Piedmont Office Realty Trust CEO Discusses Q2 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Piedmont Office Realty Trust ( PDM)

Q2 2011 Earnings Call

August 10, 2011 10:00 am ET


Robert E. Bowers – Chief Financial Officer

Donald A. Miller – Chief Executive Officer

Raymond L. Owens - Executive Vice President, Capital Markets


Chris Caton – Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC

John W. Guinee – Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc.

Anthony Paolone – JPMorgan Securities LLC

John J. Stewart – Green Street Advisors, Inc.

Paul E. Adornato – BMO Capital Markets

Dave Rodgers – RBC Capital Markets

Young Ku – Wells Fargo Advisors LLC



Greetings, and welcome to the Piedmont Office Realty Trust’s Second Quarter 2011 Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. A question-and-answer session will follow the formal presentation. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

It is now my pleasure to introduce your host, Bobby Bowers, Chief Financial Officer of Piedmont Office Realty Trust. Thank you, Mr. Bowers. You may begin.

Robert E. Bowers

Thank you, operator. Good morning everyone and welcome to Piedmont's second quarter 2011 conference call. Last night, in addition to posting our earnings release, we also filed our quarterly Form 10-Q and a Form 8-K including our unaudited quarterly supplemental information. This information is also available for your review on our website at www.piedmontreit.com under the Investor Relations section.

On today’s call, the company’s prepared remarks and answers to your questions will contain forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements address matters, which are subject to risk and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ from those discussed today. Examples of forward-looking statements include those related to Piedmont Office Realty Trust revenues, operating income, financial guidance, as well as leasing and acquisition activity. You should not place any undue reliance on any of these forward-looking statements and those statements speak only as of the date they are made.

In addition, during this call, we’ll refer to non-GAAP financial measures such as funds from operations, core FFO, AFFO, and EBITDA. We encourage all of our listeners to review the more detailed discussion related to risk associated with forward-looking statements contained in the company’s filings with the SEC and the definitions and reconciliations of our non-GAAP measures contained in the supplemental financial information available on the company’s website.

I’ll review our financial results in detail after Don Miller, our CEO, discusses some of the quarter’s activities, including progress towards our strategic operating objectives. In addition, we’re joined today by Ray Owens, our EVP of Capital Markets; Laura Moon, our Chief Accounting Officer; Eddie Guilbert, our Vice President of Financial Strategies; and Bo Reddic, our EVP of Real Estate Operations, all of whom will provide additional perspective during the question-and-answer portion of the call.

I’ll now turn the call over to Don Miller.

Donald A. Miller

Good morning. Thanks for joining us everyone as we review our second quarter 2011 results. We are pleased with the company's progress this quarter and have several updates for you this morning.

We have had a busy quarter as we worked to lease up our vacancy and advance our strategic plan. We’ve had a strong balance sheet and a portfolio of high-quality well-located properties and we continued to execute on our disciplined approach to acquisitions and capital recycling.

Last evening, we reported core funds from operations of $0.38 on a per share basis, in line with our pervious guidance. Bobby will discuss our financial results in further detail later. However, I’d like to update you on our leasing and capital transaction accomplishments this quarter.

First, in adjusting our second quarter leasing activity, we had a strong quarter, signing almost 1.2 million square feet of office leases, including 439,000 square feet of new leasing and 741,000 square feet of renewals, achieving an 80% retention rate. Year-to-date we have signed over 2 million square feet of leases covering almost 10% of our portfolio.

Piedmont’s office portfolio was 86.5% leased at June 30, 2011, as compared to 89.2% leased at the beginning of the year. The main driver for this decline in lease percentage is due to our success in acquiring several value-added buildings including 500 West Monroe in Chicago, which was 67% leased at acquisition with several near-term lease expirations, 1200 Enclave Parkway in Houston, which is 18% leased at the time of acquisition, and The Medici building in Atlanta 22% leased at the time of acquisition. If you remove the effect of these acquired properties, which are detailed on page 31 of our supplemental information, our stabilized portfolio of office properties was 89% leased at June 30, 2011.

At the end of the second quarter, our weighted average remaining lease term was 6.3 years, up from 5.8 years at the end of 2010. The office markets where we completed the most leasing activity in the quarter were Washington D.C., Detroit, Michigan, and the Central Business District of Chicago, although we’ve seen positive momentum in leasing transactions in a number of markets.

In the Washington D.C. market, The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency renewed 334,000 square feet for two years with double-digit increases on both a cash and accrual basis with no capital expended to extend the lease. Also in Bethesda, Maryland, outside of Washington, the regional accounting firm of Watkins Meegan signed a new 12-year lease for 35,000 square feet at our Piedmont Pointe property bringing that project to over 50% occupancy.

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