Regency Centers Corp (NASDAQ:REG) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Feb 13, 2020 • 11:00 am ET
Greetings, and welcome to the Regency Centers Corporation Fourth Quarter 2019 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions]
It's now my pleasure to introduce your host, Laura Clark, Senior Vice President of Capital Markets. Please go ahead.
Good morning, and welcome to Regency's Fourth Quarter 2019 Earnings Conference Call. Joining me today are Lisa Palmer, President and Chief Executive Officer; Mike Mas, Chief Financial Officer; Mac Chandler, Chief Investment Officer; Jim Thompson, Chief Operating Officer; and Chris Leavitt, SVP and Treasurer. On today's call, we may discuss forward-looking statements. Such statements involve risks and uncertainties. Actual future performance, outcomes and results may differ materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements.
Please refer to our filings with the SEC, which identify important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements. We will also reference certain non-GAAP financial measures. We have provided a reconciliation of these measures to their comparable GAAP measures in our earnings release and financial supplement, which can be found on our Investor Relations website. Today, we will be utilizing a slide presentation for a portion of the call. You can view the slide presentation through the webcast link or in the presentation section of our Investor Relations website at regencycenters.com. Lisa?
Thanks, Laura. Good morning, everyone. I'll start with a recap of 2019 and a few thoughts on 2020 and the future outlook. Before Jim, Mac and Mike walk you through in much more detail. Overall, in 2019, we had a good year. Specifically, some of the key accomplishments from our talented team for the year were: grew core operating earnings per share by 4.3%, which exceeded the top end of our initial guidance from a year ago; we ended the year at 95% leased, this represents the seventh consecutive year at 95% or better; started over $250 million in development and redevelopment projects; completed several developments that are great adds to our portfolio, we made substantial progress on our in-process projects and we have clear visibility to our future pipeline; capitalized on unique acquisition opportunities, enhancing our portfolio quality through the additions of approximately $275 million of well-located, high-growth properties, most notably the Pruneyard, and these acquisitions were funded in part by the sale of more than $200 million of lower growth assets.
We further improved Regency's already impressive balance sheet, solidifying our funding needs through 2020. We demonstrated our continued commitment to best-in-class environmental, social and governance practices. The list of those accomplishments is way too long to list all here, but I'd like to highlight just a few. Earning the GRESB Green Star recognition for a fifth consecutive year, being recognized as one of the leading organizations in the country for top employee engagement scores, receiving the highest governance quality score from ISS; and finally, being recognized in Newsweek's inaugural America's Most Responsible Companies 2020 list as one of the 10 Most Responsible Companies in the real estate and housing sector. While we're really proud of these accomplishments, we acknowledge