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CST: 09/12/2018 19:05:17   

Liberty Property Trust Announces Second Quarter 2018 Results

138 Days ago

WAYNE, Pa., July 24, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Liberty Property Trust announced financial and operating results for the quarter ended June 30, 2018.

“Liberty continues to benefit from strong, unabated demand from industrial users for high-quality, well-located facilities, said Bill Hankowsky, Chief Executive Officer. “This demand is widespread and is evident in all Liberty markets. Due to these market conditions, we anticipate that our same store operating performance for 2018 will likely be at the upper end of our guidance range. In addition, the robust demand from real estate investors should allow us to accelerate sales of non-core office properties this year.”

Net income: Net income available to common shareholders for the second quarter of 2018 was $19.6 million, or $0.13 per diluted share, compared to $51.4 million, or $0.35 per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2017. For the six months ended June 30, 2018, net income available to common shareholders was $159.8 million, or $1.08 per diluted share, compared to $94.4 million, or $0.64 per diluted share, for the first six months of 2017.

Net income for the second quarter and for the first six months of 2018 includes $60.0 million in additional development service fee expense relating to the completion of development of Comcast Technology Center, and a $26.0 million non-cash impairment charge associated with the development of a mixed-use project in Camden, New Jersey.

Funds from Operations: The Company uses the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (“NAREIT”) definition of Funds from Operations (“FFO”) as an operating measure of the Company’s financial performance.  A reconciliation of U.S. GAAP net income to NAREIT FFO is included in the financial data tables accompanying this press release.

NAREIT FFO available to common shareholders for the second quarter of 2018 was $17.6 million, or $0.12 per diluted share, compared to $98.2 million, or $0.65 per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2017.  FFO for the second quarter of 2018 was impacted by the aforementioned development service fee expenses and non-cash impairment charge totaling $86.0 million, or $0.57 per diluted share.

FFO available to common shareholders for the six months ended June 30, 2018 was $116.2 million, or $0.77 per diluted share, compared to $188.8 million, or $1.25 per diluted share, for the first six months of 2017. FFO for the first six months of 2018 was impacted by the aforementioned development service fee expenses and non-cash impairment charge totaling $86.0 million, or $0.57 per diluted share.

Operating Performance                
Occupancy: At June 30, 2018, Liberty’s operating portfolio of 102.9 million square feet was 97.0% occupied, compared to 96.7% at the end of the first quarter 2018. During the quarter, Liberty completed lease transactions totaling 6.1 million square feet of space, and occupancy on a signed but not yet commenced basis is 97.5%.

  • Occupancy of Liberty’s 96.1 million square foot industrial portfolio was 97.0% at quarter-end, compared to 96.7% for the previous quarter. Industrial distribution rents increased 14.7% on retention and replacement leases signed during the quarter.  Of these leases, 99% have built-in rent escalators.
  • Occupancy of Liberty’s 6.8 million square foot office portfolio was 96.6% at quarter-end, up from 95.9% for the previous quarter. Office rents increased 18.0% on retention and replacement leases signed in the quarter, and 100% of these leases contain built-in rent escalators.

Same Store Performance: Property level operating income for same store industrial properties increased by 5.5% on a cash basis and by 4.1% on a GAAP basis for the second quarter of 2018, compared to the same quarter in 2017. For the six months ended June 30, 2018, property level operating income for same store industrial properties increased by 6.1% on a cash basis and 4.5% on a GAAP basis, compared to the same period in 2017.

Real Estate Investments
Development Deliveries: In the second quarter, Liberty brought into service five wholly-owned development properties for a total investment of $163.4 million. The properties contain 1.6 million square feet of leasable space and were 94.7% occupied as of the end of the quarter. The yield on these properties at June 30, 2018 was 9.1%.

Development Starts: In the second quarter, Liberty began development of two wholly-owned properties totaling 924,000 square feet of leasable space at a projected investment of $96.5 million. The properties consist of:

  • 14803 Woodham Drive, Houston, TX - 728,000 square feet, 100% leased
  • Liberty 196 Brackmills, Northampton, UK - 196,000 square feet for inventory

Real Estate Acquisitions
During the second quarter, Liberty purchased three industrial buildings totaling 774,000 square feet, for $97.5 million. The properties consist of:

  • 1543 N. Adler Avenue, Rialto, CA, a 426,000 square foot property. Vacant at acquisition, Liberty has subsequently signed a lease for the entire building, commencing August 1
  • 2000 W. Baseline Road, Rialto, CA, a 176,000 square foot vacant property
  • 234 Moonachie Road in Moonachie, NJ, a 172,000 square foot property, 100% leased

Real Estate Dispositions
During the second quarter, Liberty sold 5 Crescent Drive, a 208,000 square foot LEED® Platinum office building at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, for $130.5 million.

18th & Arch Mixed-Use Development
As previously disclosed in our public filings, Liberty has been notified by its third-party contractor that the contractor has incurred cost overruns and expects to incur additional construction costs in connection with completing the Comcast Technology Center development project located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Based upon information we have received from the third-party contractor since we filed our quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the first quarter of 2018, we have determined that it is probable that Liberty may be required to initially fund cost overruns in compliance with its obligations under its development cost guarantee to the joint ventures developing the project.  We currently estimate that these costs could total $60 million more than previously accrued and, as such, we have accrued such amount as additional development service fee expense during the second quarter of 2018.  The Company intends to vigorously pursue all remedies to recover from the third-party contractor any amounts expended by the Company or the joint ventures in excess of their contractual obligations.

Camden, NJ Mixed-Use Development
In 2016, the Company commenced a land and fee development project at the Camden Waterfront in Camden, New Jersey.  The Camden Waterfront is a mixed-use project comprising approximately 20 acres with 1.1 million square feet of development capacity on the Delaware River.  Liberty master-planned the community and is preparing the site for end-users who include office, hotel and residential concerns. To-date, Liberty has provided infrastructure including roads, utilities, parking and open-space to the site. We have sold one site to American Water for their headquarters building and are developing that building for a fee. Liberty has sold or is under contract to sell three additional parcels to third parties who are developing, or will be developing office, residential and hotel properties.  The Company’s estimated total investment in the land and related infrastructure and soft costs at the Camden Waterfront is approximately $80 million.  The Company expected to recover its investment primarily through land and related infrastructure sales to, and fee development projects with, third parties as mentioned above. Liberty is currently working with a number of companies interested in locating their operations at the Camden Waterfront.

Consistent with our other real estate, each quarter we assess the Camden property for impairment. We consider a number of judgmental factors such as site configuration, absorption rates and timing of future fee development projects, the amount, timing and sunset provisions of government incentives aimed at inducing office users to relocate to Camden, and general market conditions affecting demand for office space in Camden. Liberty has evaluated multiple scenarios on a probability-weighted basis, including changes to certain forecast assumptions during the quarter, and has determined that an indicator of impairment exists.  Consequently, we recorded a non-cash impairment charge of $26 million in the second quarter of 2018 to write down our carrying basis in the land and related infrastructure to its current estimated fair value.

2018 Outlook

  • Liberty has revised its guidance range for 2018 net income available to common shareholders to $3.24 - $3.59 per diluted share. This change reflects charges incurred in the second quarter.
  • Liberty has revised its guidance range for 2018 NAREIT FFO to $2.01 - $2.08 per diluted share. This change reflects charges incurred in the second quarter. Without charges, the new range would be $2.58 - $2.65 per diluted share.
  • Guidance range for year-over-year growth in 2018 industrial same store NOI (GAAP) increased from 3.0% - 4.0% to 3.5% - 4.0% and same store NOI (Cash) increased from 4.0% - 5.0% to 4.5% - 5.0%
  • Average occupancy of the industrial portfolio is now expected to be 96% -97%
  • Rental increases on renewal and replacement leases in the industrial portfolio are expected to range from 12% - 15% on a GAAP basis and from 4% to 6% on a Cash basis
  • Disposition activity range increased from $600 - $800 million to $700 – $900 million at a projected yield of 6.75% - 7.25%

A reconciliation of projected U.S. GAAP net income available to common shareholders per share to projected NAREIT FFO per share for 2018 and projected FFO per diluted share before charges is below. Additional information on assumptions underlying this guidance is included in Liberty’s second quarter supplemental financial report on the Company’s website.

  Revised 2018
Outlook
Previous 2018
Outlook
Projected net income available to common
shareholders per diluted share
$3.24 - $3.59 $3.07 - $3.88
Depreciation and amortization of unconsolidated
joint ventures
0.07 – 0.08 0.07 – 0.08
Depreciation and amortization 1.21 – 1.22 1.14 – 1.22
Gain on property dispositions (2.60) – (2.90) (1.80) – (2.60)
Noncontrolling interest share of addbacks 0.09 – 0.09 0.07 – 0.07
Projected NAREIT FFO per diluted share $2.01 - $2.08 $2.55 - $2.65
18th & Arch and Camden charges 0.57 – 0.57  
Projected FFO per diluted share before charges $2.58 - $2.65  

About Liberty Property Trust
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 industrial and office properties. Liberty's 103 million square foot operating portfolio provides productive work environments for 1,200 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 second quarter results on Tuesday, July 24, 2018, at 1 p.m. Eastern Time.  To access the conference call, please dial 855-277-7530. The passcode needed for access is 9993005. A replay of the call will be available until August 24, 2018, 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.

Forward-Looking Statements
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,” “remain confident,” 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 our ability to maintain and increase property occupancy and rental rates, risks relating to the continued repositioning of the Company's portfolio, risks relating to construction and development activities, risks relating to acquisition and disposition activities, risks relating to the integration of the operations of entities that we have acquired or may acquire, risks relating to joint venture relationships and any possible need to perform under certain guarantees that we have issued or may issue in connection with such relationships, risks related to properties developed by the Company on a fee basis, risks associated with tax abatement, tax credit programs, or other government incentives, 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 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
Balance Sheet  
June 30, 2018
(Unaudited and in thousands)
       
  June 30, 2018   December 31, 2017
Assets      
  Real estate:      
  Land and land improvements $   1,149,886     $   1,046,571  
  Building and improvements   4,445,617       4,189,319  
  Less: accumulated depreciation   (935,363 )     (880,004 )
       
  Operating real estate   4,660,140       4,355,886  
       
  Development in progress   330,755       333,437  
  Land held for development   351,366       330,748  
       
  Net real estate   5,342,261       5,020,071  
       
  Cash and cash equivalents   24,211       11,882  
  Restricted cash   14,865       13,803  
  Accounts receivable   9,378       10,402  
  Deferred rent receivable   118,834       109,014  
  Deferred financing and leasing costs, net   150,903       148,583  
  Investments in and advances to unconsolidated joint ventures   359,776       288,456  
  Assets held for sale   376,551       547,668  
  Prepaid expenses and other assets   154,094       289,878  
       
  Total assets $   6,550,873     $   6,439,757  
       
Liabilities      
       
  Mortgage loans, net $   235,753     $   267,093  
  Unsecured notes, net   2,284,882       2,283,513  
  Credit facilities   394,223       358,939  
  Accounts payable   72,988       77,000  
  Accrued interest   22,081       21,796  
  Dividend and distributions payable   60,528       60,330  
  Other liabilities   273,135       204,005  
  Liabilities held for sale   2,521       11,178  
  Total liabilities   3,346,111       3,283,854  
       
  Noncontrolling interest   7,537       7,537  
       
Equity      
  Shareholders' equity      
  Common shares of beneficial interest   148       147  
  Additional paid-in capital   3,686,505       3,674,978  
  Accumulated other comprehensive loss   (43,383 )     (37,797 )
  Distributions in excess of net income   (508,386 )     (549,970 )
  Total shareholders' equity   3,134,884       3,087,358  
       
  Noncontrolling interest - operating partnership   56,918       56,159  
  Noncontrolling interest - consolidated joint ventures   5,423       4,849  
       
  Total equity   3,197,225       3,148,366  
       
  Total liabilities, noncontrolling interest - operating partnership and equity $   6,550,873     $   6,439,757  
       


Liberty Property Trust
Statement of Operations
June 30, 2018
(Unaudited and in thousands, except per share amounts)
               
  Quarter Ended   Six Months Ended
  June 30, 2018   June 30, 2017   June 30, 2018   June 30, 2017
Operating Revenue              
  Rental $   119,578     $   111,721     $   238,668     $   222,567  
  Operating expense reimbursement   37,202       33,478       74,354       67,971  
  Development service fee income   19,824       18,259       46,176       29,744  
  Total operating revenue   176,604       163,458       359,198       320,282  
               
Operating Expenses              
  Rental property   15,029       13,358       30,318       28,961  
  Real estate taxes   22,605       20,729       44,958       41,558  
  General and administrative   11,659       15,203       30,285       32,196  
  Expensed pursuit costs   59       153       383       185  
  Systems implementation expense   1,469       15       2,175       15  
  Depreciation and amortization   42,708       41,682       84,781       83,162  
  Development service fee expense   79,808       17,828       107,875       28,832  
  Impairment charges - real estate assets   26,000             26,000        
  Total operating expenses   199,337       108,968       326,775       214,909  
               
  Operating (loss) income   (22,733 )     54,490       32,423       105,373  
               
Other Income/Expense              
  Interest and other income   2,663       1,908       5,142       3,761  
  Interest expense   (21,779 )     (20,657 )     (43,645 )     (41,421 )
  Total other income/expense   (19,116 )     (18,749 )     (38,503 )     (37,660 )
               
  (Loss) income before gain on property dispositions, income               
  taxes, and equity in earnings of unconsolidated joint ventures   (41,849 )     35,741       (6,080 )     67,713  
  Gain on property dispositions   48,582       5,895       52,703       6,702  
  Income taxes   (941 )     (324 )     (1,495 )     (946 )
  Equity in earnings of unconsolidated joint ventures   7,428       3,990       14,192       9,721  
               
Income from continuing operations   13,220       45,302       59,320       83,190  
  Discontinued operations (including net loss of $0.2 million and a               
  net gain of $89.8 million on property dispositions for the three and              
  six months ended June 30, 2018, respectively)   7,670       7,516       105,295       13,872  
Net Income   20,890       52,818       164,615       97,062  
Noncontrolling interest - operating partnerships   (585 )     (1,350 )     (4,042 )     (2,499 )
Noncontrolling interest - consolidated joint ventures   (691 )     (57 )     (778 )     (120 )
Net Income available to common shareholders $   19,614     $   51,411     $   159,795     $   94,443  
               
Net income $   20,890     $   52,818     $   164,615     $   97,062  
  Other comprehensive (loss) gain - foreign currency translation   (14,138 )     7,503       (6,206 )     10,680  
  Other comprehensive gain (loss) - derivative instruments   102       (38 )     487       275  
Comprehensive income   6,854       60,283       158,896       108,017  
  Less: comprehensive income attributable to noncontrolling interest   (949 )     (1,582 )     (4,687 )     (2,875 )
Comprehensive income attributable to common shareholders $   5,905     $   58,701     $   154,209     $   105,142  
               
Basic income per common share              
  Continuing operations $   0.08     $   0.30     $   0.39     $   0.55  
  Discontinued operations $   0.05     $   0.05     $   0.70     $   0.09  
Basic income per common share $   0.13     $   0.35     $   1.09     $   0.64  
               
Diluted income per common share              
  Continuing operations $   0.08     $   0.30     $   0.39     $   0.55  
  Discontinued operations $   0.05     $   0.05     $   0.69     $   0.09  
Diluted income per common share $   0.13     $   0.35     $   1.08     $   0.64  
               
Weighted average shares              
  Basic   147,274       146,688       147,184       146,602  
  Diluted   148,333       147,508       148,104       147,355  
               


Liberty Property Trust
Statement of Funds from Operations
June 30, 2018
(Unaudited and in thousands, except per share amounts)
   
  Quarter Ended   Six Months Ended
  June 30, 2018   June 30, 2017   June 30, 2018   June 30, 2017
NAREIT FFO              
       
Reconciliation of net income available to common shareholders to NAREIT FFO available to common shareholders:              
Net income available to common shareholders $   19,614     $   51,411     $   159,795     $   94,443  
               
Adjustments:              
Depreciation and amortization of unconsolidated joint ventures   3,236       2,295       6,438       4,620  
Depreciation and amortization   42,682       45,343       87,172       90,421  
Gain on property dispositions / impairment - depreciable real estate assets continuing operations   (48,614 )     (2,108 )     (51,210 )     (2,915 )
Loss (gain) on property dispositions / impairment - depreciable real estate assets discontinued operations   238             (89,811 )      
Noncontrolling interest share in addback for depreciation and amortization and gain on property dispositions / impairment - depreciable real estate assets   57       (1,065 )     1,103       (2,155 )
NAREIT FFO available to common shareholders - basic   17,213       95,876       113,487       184,414  
               
Noncontrolling interest share in addback for depreciation and amortization and gain on property dispositions / impairment - depreciable real estate assets   (57 )     1,065       (1,103 )     2,155  
Noncontrolling interest excluding preferred unit distributions   467       1,232       3,806       2,263  
NAREIT FFO available to common shareholders - diluted $   17,623     $   98,173     $   116,190     $   188,832  
               
NAREIT FFO available to common shareholders - basic per share $   0.12     $   0.65     $   0.77     $   1.26  
NAREIT FFO available to common shareholders - diluted per share $   0.12     $   0.65     $   0.77     $   1.25  
               
Reconciliation of weighted average shares:              
Weighted average common shares - all basic calculations   147,274       146,688       147,184       146,602  
Dilutive shares for long term compensation plans   1,059       820       920       753  
Diluted shares for net income calculations   148,333       147,508       148,104       147,355  
Weighted average common units   3,520       3,528       3,520       3,528  
Diluted shares for NAREIT FFO calculations   151,853       151,036       151,624       150,883  

NAREIT Funds from Operations available to common shareholders is defined by NAREIT as net income (computed in accordance with U.S. GAAP), excluding gains (or losses) from sales of depreciable property and impairments of depreciable real estate assets, plus depreciation and amortization, and after adjustments for unconsolidated partnerships and joint ventures.  The SEC has agreed to the disclosure of this non-GAAP financial measure on a per share basis in its Release No. 34-47226, Conditions for Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures. The Company believes that the calculation of NAREIT FFO 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 operating property dispositions. As a result, year over year comparison of NAREIT FFO 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 FFO provides useful information to the investment community about the Company’s financial performance when compared to other REITs since NAREIT FFO is generally recognized as the standard for reporting the operating performance of a REIT. NAREIT FFO available to common shareholders does not represent net income or cash flows from operations as defined by U.S. 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 FFO available to common shareholders also does not represent cash flows generated from operating, investing or financing activities as defined by U.S. GAAP. The Company believes that the line on its consolidated statements of comprehensive income entitled “net income available to common shareholders” is the most directly comparable U.S. GAAP measure to FFO.

Inquiries: Jeanne Leonard, Liberty Property Trust, 610.648.1704

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