet in order to drive earnings and cash flow and to close the gap between post equity valuation of the public market based on multiples of earnings and based on measures of net asset value.

The key elements of that game plan are producing solid portfolio revenues, controlling costs, effectively managing the balance sheet in ways that preserve strength in liquidity while minimizing dilution, reducing the risk associated with condominium projects and being discerning about investments in capital outlays.

By executing this plan, we have among other things produce run rate trends from operations sufficient to allow us to raise our earnings guidance by more than 30% since the beginning of this year more than any other apartment rate. In company’s portfolio operations, Jamie and her team continue to make the most of a favorable environment to push rents and occupancy.

Notable in the quarter was our strong sequential revenue growth, positive year-over-year net operating income and our performance in Atlanta. All of the conditions that are benefiting multifamily, namely gradual economic and job growth, net absorption of existing stock, limited supply and a declining rate of homeownership are playing out in our largest market.

With the Sunbelt traditionally capturing more than its share of growth and with total housing supply running at historic lows, we expect those favorable conditions to persist. And with post communities among the best quality and best located in their respective markets and with our sustained high occupancy, we believe the portfolio enjoys a strong relative market position.

Our operational guidance for the rest of the year reflects the generally favorable backdrop I just described. We have consistently forecast a normal seasonal pattern to our traffic and leasing during the winter months and we continue to take that into account in our guidance. We also, however, expect to see the typical uptick in activity that accompanies the spring.

Turning to transaction activity, we were pleased to complete a series of transactions that clear the path, open and begin selling our Atlanta condominium project. Combined with the ongoing sales activity at our project in Austin, we have measurably reduced the basest risk of those assets and modestly reduced our leverage in the process.

This past month, we also took care of our only near-term debt maturity accessing a favorable interest rate window to offer attractively priced investment grade rated public debt. Proceeds from that offering will be used to pay off our public bonds maturing next month.

Chris is also working now to replace our lines of credit, which mature in April. We continue to be disciplined about the use of the at-the-market equity program. We know that stock issued under the ATM reflects the upside potential of the existing portfolio and ongoing recovery on the market conditions, so proceeds from any issuance must be used in ways that acknowledge that embedded upside potential.

Taking advantage of our relative access to capital particularly against private competitors, we continue to focus our primary investment activity on developing the company’s existing land positions were favorable construction costs and return expectations justify. We expect they have more to say about development starts in 2011.

I told I’m very pleased with what the entire company has accomplished so far this year, and with the contribution those efforts have made to earnings, net asset value and the performance of the stock. I’m also pleased with how we are set up to go forward.

That concludes our prepared remarks. Operator, will you please open the phone lines to Q&A.

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