BRE Properties's CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

BRE Properties, Inc. ( BRE)

Q4 2011 Earnings Call

February 7, 2012 12:00 pm ET

Executives

Constance B. Moore – President & Chief Executive Officer

John A. Schissel – Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

Scott A. Reinert – Executive Vice President, Operations

Stephen C. Dominiak – Executive Vice President, Chief Investment Officer

Analyst

Jeffrey Donnelly – Wells Fargo Securities, LLC

David Bragg – Zelman & Associates, LLC

Michael Salinsky – RBC Capital Markets

Swaroop Yalla – Morgan Stanley

Robert Stevenson – Macquarie Research Equities

Ross Nussbaum – UBS

Eric Wolfe – Citigroup Inc.

Jana Galan – Bank of America/Merrill Lynch

Presentation

Operator

Good morning. My name is Leah and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the BRE Properties Fourth Quarter 2011 Earnings Conference Call. (Operator Instructions) I would now like to turn the call over to Ms. Constance Moore, President and Chief Executive Officer. Please go ahead.

Constance B. Moore

Thank you, Leah, and good morning everyone. Thank you for joining BRE's year-end 2011 earnings call. Before we begin our conversation, I'd like to remind listeners that our comments and answers to your questions may include both historical and future references. We do not make statements we do not believe are accurate and fairly represent BRE's performance and prospects, given everything we know today. But when we use words like expectation, projections or outlook, we are using forward-looking statements, which, by their very nature, are subject to risk and uncertainty.

We encourage listeners to read BRE's Form 10-K for a full description of potential risk factors and our 10-Qs for interim updates.

This morning, management’s commentary will cover our financial and operating results for the fourth quarter, the investment environment, our financial position and outlook for 2012. John Schissel, Scott Reinert and I will provide the prepared remarks. Steve Dominiak will be available during the Q&A session.

Let me start with 2011, reported FFO per share of $0.57 for the quarter came in at the high end of the range we provided in conjunction with our third quarter earnings call. Annual FFO totaled $2.14 per share, which included the $0.05 preferred stock redemption charge that occurred in the second quarter.

Excluding this non-cash charge representing the original issuance cost, annual FFO totaled $2.19 per share or through the high end of our initial guidance range of $2.06 to $2.18 set back in January of 2011.

On the heels of an outstanding year in 2010 on so many fronts we approached 2011 with optimism that we would execute on our plan and put the company in a very good position for the next several years. I am very pleased with the progress we made this year. The steps we have taken over the last couple of years have provided BRE both with financial and operational flexibility to benefit from the positive fundamental that characterize the apartment sector.

I want to thank all of the BRE associates for their commitment and delivering on such strong results in 2011. Our core markets are strong and getting stronger. As we and others have expressed many times over the next few years increased demand for rental housing could significantly outpace new supply as the prime renter cohort increases and homeownership level continue to decline to pre-bubble level.

Moreover the lack of affordable single-family housing options provides a traditional comfort that our markets will continue to be some of the strongest in the country for rental housing. 2011 was another very active year for BRE.

On the acquisition front, we acquired over $200 million in both existing assets and land for future development. Re-operating communities were acquired in 2011 for a $171 million. One asset is located in Valencia, which is in North LA County and two assets in the East Bay of Northern California.

Our 2011 acquisition along with the properties we acquired in 2010 bring the total acquisition of operating properties to 1,700 units and over $460 million in the last two years.

In addition to the existing operating assets, we acquired two land sites in Mission Bay for $41 million. These sites represent our first assets in the city of San Francisco and we expect to start the first phase in the second half of this year. With the investment activity and job creation in Mission Bay we are very exited about the long-term prospects for these properties.

From a capital perspective, we've raised over $500 million in new equity capital further enhancing our balance sheet flexibility and since 2010 we have raised in excess of $800 million.

And finally, we continue to sell our non-core assets in the Inland Empire. In the fourth quarter we sold two assets for proceeds of $65 million and recorded a gain of $14.5 million. Today, we have one asset remaining east of the I-15, which will be considered for sale in 2013 when the related secured debt can be paid off.

In 2010, the combined Inland Empire sales totalled five communities with 1,900 units generating proceeds of approximately $190 million. Our exposure to the Inland Empire has been reduced by more than half and now stand at 5% of expected NOI for 2012 down from 11% in 2009.

We expect that development will be the primary driver of growth and value creation over the next few years. With most of the major portfolio repositioning complete, transaction and redevelopment activities will be focused on improving asset quality within our core market.

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