First Industrial Realty Trust Inc. (NYSE:FR) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Apr 25, 2018 • 10:30 am ET

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First Industrial Realty Trust Inc. (NYSE:FR) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Good morning. My name is Christie, and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the First Industrial First Quarter Results Conference Call. [Operator Instructions]

Mr. Art Harmon, Vice President of Investor Relations and Marketing, you may begin your conference.

Executive
Art Hartmon

Thanks, Christie. Hello, everybody, and welcome to our call. Before we discuss our first quarter 2018 results and guidance, let me remind everyone that our call may include forward-looking statements as defined by Federal Securities Laws. These statements are based on management's expectations, plans and estimates of our prospects. Today's statements may be time sensitive and accurate only as of today's date, Wednesday, April 25th, 2018. We assume no obligation to update our statements or the other information we provide.

Actual results may differ materially from our forward-looking statements, and factors which could cause this are described in our 10-K and other SEC filings. You can find a reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures discussed in today's call in our supplemental report and our earnings release. The supplemental report, earnings release and our SEC filings are available at firstindustrial.com under the Investors tab. Our call will begin with remarks by Peter Baccile, our President and Chief Executive Officer; and Scott Musil, our Chief Financial Officer, after which we'll open it up for your questions.

Also, on our call today are Jojo Yap, our Chief Investment Officer; Peter Schultz, Executive Vice President; Chris Schneider, Senior Vice President of Operations and Bob Walter, Senior Vice President of Capital Markets and Asset Management.

Now, let me turn the call over to Peter.

Executive
Peter Baccile

Thank you, Art; and good morning, everyone. The first quarter of 2018 was a solid start to the year for First Industrial and for the industrial real estate market in general. Our occupancy at quarter-end was 97.1%, up 130 basis points from a year ago and only a 20 basis point reduction since year-end, which is less than the typical first quarter dip. We also delivered cash same-store NOI growth of 6.1% and cash rental rate growth of 9.3%, reflecting the outstanding efforts of our team and the strength of our portfolio and the leasing markets.

As of today, we have signed approximately 70% of our 2018 rollovers at a cash rental rate change of 7%. So, the rent growth picture for the year is a good one. National statistics for the first quarter continue to evidence a disciplined market with good tenant demand. According to CBRE Econometric Advisors' preliminary first quarter report net absorption was 42 million square feet versus completions of 35 million square feet. As we look across our markets, we continue to see strong broad-based demand, tenants are investing for growth and to reconfigure their supply chain in an ever-competitive marketplace.

Given good overall demand for space, high market occupancy levels and continued discipline with new construction, tenants has fewer options. Our team is focused on maximizing cash flow from all leases, which involves not only pushing rents but maximizing