Empire State Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE:ESRT) Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call - Preliminary Transcript

Feb 22, 2018 • 08:30 am ET


Empire State Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE:ESRT) Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call - Preliminary Transcript


Loading Event

Loading Transcript


Greetings and welcome to the Empire State Realty Trust Fourth Quarter and Year End 2017 Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in 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, Mr. Thomas Keltner, Executive Vice President and General Counsel at Empire State Realty Trust. Thank you, Mr. Keltner. You may begin.

Thomas Keltner, Jr

Good morning. Thank you for joining us today for Empire State Realty Trust fourth quarter 2017 earnings conference call. In addition to the press release distributed last evening, a quarterly supplemental package with further detail on our results has been posted in the Investors section of the company's website at empirestaterealtytrust.com.

On today's call, management's prepared remarks and answers to your questions may contain forward-looking statements as defined in applicable securities laws, including those related to market conditions, property operations, capital expenditures, income and expense.

As a reminder, forward-looking statements represent management's current estimates. They are subject to risks and uncertainties, which may cause actual results to differ from those discussed today.

Empire State Realty Trust assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement in the future. We encourage listeners to review the more detailed discussions related to these forward-looking statements in the company's filings with the SEC.

Finally, during today's call, we will discuss certain non-GAAP financial measures, such as FFO, modified and core FFO, NOI, cash NOI and EBITDA, which we believe are meaningful in evaluating the company's performance.

The definitions and reconciliations of these measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures are included in the earnings release and supplemental package, each available on the company's website.

Now, I will turn the call over to John Kessler, President and Chief Operating Officer.

Anthony Malkin

Good morning. Welcome to our fourth quarter 2017 earnings conference call. Empire State Realty Trust is a pure play Manhattan and Greater New York Metro area office and retail portfolio. Our focus remains on our long stated plans to redevelop our well located portfolio and deliver embedded de-risk growth and maintain flexibility for external growth through a strong, flexible and low level balance sheet. In the fourth quarter, we signed approximately 275, 000 square feet of leases and saw steady demand for well located, fully modernized for the 21st century building at our value price point. 2017 leasing volume set a record for us. In the fourth quarter, we achieved average leasing spreads of 33.9% on new Manhattan office leases and 26.8% on all new and renewal leases across our entire portfolio.

Moving to our balance sheet. During the quarter, we entered into an agreement to issue and sell four $450 million of long tenured attractively priced unsecured notes in a private placement. As a result of certain financing transactions completed subsequent to quarter end, we have now fully addressed all of our 2018 maturities through a combination of mortgage payoffs and re-financings. We managed our balance sheet to enable