First Industrial Realty Trust, Inc. ( FR)

Analyst Day

November 9, 2011 9:30 am ET


Bruce Duncan – President & Chief Executive Officer

Scott Musil – Chief Financial Officer

Bob Walter – Senior Vice President - Capital Markets/Asset Management

David Harker – Executive Vice President - Central Region

Peter Schultz – Executive Vice President - East Region

Jojo Yap – Executive Vice President - West Region & Chief Information Officer

Christopher Schneider – Senior Vice President Operations


Bruce W. Duncan

Good morning. My name is Bruce Duncan, President and Chief Executive Officer at First Industrial Realty Trust. On behalf of my colleagues, I’d like to thank you for joining us today, our Investor Day and for those of you listening on the web, I want to thank you for joining us as well.

This is our first Investor Day in many years. I joined the firm in January of 2009 and we haven’t any one since, and I don’t remember when our last one. But pro our title, our focus today is talking about delivering value and demonstrating value, and we want to demonstrate the value of our company in terms of our portfolio, our platform and our people. And our mission continues to be to execute on our strategy and deliver long-term shareholder value.

Before we start, let me refer you to our Safe Harbor language and for those of you that are listening on the web, I refer you to the presentation posted on the website and our press release regarding the webcast.

Our agenda today, again is aligned without seeing, but demonstrating and delivering value and we are going to show you a lot of information about the company. After my remarks, Scott is going to come up and talk about the good work that we’ve done in the capital side and what lies ahead. Bob’s and then come up and give you a very good overview and in detail on our portfolio; and we are going to have a short break; and then we are going to come back into a deeper dive in terms of the regional overviews between our Central, our Easter and our Western Regions; and we are going to talk about the top opportunities and challenges.

We are going to go through our top 10 large vacancies in our strategic portfolio and discuss them; and then, we are going to go through and talk about our investment strategy, our acquisition and development strategy, Jojo is going to talk us through that. And then, I’m going to circle back to discuss the FR opportunity, and then, we will open up for questions-and-answers.

The title of this section is reflective of the work we have done and the opportunities that we see ahead. Over the last few years, we have really strengthened our foundation; especially, our capital base and our operations and we are now positioned to capitalize on opportunities both with in our portfolio, as well as new investments.

When we look at First Industrial, we think we have two value propositions. The first is leasing up the portfolio, as we’re still only the 86.6% leased. As we could get this portfolio at 92%, but we’re saying here today, our goal is to get to 92% leased in the portfolio by the end of 2013. We pick up $0.20 a share in FFO, we did it today, tomorrow we leased it up, we pick up $0.20 in FFO, which is significant given our run rate FFO.

Our second value proposition is that we trade at a significant discount to our public peers, to sales comparables and to replacement costs. We’re going to go through that and again gives you data points, but our job is to close that gap. And one of the reasons we’re having Investor Day here is, we want to give you more information about our portfolio to really slightly and exactly and give you more date points for you to sort of look at it, make your own conclusions of what you think. But we think we represent good value.

So why FR? We have a tested leadership and platform, we strengthen the capital structure, we are primarily an infill portfolio in a major U.S. market. And we have a focused conservative investment and asset management strategy. We’re coming into favorable industry fundamentals, we’ll talk about that in terms of the supply (inaudible) in terms of new construction and we have a great occupancy opportunity.

For those of you that are new to this story, but those of you that are coming back, I’d like to just spend a few seconds to go through some of the achievements of the team over the last few years. We’ve reduced our debt by $563 million, we’ve improved our debt-to-EBITDA from 9.8 times to 7.2 times, we’ve aligned our expenses through our current business model, we are taking out over 70% of overhead, and even with that we feel our capacity for growth. We are executing on our leasing plans, that is since our bottom in the first quarter of 2010, we’ve increased occupancy about 520 basis points and we are executing on our plans to dispose off our non-strategic portfolio, this portfolio we outlined in October of last year and to-date we have sold about $85 million of that, at $24 a foot, which is above 20% of our book value.

And we return our investing, we bought out a partner in 85% interest in a property in Huston, and we are doing a development in Southern California, and both of those Jojo will talk about in detail.

Today you are going to hear from our leadership team and again as you could see on the grey here at the group, but we have a great experience with our team and you will hear from them. We also have an attendant, Chris Schneider, our Senior Vice President Operations; Chris Willson, our Senior Regional Director of Minneapolis; Jeff Thomas, our Senior Regional Director from Pennsylvania; and he will be with us on the bus tomorrow; John Strabel, our Regional Director from Detroit; Art Harmon, our Head of IR; we have Jen Jimenez of our Marketing Group and (inaudible) of our Operations Group.

As you know, we have a broad platform and presence, we expand the U.S., we go from LA to New Jersey, from Minneapolis to Miami and again, we think that’s great because it gives us diversity and also it gives us access to market trends and we’ve got boots on the ground in most of these places.

In terms of our public platform, most important thing you should note is we simplified it, we use to have a lot of different joint ventures, now we only have one, less than $200 million of assets, of which we own 15% of it and it’s in the disposition phase of over the next three to five years that will be going away. It’s hard to put together an industrial platform because the properties are so [biside], it’s hard to assemble a portfolio of what we have about 67 million square feet.

We have boots on the ground; we have a local presence as well as national experts. And again, we’ve been experienced across all real estate cycles, so we have talent that’s going to least operate few acquisitions, do development, do redevelopment and do dispositions and hopefully you’ll have a chance today you had, this morning to talk to some of our teams and at lunch too and also in the bus ride, there will be another opportunity.

But again, we think it’s great having a public vehicle, we think it’s great in terms of the access we have to the capital of those debt and equity markets and that’s been a big plus over the last few years in terms of having been able to spend the money in terms of capital improvements versus our private peers with more capital constrains. We’ve improved our capital structure again. A couple of years ago, we made a goal that we want to get our debt to EBITDA down to the 6.5 to 7.5 times. And we’re now at 7.2 times and again, we want to continue to delever.

We have access to both the secured and unsecured market. But our focus has been on the secured markets and Scott will take you through that because the pricing is so much better for us. We targeted capital availability of $100 million to $200 million because we want to make sure we always have capacity to take care of upcoming maturities, as well as grow our business and we are always mindful of dilution.

This slide shows geographically where our portfolio is. 15% of our portfolio is in the West, 22% in the Southwest, 13% in the Southeast, 33% in the Midwest and 17% in the Northeast. 84% of our properties are in bulk or regional distribution or light industrial. We are primarily in In-fill location. We have a portfolio of 66.9 million square feet. 745 property; the average size is 90,000 square feet.

We have a diverse tenant base, our largest tenant is 2.8% of net rent and that’s why we are going to talk about that, Bob, will take you though the data. Our top 20 tenants represents 20.9% of net rent and our average tenant size is 30,000 square feet.

And again as I look out and think about the industrial space, what we love about it is that has something that the other asset class doesn’t, which is user buyers. That is, we can sell our properties when a user wants space, they come and buy it, they don’t buy on the same basis that a industry does, much better pricing and that’s one of the focuses we've been selling the assets to sell to users.

Secondly, industry is very financeable; it’s always about the underweighted cash with most vendors. We had good experience with it, it spikes high in terms of – so there is many more finance companies and insurance companies are growing on it. In terms of our investment and asset management strategy, again owning and operating industrial real estate is our business. We’re looking to do this on a long-term, we’re looking for long-term NOI growth and we’re looking to constantly upgrade the portfolio and again, that’s the key.

This chart to me it says a lot, in terms of its showing the supply at United States over the last 20 years of industrial space and what it shows, is that the average over the last 20 years, the 164 million square feet of space per year. What you are seeing again in 2009, 2010 year-to-date 2011, construction is falling off significantly i.e. over the last five quarters, there has only been 26 million square feet of new space. That’s a great thing for real estate.

In my experience, the best thing you can have with when supply starts, good things happen and you’re seeing that right now because what you had over the last five quarters, you had positive, you know 133 million square feet of absorption and so you’re going to be stopping up the vacancy in the cities around the country and (inaudible) are stabilizing and starting to go up and you’re going to see that it discontinues.

I don’t see a lot of new construction over the next few years. You will see some new constructions and expect developments in Southern California like we are doing and Jojo will talk about it.

You will see some in Central Pennsylvania, we are going to show you a couple of sites we have tomorrow in the Bus Tour. And again those of you who are coming on the Bus Tour, we appreciate that and what we are trying to show you as much as we can that’s going to be a long trip, but we really want – we want to focus on (inaudible) just show you a lot. But when we look at it and you will see some development in Houston, some in South Florida. But you’re not going to see that in terms of relatively what you have seen in the past in terms of new construction for a number of years and it’s hard to get financing.

People aren’t doing spec construction. They need a real balance sheet to do it and what they need preleasing. So that we think that bodes well for their industrial industry getting broad portfolio.

Now the key NOI drivers again, again end of the day occupancy is very important and as you can see by this chart, we are coming back. We’ve grown from the third quarter of 2011 or 86.6% there is work to be done. We acknowledge that we’re focused on it and we set a goal. So we’re making progress.

The cash rental rates, they are getting better. But its still we’re still having a rental rolling down. There is no question about that – that’s and we think we will continue to have roll downs in 2012. We’re going to get guidance in the – on our fourth quarter call. But again risk, leases that we were done in 2007 it’s simply a five-year lease those are coming off the peak.

So you’re going to continue to see some roll down there, but the best news is in the fourth, I mean the third quarter for the first time since 2008, we had positive same store numbers. We are up 2.7% and as you bet you know things are getting better. We are not declaring victory, but we’re in the right trend and there is hard work to be done, but we are moving forward.

This chart is important because as I talk about our occupancy goal to get to 92% by the end of 2013 and being it where to 86.6% right now. It’s important to note that back in the first quarter 2008, we were at 91.9%. Now it’s not an identical portfolio, but it’s a pretty similar portfolio. A lot of the same assets, we sold some, we bought some, but it’s pretty similar. And we went down to 81.4% in the first quarter of ’10, so we’re on our way up. And again, our goal is to get to 92% by the end of 2013 and again, this chart shows that we were there before.

This chart is our top ten vacancies in our strategic portfolio. We want to just sort of show you those and again we’re going to go through that when we go through the regional presentations. We’re going to talk about each one of these vacancies. We have pictures of each one of these vacancies, we’re not hiding pictures. We want you to get a sense of what these assets are, where they are, and be the judge in terms of getting it laid, but at the end of the day the owners are going to get them leased.

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