Forest City Enterprises, Inc. (FCE.A) Q4 2011 Earnings Call March 30, 2012 11:00 am ET Executive David J. LaRue – President and Chief Executive Officer Robert G. O'Brien – Chief Financial Officer Matthew L. Messinger – Executive Vice President of Investment Management – New York Analyst Sheila K. McGrath – Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc. Wes Golladay – RBC Capital Markets Presentation Operator
Also please note that exhibits referred to during today’s call are available on the Investor Relations page on the company’s website, www.forestcity.net. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Participants on the call will have the opportunity to ask questions following the company's prepared comments.I would now like to turn the call over to Forest City's President and CEO, David LaRue. Please go ahead, Mr. LaRue. David J. LaRue Thank you, operator. Good morning, everyone and thank you for joining us today. With me today is Bob O'Brien, our Chief Financial Officer; Matt Messinger, Executive Vice President of Investment Management at our New York office is also on the call and available to answer questions during the Q&A. Our fourth quarter and year-end results went out yesterday after the close of the market. By now I hope all of you had a chance to review them. In a few minutes, I’ll ask Bob to review our specific financial and operating results. After that, I’ll provide an update on our pipeline, give a brief overview of our full year strategic plan, and offer some closing thoughts, then we’ll get to your questions. Let me begin with some overall comments about the year. As we indicated in our press release, we’re pleased with our results for fiscal 2011, which included record total EBDT, and reflect a solid performance of our rental property portfolio. Our residential multifamily business had an outstanding year with strong results in comp NOI and consistently high occupancies throughout the year. In addition, our comp retail portfolio also performed at or above peer averages for the year. Our office results were impacted by the timing of anticipated vacancies mainly at our MetroTech campus in Brooklyn, but we also saw significant strength in the total office portfolio as demonstrated by leasing spreads that were up 8% during 2011.
Our EBDT results also included non-recurring items, most notably our land and air rights sale to Rock Ohio Caesars to the Cleveland Casinos Development. In addition to our strong operating results, 2011 was noteworthy for four city for a number of other reasons.During 2011, we opened two of our large pipeline properties, 8 Spruce Street in Manhattan and Westchester’s Ridge Hill in Yonkers with leasing progressing on both. Barclays Center arena in Brooklyn opens this coming September. The transition of these three properties, which together represent $1.6 billion of cost of our pro rata share into the portfolio, while significantly improve our risk profile. And we will also bring up our under construction pipeline to less than $500 million in our pro rata share. This is down from its peak of 2.2 billion at our share just a few years ago. As we said previously, our goal going forward is to have our total development and under construction pipeline represent no more than 15% of our balance sheet. A level we believe balances continuing growth through future development, equity requirements and risk. As 8 Spruce, Ridge Hill, and the Arena continually leaps up and stabilize the impact of these major assets in the New York market will drive increased value creations through future NOI growth. During 2011 and in early 2012, we’ve been able to take advantage of growing demand for rental apartments to activate existing entitlement for new multi-family projects in Washington D.C., Denver and Dallas. As a company, we continue to be very focused on creating long-term shareholder value and proving our balance sheet is a major component of that focus. During 2011, we reduced total debt by $1.4 billion at full consolidation. We’ve placed a high priority on making further improvements in our debt metrics and capital structure and this will remain one of our primary objectives of our strategic plan for the next four years. I have more to say about this strategic plan later in the call. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com