Cedar Realty Trust's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Cedar Realty Trust, Inc. (CDR)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

May 7, 2012 05:00 pm ET

Executives

Brad Cohen - IR, ICR

Bruce Schanzer - President & CEO

Philip Mays - CFO

Nancy Mozzachio - VP, Leasing

Analysts

Nathan Isbee - Stifel Nicolaus

Craig Schmidt - Bank of America

Rj Milligan - Raymond James

Todd Thomas - KeyBanc Capital Markets

Presentation

Operator

Greetings and welcome to the Cedar Realty Trust first quarter 2012 earnings conference call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. A brief 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, Brad Cohen, Investor Relations for ICR. Thank you, Mr. Cohen. You may begin.

Brad Cohen

Thank you very much, operator. Good afternoon. At this time, management would like me to inform you that certain statements made during the call, which are not historical facts, may be deemed forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities and Exchange Commission of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 as amended by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

Although the company believes that expectations reflecting any forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, they are subject to various risks and uncertainties. The company can provide no assurance that expectations will be achieved and that actual results may or will differ.

Many other factors and risks that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations are detailed in the company’s press release, which was put out this afternoon and from time-to-time in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In the end, the company undertakes no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements reflected in any circumstances after the date of the company’s release.

It is now my pleasure to turn the call over to Mr. Bruce Schanzer, Chief Executive Officer and President. Bruce?

Bruce Schanzer

Thanks Brad. And welcome to the first quarter 2012 earnings call of Cedar Realty Trust. On this call, in addition to reviewing our first quarter 2012 results, we will provide an update on the strategic plan we first described last November, as well as some of the other measures we are taking to preserve and enhance shareholder value.

On this call I am joined by the senior management team of Cedar specifically, Philip Mays, our CFO; Brenda Walker, our COO; Nancy Mozzachio, our Head of Leasing; Mike Winters, our Head of Acquisitions; Tom Richey, our Head of Development; and Stuart Widowski, our General Counsel.

In addition to Phil's comments regarding our Q1 results I would ask Nancy to provide a brief update on leasing. As always the balance of team Cedar is dialed into this call. Their tireless efforts on behalf of the company are what allow us to report these solid results and give us great confidence in the future of this organization.

Although our fourth-quarter call was just a couple of months ago, we continue to make progress on our near-term divestiture and delevering strategic plan having closed on 11 assets for net proceeds of $18 million and having placed four additional assets under contract for $8 million during the first quarter through today. Accordingly of the 50 assets to be divested and $150 million in net proceeds for delevering, we have closed on have under contract or have teed up to return to a lender 40 assets for $110 million.

This represents roughly 73% completed based on estimated proceeds. We feel good about the progress we have made today though we are keenly focused on closing on the assets under contract yet to be sold and getting the remaining assets under contract.

In terms of the remaining assets, there are four improved assets and six land parcels still to be divested as we have noted repeatedly the land parcels will take time to sell. Fortunately, they do not represent the significant amount of value. The improved assets that remain to be put under contract are generally being leased up or otherwise repositioned before being divested.

Regarding these improved assets we are confident in our ability to sell them within the timeframe articulated last November once they are appropriately repositioned. In terms of leasing, as Nancy will discuss in greater detail during her remarks, we continue to make strong progress on our leasing activities in general and on our small shop and dark anchor leasing initiatives in particular. Although our aggregate occupancy was down this quarter relative to the fourth quarter to 90.6%, this is an example of taking one step back to take many steps forward.

The occupancy drop was almost entirely a function of two anchor departures both of which we anticipated, one in each of our two active redevelopment projects. In Trexlertown Pennsylvania as planned Giant vacated a 55,000 ft.² store in Trexler Mall asset to move to a 75000 ft.² store in our neighboring Trexlertown Plaza Center and in a fortuitous turn of events since departed from Brickyard in Berlin Connecticut due to a lease expiration shortly before filing for bankruptcy protection.

In both instances we had ample time to prepare for the tenant departures and are highly confident we will be re-leasing the vacated spaces for meaningfully higher rents. In the case of the vacated Giant space in Trexler Mall, we have already re-leased half the vacated space at almost two times the prior base rent per square foot thereby replacing just about all of the lost rent.

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