PS Business Parks, Inc. ( PSB)

Q3 2010 Earnings Call Transcript

November 2, 2010 1:00 pm ET

Executives

Ed Stokx – EVP and CFO

Joe Russell – President and CEO

John Peterson – EVP and COO

Analysts

Craig Mailman – KeyBanc Markets

Jordan Sadler – KeyBanc Markets

Suzanne Kim – Credit Suisse

Michael Mueller – JPMorgan

Mark Lutenski – BMO Capital Markets

David Shamis – Citi

Presentation

Operator

Good afternoon and welcome to the third quarter 2010 earnings conference call. My name is Daniele and I will be facilitating the audio portion of today's interactive broadcast. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent background noise. For those of you on the stream, please take note of the options available in your event console.

At this time I would like to turn the show over to Mr. Stokx.

Ed Stokx

Thank you. Good morning and thank you for joining us for the third quarter 2010 PS Business Parks investor conference call. I'm Ed Stokx, CFO of the company. And with me are Joe Russell, President And Chief Executive Officer and John Peterson, Chief Operating Officer.

Before we begin, let me remind everyone that all statements other than statements of historical fact included in this conference call are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond PS Business Parks control which could cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth in or implied by such forward-looking statements.

All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this conference call. PS Business Parks undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. For additional information about risks and uncertainties that could adversely affects PS Business Parks' forward-looking statements, please refer to the reports filed by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission including our annual report on Form 10-K and subsequent reports on Form 10-Q and Form 8-K. We will also provide certain non-GAAP financial measures. Reconciliation to GAAP of these non-GAAP financial measures is included in our press release which can be found on our website at www.psbusinessparks.com.

Now I will turn the call over to Joe.

Joe Russell

Thank you, Ed. Good morning and thank you for joining us. I am going to briefly review third quarter results, touch base on the investment arena and close by discussing our recent capital raising activity. J.P. will go into more detail on specific operational results and then Ed will conclude by discussing our financial metrics.

PSB's third quarter operational results were in close range to our performance over the last few quarters. Same Park occupancy trended down slight toll 91.3% but was up 190 basis points from a year ago. This is the fourth consecutive quarter where we have maintained occupancy above 91%.

Leasing volume was up slightly as we closed approximately $1.5 million square feet in deals with a total of 444 leases signed. The average lease size was approximately 3400 square feet, again similar with previous metrics.

New leases are still more onerous to close where users shop markets more aggressively and look for additional concessions to justify a move. Without that pressure, renewals can generate less onerous rent roll-downs and thus we attempt to retain every customer we can. This quarter retention was up slightly to 58%, which is also our run rate for the full year.

Finally, executed versus expiring lease rates declined 10.3% on a cash basis, the lowest roll down in six quarters. This is just one data point, albeit an important one, which is a hopeful indication that current lease rates are close to bottoming.

On our last conference call we announced the acquisition of Tycon II and III in Tysons Corner for $35.4 million in northern Virginia. Since then, we have not closed on any additional acquisitions. The investment market is still tough to predict but I am encouraged that more product is surfacing.

We are prioritizing our investment efforts around assets that have some element of repositioning. This often provides an added discount to replacement cost where we can deploy PSB's operational strategies and ultimately deliver stronger returns once the asset has been stabilized. Our teams are ready to capture these types of properties and we will hopefully see more product interior come back into the market.

Year-to-date, we have in total deployed approximately $162 million into well located business parks that fit this model. And we look forward to the long-term benefit these assets bring to PSB's platform. With a weighted average in place occupancy on the four portfolios acquired of 71% in submarkets where PSB's weighted average occupancy is 91%, our opportunity is clear.

I’d like to close by highlighting PSB's capital position and what we have accomplished over the last 15 months to further strengthen PSB's platform. In August of 2009, we raised $171 million through the sale of common equity. Year-to-date in 2010, we have acquired $162 million of assets, raised $75 million of 6.875% preferred equity and including our redemption of the series L on November 8th, we will have redeemed $122.5 million of preferred equity with an average rate of 7.8%.

As a result of this combined activity, we have a capital structure that is just 28% levered, primarily with $652 million of preferred equity with a blended yield of 7%. We have an untapped $100 million credit facility and a cash balance after the November 8th redemption of $52 million. This clearly demonstrates the strength and capacity of PSB's balance sheet and competitive posture, as we continue to pursue additional growth opportunities.

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