VEREIT, Inc. (NYSE:VER) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Feb 26, 2020 • 01:30 pm ET


VEREIT, Inc. (NYSE:VER) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Glenn Rufrano

at 3.1%.

Net debt to normalized EBITDA was reduced from 5.9 times to 5.7 times. And we redeemed 300 million of preferred stock. We have accessed capital markets not only for debt reduction, but to extend our maturities. With the exception of our remaining 2020 converts, we have no unsecured bond maturities until 2024. Leasing for the year was very active with 3.7 million square feet leased and occupancy ending at a healthy 99.1%. For renewal leases, we recaptured approximately 97% of prior rents and same-store rent was up 1.2%.

Our 3.7 million square feet of leasing activity represented 289 leases with 3 million square feet renewed, of which 978,000 square feet were early renewals. Leasing included 1.7 million square feet of retail, 727,000 square feet of industrial, 687,000 square feet of office, and 558,000 square feet of restaurants. Diversification is one of the most important ways to protect and provide income stability. Not only do we reduce Red Lobster from 5.5% to 4.7%, but our top 10 tenant concentration continue to improve.

We were able to also take down exposure to Walgreens from over fourth to number two on our tenant list, and Citizens Bank from 1.3% to 0.8% of income. 47 tenants individually represent 0.5% or greater of ARI comprising 56% of the total portfolio, while the remaining 572 tenants comprised 44%. We are introducing a new performance index for our retail and restaurant portfolio. For Q4 EBITDAre coverage was 2.63 times, which can be found on page 36 of our supplemental.

Turning to capital markets. Commercial real estate sales volume excluding M&A increased in 2019. We once again took advantage of this activity in pruning the portfolio. 2019 portfolio dispositions totaled $740 million and were centered around portfolio diversifiers. We sold a $191 million of flat leases, $175 million of office, $136 million of Red Lobster, and $228 million of non-core, which included $66 million of bank branches.

Acquisitions totaled $426 million comprised of approximately 90% retail and 10% industrial. Retail included our preferred merchandise categories, convenience, entertainment, fitness, specialty grocer, and discount. We are also very focused on adding leases, as evidenced by the WALT on acquisitions of 16 years, and dispositions nine years.

Before Mike reviews our financial results, let me provide my last summary on litigation. On September 9, we announced our global settlement for both the class-action and derivative lawsuits, which the court gave final approval on January 21 of this year. In addition, on November 18, 2019, we announced an agreement with the SEC, which is subject to documentation and approval, to settle the SEC investigation for $8 million as a civil penalty. Let me now turn over the call to Mike.

Michael J. Bartolotta

Thanks, Glenn. And thank you all for joining us today. We had a very active year. And as Glenn mentioned, we resolved our final legacy issue litigation. And nevertheless, we're still able to achieve the midpoint of our FFO guidance range of $0.69.

In the fourth quarter, rental revenue increased