CommonWealth REIT's CEO Discusses Q2 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

CommonWealth REIT ( CWH)

Q2 2011 Earnings Call

August 3, 2011 1:00 PM ET


Timothy Bonang – VP, IR

Adam Portnoy – President and Managing Trustee

John Popeo – Treasurer and CFO


Mitch Germain – JMP Securities

John Guinee – Stifel

Dave Rodgers – RBC Capital Markets

Jamie Feldman – Bank of America/Merrill Lynch

Michael Bilerman – Citi

Steve Swett – Morgan Keegan



Welcome to the CommonWealth REIT’s Second Quarter Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in listen-only mode. Later we will conduct a question-and-answer session and instructions will be given at that time. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder, today’s conference is being recorded.

And I’d now like to turn the conference over to our first speaker, Vice President of Investor Relations, Mr. Tim Bonang. Please go ahead.

Timothy Bonang

Thank you. Joining me on today’s call are Adam Portnoy, President and Managing Trustee; and John Popeo, Chief Financial Officer. The agenda for today’s call includes a presentation by management, followed by a question-and-answer session. I would also note that the recording and retransmission of today’s conference call is strictly prohibited without prior written consent of CommonWealth.

Before we begin today’s call, I’d like to read our Safe Harbor statement. Today’s conference call contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and other securities laws. These forward-looking statements are based on CommonWealth’s present beliefs and expectations as of today, August 3, 2011.

The company undertakes no obligation to revise or publicly release the results of any revision to the forward-looking statements made in today’s conference call, other than through filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC regarding this reporting period. In addition, this call may contain non-GAAP numbers, including funds from operations or FFO, normalized FFO and cash available for distribution or CAD.

A reconciliation of FFO, normalized FFO and CAD to net income is available in our supplemental package filed in the Investor Relations section of the company’s website. Actual results may differ materially from those projected in any forward-looking statements. Additional information concerning factors that could cause those differences is contained in our Form 10-Q, which we expect to file on a few days with the SEC, and in our Q2 supplemental operating and financial data package found on our website at Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance upon any forward-looking statements.

And now, I would like to turn the call over to Adam Portnoy.

Adam Portnoy

Thank you, Tim. Good afternoon and thank you for joining us on today’s call. For the second quarter of 2011 we are reporting fully diluted normalized FFO of $0.91 per share compared to $0.92 per share during the same period last year. The decline in normalized FFO per share primarily reflects the decline in consolidated same store occupancy and the NOI during the quarter.

As of June 30, our consolidated occupancy rate was 87.5% which is flat with the occupancy rate we reported at the end of last quarter. As we have stated on previous earnings calls, we continue to believe that our consolidated occupancy rate for year end 2011 may remain flat with what we recorded at year end 2002 – 2010, excuse me, which is 87.7%.

During the quarter, we sold leases for almost 1.3 million square feet, 56% of our second quarter leasing activity were renewals and 44% renewal leases. Retail activity this quarter resulted in a 2% rollup in rents and $15.71 per square foot in capital commitments. The average lease term was 6.2 years, and the average capital commitment per lease year was $2.53.

Capital commitments per square foot this quarter were higher than initial historical averages because of the higher percentages of new leases versus renewals in the second quarter, particularly in major market CBD locations.

For the three months ended June 30, 2011, about 37% of our consolidated NOI came from 40 CBD office buildings, and about 42% of our NOI came from 279 suburban office buildings, and about 21% of our NOI came from 180 industrial and other properties.

Also, about 43% of our consolidated NOI comes from six major market areas, which include Philadelphia, Oahu, Hawaii, Denver, Chicago, Australia and Washington DC. The remaining 57% of the NOI comes from close to 60 individual market areas located across the United States.

Overall, our CBD office properties are performing better than our suburban office and industrial properties. For example, during the second quarter, same-store occupancy for our CBD office properties increased 10 basis points, and same-store NOI increased by 2.2%.

Suburban office properties experienced same-store occupancy declines of 200 basis points and same-store NOI declined by 10.1%. Industrial and other properties experienced same-store occupancy declines of 160 basis points, and same-store NOI declined by 9.6%.

Also, all six of our major market areas are performing well with roughly flat to increasing same-store occupancy and NOI in each of our major market areas. The general area of weakness in our portfolio continues to be our suburban office in Oahu, Hawaii industrial properties. And these properties largely contributed to decline and consolidate same-store occupancy although down 30 basis points, the 86.1% and the 5.8% decline in consolidated same-store NOI.

As of June 30, we have 3.6 million square feet scheduled to expire during the remainder of 2011. On average, the lease is scheduled to expire to year-end have in place rents that are around 1% over market. Nevertheless, we continue to expect that same-store NOI may decline further until the economy begins to show sustainable growth and the unemployment rate starts to decline significantly.

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