Whitestone REIT Announces Operating Results For The First Quarter 2012

Whitestone REIT (NYSE Amex: WSR - “Whitestone” or the “Company”), a fully integrated real estate company that owns, operates and re-develops Community Centered Properties TM, which are visibly located in established or developing culturally diverse neighborhoods, announced its financial results for the first quarter of 2012.

“Whitestone continues to acquire off market value add Community Center Properties at a discount to replacement cost. During the past 18 months our new acquisitions have added to our core operating EBITDA, evidenced by the year-over-year 41% increase in the first quarter of 2012. A significant part of our growth is driven by our focus on our small space tenants that are entrepreneurial - community based service businesses that meet the needs of people living within a five mile radius of the properties we own," said James C. Mastandrea, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "During the quarter, we continued pre-acquisition due diligence activities on many properties that meet our acquisition criteria, drawing from our substantial pipeline of community centered properties. We expect that over the coming quarters we will meaningfully add select properties to our portfolio. We are well positioned, with a strong balance sheet and an unsecured line of credit, to utilize our financial flexibility and be nimble and quick when the right opportunity is uncovered. Our experienced team of Whitestone associates continues to work together integrating our acquisitions with our operations to create additional long-term value for our shareholders.”

Highlights: First Quarter 2012 Compared to First Quarter 2011
  • Net income attributable to Whitestone REIT was $793,000, or $0.07 per diluted common share for the first quarter 2012, compared to $185,000 or $0.03 per diluted common share for the same period in 2011.
  • Funds from Operations ("FFO") for the first quarter 2012 was $3.1 million, or $0.25 per diluted common share and operating partnership unit ("OP unit"), as compared to $2.1 million or $0.29 per diluted common share and OP unit for the first quarter 2011.
  • Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortization ("EBITDA") for the first quarter 2012 was $5.2 million as compared to $3.7 million for the first quarter 2011.
  • Property net operating income (“NOI”) increased 33% to $6.8 million for the first quarter 2012 as compared to $5.1 million for the same period in 2011. The increase of $1.7 million is primarily attributable to NOI of new acquisitions.
  • The Company declared a quarterly cash distribution of $0.285 per common share and OP unit, which was paid in three equal installments of $0.095 in January, February and March 2012. The distribution rate has remained the same since the distribution paid on July 8, 2010. In February 2012, the Company also declared its second quarter cash distribution of $0.285 per common share and OP unit, which has been paid or will be paid in three equal installments of $0.095 in April, May and June 2012.

First Quarter 2012 Leasing Highlights

The Company's Operating Portfolio Occupancy Rate increased to 87% as of March 31, 2012 from 84% as of March 31, 2011. The Company defines Operating Portfolio Occupancy Rate as physical occupancy in all properties, excluding (i) new acquisitions through the earlier of attainment of 90% occupancy or 18 months of ownership and (ii) properties that are undergoing significant redevelopment or re-tenanting. Total physical property occupancy, which includes properties under redevelopment, undergoing significant retenanting and recent acquisitions, was 85% as of March 31, 2012, an increase of 3% from 82% as of March 31, 2011.

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