Liberty Property Trust Announces Third Quarter Results and Revised Full-Year Financial Projections

  • Funds from Operations $0.67 per share
  • FFO guidance for 2015 increased to a range of $2.66 to $2.69 per share
  • Rents increased 8%
  • Same store operating income increased by 2.2%
  • 4.5 million square feet of development commenced, 43% preleased
  • 2,125,000 shares repurchased for $65.5 million, an average price of $30.81 per share

MALVERN, Pa., Oct. 27, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Liberty Property Trust reported that funds from operations available to common shareholders (diluted) (“FFO”) for the third quarter of 2015 was $0.67 per share, compared to $0.64 per share for the third quarter of 2014. FFO per share for the nine months ended September 30, 2015 was $2.04, compared to $1.80 for the same period in 2014.

Net income per common share (diluted) was $0.61 per share for the third quarter of 2015, compared to $0.23 per share for the third quarter of 2014. Net income for the third quarter of 2015 reflects gain on sale of $0.36 per share compared with immaterial gains for the same period in 2014. Net income for the nine months ended September 30, 2015 was $1.06 per share, compared to $0.92 per share for the same period in 2014. Net income for the first nine months of 2015 reflects gain on sale net of impairment of $0.27 per share compared with gains of $0.33 per share for the same period in 2014.

“Liberty’s third quarter results reflect the increasing quality of our portfolio and the outstanding real estate environment we are operating in,” said Bill Hankowsky, chairman and chief executive officer. “The industrial market is firing on all cylinders and the office market is firming. Tenant demand resulted in a significant increase in development starts in the third quarter, and the robust activity we experienced throughout the summer is maintaining stride so far in the fourth quarter. We are focused on increasing rents and executing on our portfolio-transforming disposition strategy. We now believe our dispositions for 2015 will be in the range of $600-$700 million, exceeding our previous guidance of $525-$625 million.”

Portfolio Performance 

Occupancy: At September 30, 2015, Liberty’s in-service portfolio of 106 million square feet was 93.2% occupied, compared to 93.8% at the end of the second quarter of 2015. During the quarter, Liberty completed lease transactions totaling 6.7 million square feet of space.

Same Store Performance: Property level operating income for same store properties increased by 1.3% on a cash basis and by 2.2% on a straight line basis for the third quarter of 2015 compared to the same quarter in 2014.

Real Estate Investments

Development Deliveries: In the third quarter, Liberty brought into service two development properties for a total investment of $40.9 million. The properties contain 272,000 square feet of leasable space and were 53.7% occupied as of the end of the quarter. The yield on these properties at September 30, 2015 was 5.6%, with a projected stabilized yield of 8.8%.

Development Starts: Liberty began development of eight properties totaling 3.9 million square feet of leasable space at a projected investment of $323.1 million. The properties include 1.9 million square feet of build to suits and two million square feet of industrial buildings for inventory:

  • 700 and 800 Uline Way, Allentown, Pennsylvania, two buildings totaling 1.7 million square feet of distribution space, 100% leased
  • 5800 Technology Boulevard, Sandston, Virginia, a 198,000 square foot distribution building, 100% leased
  • 351 Rouse Boulevard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a 47,000 square foot office building at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, 100% leased
  • 8620 Congdon Hill Drive, Alburtis, Pennsylvania, a 1.2 million square foot distribution building
  • 5430 FAA Boulevard and 951 Valley View Lane, Irving, Texas, two multi-tenant industrial buildings totaling 538,000 square feet
  • 2040 West Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, Arizona, a 215,000 square foot industrial building

In addition, a joint venture in which Liberty owns a 25% interest began development of 309 Cedar Lane, Florence, New Jersey, a 614,000 square foot inventory distribution building, at a projected investment of $40.3 million.

Acquisitions: Liberty acquired three industrial buildings and 139 acres of developable land at Port Crossing Commerce Center in LaPorte, Texas, for $87 million. The properties total 921,000 square feet, and the land can accommodate approximately 2.2 million square feet of distribution space. Current yield on the in-service properties is 6.8%.

Real Estate Dispositions

During the quarter, Liberty sold six properties which contained 448,000 square feet of leasable space for $89.8 million. These properties were 92.8% leased at the time of the sale.

Capital and Balance Sheet Activity

During the quarter Liberty prepaid, without penalty, a $105.8 million, 7.0% mortgage loan due February 15, 2016.

Liberty also repurchased 2,125,000 common shares for $65.5 million, an average price of $30.81 per share.

FFO Guidance

Liberty now expects to report 2015 FFO per share in the range of $2.66 – $2.69, an increase from the prior projected range of $2.60 – $2.65. This reflects a new projected range for 2015 dispositions of $600-$700 million. A reconciliation of projected FFO to projected GAAP net income for 2015 is below (all amounts projected):

  2015 Range (Previous) 2015 Range (Revised)
  Low High Low High
Projected net income per share $ 1.69   $ 1.76   $ 1.89   $ 1.99  
Depreciation and amortization of unconsolidated joint ventures   0.07     0.08     0.07     0.09  
Depreciation and amortization   1.43     1.47     1.45     1.49  
Gain on property dispositions   (0.57 )   (0.64 )   (0.73 )   (0.87 )
Noncontrolling interest share of addbacks   (0.02 )   (0.02 )   (0.02 )   (0.01 )
       
Projected funds from operations per share $ 2.60   $ 2.65   $ 2.66   $ 2.69  

About the Company

Liberty Property Trust (NYSE:LPT) is a leader in commercial real estate, serving customers in the United States and United Kingdom, through the development, acquisition, ownership and management of superior office and industrial properties. Liberty’s 106 million square foot portfolio includes 728 properties which provide office, distribution and light manufacturing facilities to 1,700 tenants. 

Additional information about the company, including Liberty’s Quarterly Supplemental Package with detailed financial information is available in the Investors section of the Company’s web site at www.libertyproperty.com. If you are unable to access the web site, a copy of the supplemental package may be obtained by contacting Liberty by phone at 610-648-1704, or by e-mail to jleonard@libertyproperty.com.

Liberty will host a conference call during which management will discuss third quarter results, on Tuesday, October 27, 2015, at 1 p.m. Eastern Time.  To access the conference call, please dial 855-277-7530. The passcode needed for access is 70954592. A replay of the call will be available until November 27, 2015, by dialing 1-855-859-2056 using the same passcode as above. The call can also be accessed via the Internet on the Investors page of Liberty’s web site at www.libertyproperty.com.

The statements contained in this press release may include forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities law.  These forward-looking statements include statements relating to, among others things, achievement of strategic targets, expectations for our operating results, business and financial condition, business and our growth prospects, as well as statements that are generally accompanied by words such as “believes,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “estimates,” “should,” “seeks,” “intends,” “proposed,” “planned,” “outlook” and “goal” or similar expressions. Although Liberty believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its expectations will be achieved.  As forward-looking statements, these statements involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the expected results.  These risks, uncertainties and other factors include, without limitation, uncertainties affecting real estate business generally (such as entry into new leases, renewals of leases and dependence on tenants’ business operations), risks relating to the integration of the operations of entities that we have acquired or may acquire, risks relating to financing arrangements and sales of securities, possible environmental liabilities, risks relating to leverage and debt service (including availability of financing terms acceptable to the company and sensitivity of the company’s operations and financing arrangements to fluctuations in interest rates), dependence on the primary markets in which the company’s properties are located, the existence of complex regulations relating to status as a REIT and the adverse consequences of the failure to qualify as a REIT, risks relating to litigation, including without limitation litigation involving entities that we have a acquired or may acquire, and the potential adverse impact of market interest rates on the market price for the company’s securities, and other risks and uncertainties detailed in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  The company assumes no obligation to update or supplement forward-looking statements that become untrue because of subsequent events.

 
 Liberty Property Trust 
 Statement of Operations 
September 30, 2015
 (Unaudited and in thousands, except per share amounts) 
                     
                     
       Quarter Ended     Nine Months Ended   
      September 30, 2015   September 30, 2014   September 30, 2015   September 30, 2014  
             
 Operating Revenue                   
 Rental    $   145,009     $   143,294     $   440,962     $   421,620    
 Operating expense reimbursement       53,963         55,062         168,430         167,326    
   Total operating revenue        198,972         198,356         609,392         588,946    
                     
 Operating Expenses                   
 Rental property       31,454         33,105         98,973         103,728    
 Real estate taxes        25,953         25,595         78,579         75,812    
 General and administrative       15,573         14,748         51,428         48,077    
 Depreciation and amortization        55,718         58,578         171,347         173,184    
 Impairment – real estate assets        –         –         16,775         –    
   Total operating expenses        128,698         132,026         417,102         400,801    
                     
   Operating Income        70,274         66,330         192,290         188,145    
                     
 Other Income/Expense                   
 Interest and other        4,959         6,233         17,911         11,786    
 Interest        (33,559 )       (37,958 )       (103,295 )       (115,635 )  
   Total other income/expense        (28,600 )       (31,725 )       (85,384 )       (103,849 )  
                     
 Income before property dispositions, income taxes, noncontrolling interest                   
and equity in (loss) earnings of unconsolidated joint ventures        41,674         34,605         106,906         84,296    
 Gain (loss) on property dispositions        53,467         (20 )       56,987         1,878    
 Income taxes        (599 )       (859 )       (2,613 )       (2,083 )  
 Equity in (loss) earnings of unconsolidated joint ventures        (847 )       1,592         805         7,297    
                     
 Income from continuing operations        93,695         35,318         162,085         91,388    
                     
 Discontinued operations (including net gain on property dispositions of $38 and $46,292 for the quarter and                   
  nine months ended September 30, 2014, respectively)       –         133         –         48,276    
 Net Income        93,695         35,451         162,085         139,664    
   Noncontrolling interest – operating partnerships        (2,306 )       (944 )       (4,117 )       (3,618 )  
   Noncontrolling interest – consolidated joint ventures        (58 )       (84 )       (171 )       (474 )  
 Net Income available to common shareholders    $   91,331     $   34,423     $   157,797     $   135,572    
                     
   Net income    $   93,695     $   35,451     $   162,085     $   139,664    
   Other comprehensive loss – foreign currency translation        (7,970 )       (13,000 )       (6,229 )       (5,189 )  
   Other comprehensive (loss) income – derivative instruments        (1,220 )       666         (1,539 )       (990 )  
 Comprehensive income        84,505         23,117         154,317         133,485    
   Less: comprehensive income attributable to noncontrolling interest        (2,148 )       (739 )       (4,105 )       (3,948 )  
 Comprehensive income attributable to common shareholders    $   82,357     $   22,378     $   150,212     $   129,537    
                     
 Basic income per common share                   
   Continuing operations    $   0.61     $   0.23     $   1.06     $   0.60    
   Discontinued operations    $   –      $   –      $   –      $   0.32    
 Total basic income per common share    $   0.61     $   0.23     $   1.06     $   0.92    
                     
 Diluted income per common share                   
   Continuing operations    $   0.61     $   0.23     $   1.06     $   0.60    
   Discontinued operations    $   –      $   –      $   –      $   0.32    
 Total diluted income per common share    $   0.61     $   0.23     $   1.06     $   0.92    
                     
 Weighted average shares                   
   Basic        148,582         147,422         148,594         146,987    
   Diluted        149,176         148,088         149,220         147,661    
                     
 Amounts attributable to common shareholders                   
   Income from continuing operations    $   91,331     $   34,293     $   157,797     $   88,430    
   Discontinued operations        –         130         –         47,142    
   Income available to common shareholders    $   91,331     $   34,423     $   157,797     $   135,572    
                     

 
 Liberty Property Trust 
 Statement of Funds From Operations 
September 30, 2015
 (Unaudited and in thousands, except per share amounts) 
                               
                               
       Quarter Ended     Nine Months Ended     
      September 30, 2015   September 30, 2014   September 30, 2015   September 30, 2014    
        Per      Per      Per      Per     
        Weighted     Weighted     Weighted     Weighted    
         Average       Average       Average       Average     
      Dollars Share   Dollars Share   Dollars Share   Dollars Share    
                           
 Reconciliation of net income to NAREIT FFO – basic:                             
 Basic – income available to common shareholders    $   91,331   $   0.61     $   34,423   $   0.23     $   157,797   $   1.06     $   135,572   $   0.92      
                               
 Adjustments:                             
 Depreciation and amortization of unconsolidated joint ventures        2,881           3,334           8,891           9,966        
 Depreciation and amortization        55,322           58,114           170,100           171,730        
 Gain on property dispositions / impairment – real estate assets of unconsolidated joint                             
   ventures        3,885           –           11,316           (49 )      
 Gain on property dispositions / impairment – real estate assets        (53,467 )         (18 )         (40,212 )         (47,580 )      
 Noncontrolling interest share in addback for depreciation and amortization                             
   and gain on property dispositions / impairment – real estate assets        (202 )         (1,439 )         (3,478 )         (3,146 )      
 NAREIT Funds from operations available to common shareholders – basic  $   99,750   $   0.67     $   94,414   $   0.64     $   304,414   $   2.05     $   266,493   $   1.81      
                               
 Reconciliation of net income to NAREIT FFO – diluted:                             
 Diluted – income available to common shareholders    $   91,331   $   0.61     $   34,423   $   0.23     $   157,797   $   1.06     $   135,572   $   0.92      
                               
 Adjustments:                             
 Depreciation and amortization of unconsolidated joint ventures        2,881           3,334           8,891           9,966        
 Depreciation and amortization        55,322           58,114           170,100           171,730        
 Gain on property dispositions / impairment – real estate assets of unconsolidated joint                             
   ventures        3,885           –           11,316           (49 )      
 Gain on property dispositions / impairment – real estate assets        (53,467 )         (18 )         (40,212 )         (47,580 )      
 Noncontrolling interest excluding preferred unit distributions        2,188           826           3,763           3,264        
 NAREIT Funds from operations available to common shareholders – diluted  $   102,140   $   0.67     $   96,679   $   0.64     $   311,655   $   2.04     $   272,903   $   1.80      
                               
 Reconciliation of weighted average shares:                             
 Weighted average common shares – all basic calculations        148,582           147,422           148,594           146,987        
 Dilutive shares for long term compensation plans        594           666           626           674        
 Diluted shares for net income calculations        149,176           148,088           149,220           147,661        
 Weighted average common units        3,539           3,554           3,540           3,554        
 Diluted shares for NAREIT Funds from operations calculations        152,715           151,642           152,760           151,215        
                               
                               
                               
The Company believes that the calculation of NAREIT Funds from operations is helpful to investors and management as it is a measure of the Company’s operating performance that excludes depreciation and amortization and gains and losses from property dispositions.  As a result, year over year comparison of NAREIT Funds from operations reflects the impact on operations from trends in occupancy rates, rental rates, operating costs, development activities, general and administrative expenses, and interest costs, providing perspective not immediately apparent from net income.  In addition, management believes that NAREIT Funds from operations provides useful information to the investment community about the Company’s financial performance when compared to other REITs since NAREIT Funds from operations is generally recognized as the standard for reporting the operating performance of a REIT.  NAREIT Funds from operations available to common shareholders is defined by NAREIT as net income (computed in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”)), excluding gains (or losses) from sales of property, plus depreciation and amortization, and after adjustments for unconsolidated partnerships and joint ventures. NAREIT Funds from operations available to common shareholders does not represent net income or cash flows from operations as defined by GAAP and does not necessarily indicate that cash flows will be sufficient to fund cash needs. It should not be considered as an alternative to net income as an indicator of the Company’s operating performance or to cash flows as a measure of liquidity. NAREIT Funds from operations available to common shareholders also does not represent cash flows generated from operating, investing or financing activities as defined by GAAP.    
                               

 
Liberty Property Trust
Balance Sheet 
September 30, 2015
(Unaudited and in thousands, except share and unit amounts)
       
  September 30, 2015   December 31, 2014
Assets      
Real estate:      
  Land and land improvements $   1,218,906     $   1,189,760  
  Building and improvements     5,352,219         5,343,908  
  Less: accumulated depreciation     (1,228,702 )       (1,182,569 )
       
Operating real estate     5,342,423         5,351,099  
       
Development in progress     338,673         277,411  
Land held for development     291,159         269,059  
       
Net real estate     5,972,255         5,897,569  
       
Cash and cash equivalents     48,652         69,346  
Restricted cash     14,939         20,325  
Accounts receivable     14,384         15,481  
Deferred rent receivable     119,224         107,909  
Deferred financing and leasing costs, net of accumulated      
  amortization (2015, $180,608; 2014, $169,468)     208,623         206,286  
Investments in and advances to unconsolidated joint ventures     213,894         208,832  
Assets held for sale     –          8,389  
Prepaid expenses and other assets     97,822         91,399  
       
Total assets $   6,689,793     $   6,625,536  
       
Liabilities      
Mortgage loans $   372,660     $   487,301  
Unsecured notes     2,608,307         2,509,094  
Credit facility     300,000         167,000  
Accounts payable     60,256         52,043  
Accrued interest     43,771         24,513  
Dividend and distributions payable     71,863         72,253  
Other liabilities     218,290         219,418  
Total liabilities     3,675,147         3,531,622  
       
Noncontrolling interest – operating partnership – 301,483 preferred units      
  outstanding as of September 30, 2015 and December 31, 2014     7,537         7,537  
       
Equity      
Shareholders’ equity      
Common shares of beneficial interest, $.001 par value, 283,987,000 shares      
  authorized, 147,753,980 and 148,557,270 shares issued and outstanding as of      
  September 30, 2015 and December 31, 2014, respectively     148         149  
Additional paid-in capital     3,673,001         3,688,644  
Accumulated other comprehensive loss     (13,837 )       (6,252 )
Distributions in excess of net income     (709,091 )       (654,869 )
Total shareholders’ equity     2,950,221         3,027,672  
       
Noncontrolling interest – operating partnership      
  3,539,075 and 3,553,566 common units outstanding as of September 30, 2015 and      
  December 31, 2014, respectively     52,969         54,786  
Noncontrolling interest – consolidated joint ventures     3,919         3,919  
       
Total equity     3,007,109         3,086,377  
       
Total liabilities, noncontrolling interest – operating partnership and equity $   6,689,793     $   6,625,536  
       
CONTACT: Inquiries: Jeanne Leonard, Liberty Property Trust, 610.648.1704

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