STAG Industrial, Inc. (NYSE:STAG) Q4 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Feb 14, 2019 • 10:00 am ET
Greetings and welcome to STAG Industrial's Fourth Quarter 2018 Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. A question-and-answer session will follow the presentation. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.
I would now like to turn the conference over to Matts Pinard, Senior Vice President of Investor Relations. Thank you, please go ahead.
Thank you. Welcome to STAG Industrial's conference call covering the fourth quarter 2018 results. In addition to the press release distributed yesterday, we posted an unaudited quarterly supplemental information presentation on the company's website at stagindustrial.com, under the Investor Relations section.
On today's call, the company's prepared remarks and answers to your questions will contain forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements address matters that are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ from those discussed today. Examples of forward-looking statements include statements relating to earnings trends, G&A amounts, acquisition and disposition volumes, retention rates, debt capacity, dividend rates, industry and economic trends and other matters.
We encourage all of our listeners to review the more detailed discussion related to these forward-looking statements contained in the company's filings with the SEC and the definitions and reconciliations to non-GAAP measures contained in the supplemental informational package available on the company's website. As a reminder, forward-looking statements represent management's estimates as of today. STAG Industrial assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements. On today's call, you'll hear Ben Butcher, our Chief Executive Officer; and Bill Crooker, our Chief Financial Officer.
I will now turn the call over to Ben.
Benjamin S. Butcher
Thank you, Matts. Good morning, everybody, and welcome to the fourth quarter earnings call for STAG Industrial. We're pleased to have you join us and look forward to telling you about our fourth quarter results. Presenting today in addition to myself will be Bill Crooker, our Chief Financial Officer, who'll discuss the bulk of the financial and operational data. Also with me today are Steve Mecke, our Chief Operating Officer; and Dave King, our Director of Real Estate Operations. They'll be available to answer questions specific to their areas of focus.
The fourth quarter wraps up an impressive 2018 for STAG Industrial. Our platform operated at a high level with continued accretion driven by record acquisition volume, robust leasing spreads and strong retention. All this was accomplished while maintaining a defensive balance sheet. We capped off the year with the execution of a successful portfolio sale and the achievement of an additional investment grade rating.
The opportunities set for the company remains very attractive. The acquisition team continues to expand their marketing presence through seasoning, their time in market and additional outward-facing personnel. The investments made over the past several years to improve and enhance the company's use of data are producing noticeable returns. The underwriting process is more robust and closing is more efficient. The vast amount of internal and external data accumulated is being harnessed through