First Industrial Realty Trust Inc. (NYSE:FR) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Feb 13, 2020 • 11:00 am ET

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First Industrial Realty Trust Inc. (NYSE:FR) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by, and welcome to the First Industrial Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2019 Results Call. [Operator Instructions]

I would now like to hand the conference over to your speaker today, Mr. Art Harmon, Vice President of Investor Relations and Marketing. Thank you. Please go ahead, sir.

Executive
Art Harmon

Thank you, Maria. Hello, everybody and welcome to our call. Before we discuss our fourth quarter and full year 2019 results, and initial 2020 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, Thursday, February 13, 2020.

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 causes 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 will open it up for your questions. Also on the 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 E. Baccile

Thank you, Art and thanks to everyone joining us for the call today. We finished 2019 with an excellent fourth quarter to cap up another successful year. For 2020, we expect more of the same, leveraging our platform to generate more cash flow growth and value creation. Occupancy at year end was a very strong 97.6% and full year cash rental rate growth was 13.9%, a Company record. Both of these metrics reflect continued strong tenant demand for logistics space, and the great work of our leasing and operations professionals. We developed a number of high quality facilities at strong margins, and replenished our pipeline with the acquisition of several exciting new sites and target markets, particularly Miami.

In addition, we continue to shape our portfolio to drive long-term growth as we further increase our capital allocation to higher barrier markets. Before we get into the specifics of the quarter, let me provide you with a quick overview of the national industrial market. According to CBRE Econometric Advisors, new supply for 2019 was 224 million square feet compared to net absorption of 183 million. This marks the first time since 2009 that new supply exceeded net absorption. Despite this, our outlook for 2020 is similar to that of 2019. Vacancies remain low and excess new construction continues to be concentrated primarily in larger format buildings