Whitestone REIT (NYSE:WSR) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Preliminary Transcript

May 07, 2018 • 05:00 pm ET

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Whitestone REIT (NYSE:WSR) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Preliminary Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Good day, and welcome to Whitestone REIT's First Quarter 2018 Earnings Conference Call. Today's conference is being recorded.

At this time, I'd like to turn the conference over to Mr. Kevin Reed, Director of Investor Relations. Please go ahead sir.

Executive
Kevin Reed

Thank you, Stephanie. Good afternoon everyone and thank you for joining Whitestone REIT's first quarter 2018 earnings conference call.Joining me on today's call will be Jim Mastandrea, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; and Dave Holeman, our Chief Financial Officer. Please note that some statements made during this call are not historical and may be deemed forward-looking statements.

Actual results may differ materially from those forward-looking statements due to a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors. Please refer to the Company's earnings press release and filings with the SEC, including Whitestone's most recent Form 10-Q for a detailed discussion of these factors. Acknowledging the fact that this call may be webcast for a period of time, it is also important to note, but this call includes time sensitive information that may be accurate only as today's date, May 7, 2018.

The Company undertakes no obligation to update the information. Whitestone's first quarter earnings press release and supplemental operating and financial data package have been filed with the SEC and are available on our website, www.whitestonereit.com, in the Investor Relations section.

During this presentation, we may reference certain non-GAAP financial measures, which we believe allow investors to better understand the financial position and performance of the Company. Included in the earnings press release and supplemental data package are the reconciliations of non-GAAP measures to GAAP financial measures.

With that, let me pass the call to Jim Mastandrea.

Executive
Jim Mastandrea

Thank you, Kevin, and thank you all for joining us on our first quarter 2018 conference call. We are off to a great start for the year, led by a record-setting quarter of leasing activity and square footage, dollar volume and rent per square foot. This is the highest volume of quarterly leasing activity since our IPO.

One of the keys to the strong leasing effort was the persistence of our highly focused leasing teams canvassing a potential tenants that best fit the needs of our communities. We attributed the success of our leasing effort in the first quarter to having a high-quality portfolio of community center properties that we assembled via the targeted investments we have made into creating needs-based centers that drive traffic.

We have accretively transformed our portfolio these past few years into one focus on driving high-frequency visits from consumers in the surrounding neighborhoods in each of our high-growth markets. By owning well located, service-focused assets of community center properties, we produced first quarter ending occupancy that approached 91%, which is our highest level ever.

Our strategy is to become a leading real estate owner for entrepreneurial tenants that provide local-based necessities and services within the fastest growing cities of the country in business-friendly states. Again, this is finally starting to resonate as we demonstrated in the first quarter with