VEREIT, Inc. (NYSE:VER) Q1 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
May 20, 2020 • 04:15 pm ET
in a disruptive economy where we now have four overriding goals: keep our employees safe and provide a work environment and tools to be productive; recognize the extent of tenant challenges and interact in a collaborative fashion; maintain the progress we work so hard for, especially the resulting investment grade balance sheet; and use the business model we've built to grow AFFO when the market stabilizes.
We understand there are a number of portfolio fact as you are interested in and I will let our Chief Operating Officer, Paul McDowell, who has been working closely with our tenants, bring you up to date. Paul?
Thanks, Glenn. As already mentioned, we know the focal point for this call is how the portfolio is performing during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, our teams are still very focused on normal asset management, which is also very important. Leasing for the quarter was very strong with over 2 million square feet leased, of which 1.4 million square feet were early renewals. Total activity included 1.3 million square feet of industrial, 498,000 square feet of office, a 190,000 square feet of retail, and 73,000 square feet of restaurants. For renewal leases, we recaptured approximately 94% of prior rents on an initial cash basis and many of these newly-extended leases have additional built-in rent increases. Importantly, we were able to finalize leases we had in process prior to the pandemic disruption along with some dispositions and some of that activity has carried further into Q2. Occupancy ended the quarter at a healthy 99.1%.
Now let's talk more specifically about our portfolio performance and where we are to-date. Our April rent receipt came in at 81%, and so far, rent for May is at 78%, which includes 2% to be paid from a government agency tenant that pays in arrears. The underpinnings of these relatively strong collection results were driven by our property type diversification, industry breakdown, investment grade tenancy, public versus private ownership and geographic diversity. Our allocation to office, industrial and necessity based retail, including our top industry exposures such as discount, pharmacy, grocery, warehouse clubs and convenience has helped in our rental collection.
Overall, 17 of our top 20 tenants effectively paid full rent in April. In May, so far 16 of our top 20 tenants have paid rent. Our approximately 37% of investment grade tenancy for the total portfolio and 46% within retail were a strong component of April rent collections at almost 100% and well over 95% so far in May. Over 60% of our tenants are public in the overall portfolio and over 68% are public within the retail portfolio, which we view very positively. Fortunately, we have a lot of geographic diversity, with many of our properties spread out in areas of the country that have had less impact from the virus and many are in states that have started to re-open for business. Although there remain a patchwork of restrictions based on regions of the country open now or opening