Duke Realty Corporation ( DRE)

Q4 2010 Earnings Call Transcript

January 27, 2011 3:00 pm ET

Executives

Randy Henry – Assistant VP, IR

Denny Oklak – Chairman and CEO

Christie Kelly – EVP and CFO

Analysts

Chris Caton – Morgan Stanley

Josh Attie – Citi

Michael Bilerman – Citi

Sloan Bohlen – Goldman Sachs

Paul Adornato – BMO Capital Markets

Jamie Feldman – Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Brendan Maiorana – Wells Fargo

Michael Knott – Green Street Advisors

Dave Rodgers – RBC Capital Markets

Ki Bin Kim – Macquarie

Vincent Chao – Deutsche Bank

Presentation

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Duke Realty Corporation. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question-and-answer session. (Operator instructions) As a reminder, this conference is being recorded. I would now like to turn the conference over to your host Assistant Vice President of Investor Relations, Randy Henry. Please go ahead.

Randy Henry

Thank you, Nola. Good afternoon, everyone and welcome to our fourth quarter earnings call. Joining me today are Denny Oklak, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; Christie Kelly, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; and Mark Denien, Chief Accounting Officer.

Before we make our prepared remarks, let me remind you that the statements we make today are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations. For more information about those risk factors, we would refer you to our 10-K that we have on file with the SEC. Now for our prepared statements, I’ll turn it over to Denny Oklak.

Denny Oklak

Thank you, Randy, and good afternoon everyone. Our solid operational and financial performance along with significant progress on our strategic plan to reposition our portfolio resulted in a successful 2010 for Duke Realty despite a still challenging economic environment. Our fourth quarter and year-end 2010 results were very strong and I believe a reflection of our commitment and ability to execute in all three areas of our strategic plan.

We knew heading into 2010 that fundamentals in both the industrial and office sectors would still be challenging and progress would be our measured by our ability to execute transactions in the alignment with our strategy. We accomplished our goals by remaining focused on improving our portfolio occupancy, executing acquisitions and dispositions consistent with our asset strategy, and further strengthening our balance sheet to enable more productive transaction execution. I will highlight some of our key accomplishments during the quarter in both our asset and operation strategies and Christie will address our fourth quarter financial performance and progress on our capital strategy and finally, I would provide some color on our 2011 guidance.

The industrial sector continued to gain traction in the fourth quarter of 2010. Initial data from the holiday retail season suggest 45% positive growth in sales and continued improvement in shipping metrics at major port locations in the US. We anticipate this bodes well for absorption in the industrial sector, but view that further improvement may be somewhat slower as retailers have now restocked inventory levels. As a result, our outlook remains conservative on the industrial sector. As I mentioned on our third quarter call that we anticipate some key vacancies in our industrial portfolio in the fourth quarter, while most of these terminations did occur, leasing activity was good as we signed over 4.6 million square feet of leases in our industrial portfolio in the fourth quarter and I am pleased that that portfolio remained over 90% leased at year-end 2010.

The office environment is still slow to recover as questions over the timing and extent of a net economic recovery are still weighing heavily into decisions hire and grow new business. Our office teams performed very well despite the economic landscape as evidenced by our year end office occupancy of 85.7%, which was up 1.4% over year-end 2009.

Now, I will touch on some of the key operating metrics and significant transactions in the fourth quarter. The overall occupancy in our portfolio was 89.1% at year end, up from 88.9% at September 30 th and up 1.9% from year-end 2009 occupancy of 87.2%. We signed nearly 26 million square feet of leases in 2010, including 5.8 million square feet during the fourth quarter.

Our 2010 total is the highest since 2007. We achieved a lease renewal rate of 70.1% and 76.5% for the fourth quarter and year ended 2010, respectively. Both our industrial and office teams did an excellent job in keeping existing tenants and closing on new leases. Specifically, our Indianapolis industrial group completed over 2 million square feet of leases during the fourth quarter and ended the year at 95.4% lease on 20.7 million square feet of industrial space. We also achieved positive net absorption across the business with significant lease at progress throughout the Midwest as well as the south and southeast markets.

On the office side, while still slow, continues to show some signs of life. We leased over 85,000 square feet at our 1600 Tower in Minneapolis which is adjacent to our new and successful project, the West End. This retail success is drawing tenants to our office part and 1600 Tower is now 96% leased. We also executed a nearly 38,000 square foot expansion to an existing tenant in our Riverway East building in Chicago and signed renewal for approximately 70,000 square feet with GE in our Center Point office building in Cincinnati.

As of December 31, our wholly owned development pipeline consisted of five medical office projects, totaling 270,000 square feet and two industrial buildings totaling 1.6 million square feet, one of which is a 1.3 million square foot, 100% preleased build-to-suit we announced in the third quarter. During the fourth quarter, the company committed to development projects on four medical office buildings and one bulk industrial project. The medical office projects total over 230,000 square feet and are 56% preleased in the aggregate. The industrial asset is located in Houston, it’s 300,000 square feet and 47% preleased.

Our joint venture development pipeline is comprised of 460,000 square feet, 93% preleased medical office project with Baylor Health Care Systems in Dallas and a 406,000 square foot 100% industrial building expansion in Indianapolis. Consistent with our original expectation, same property NOI for the three and 12 months ended – for the three months ended December 31 st was a positive 5% and for the 12 months ended, a positive 0.9%. We anticipated our same property growth to be strong in the latter half of 2010 after a slower first half of the year and we had surprises in our expectations there.

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