National Storage Affiliates Trust (NYSE:NSA)
Q4 2016 Earnings Conference Call
February 28, 2017 1:00 PM ET
Marti Dowling Director-Investor Relations
Arlen Nordhagen Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Tamara Fischer Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President
Vikram Malhotra Morgan Stanley
RJ Milligan Robert W. Baird
Todd Thomas KeyBanc
David Corak FBR
Ki Bin Kim SunTrust
Barry Oxford DA Davidson
Greetings and welcome to the National Storage Affiliates Fourth Quarter and Year End 2016 Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. A brief question-and-answer session will follow the formal presentation. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.
It is now my pleasure to introduce your host, Marti Dowling, Director of Investor Relations for National Storage Affiliates. Thank you. Miss Dowling, you may now begin.
Hello, everyone, we would like to thank you for joining us today for the fourth quarter and full year 2016 earnings conference call of National Storage Affiliates Trust. In addition to the press release distributed yesterday after market close, we have filed an 8-K with the SEC containing our supplemental package with additional details on our results, which may also be found in the Investor Relations section on our website at nationalstorageaffiliates.com.
On today's call management's prepared remarks and answers to your questions may contain forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties. The Company cautions that actual results may differ materially from those projected in any forward-looking statement. For additional detail concerning our forward-looking statements, please refer to our public filings with the SEC.
We encourage listeners to review the definitions and reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures such as FFO, core FFO and net operating income contained in the supplemental information package available in the Investor Relations section on the companys website and in filings made with the SEC.
Today's conference call is hosted by National Storage Affiliates' Chief Executive Officer, Arlen Nordhagen; Chief Financial Officer, Tamara Fischer; and Senior Vice President of Operations, Steve Treadwell. Following prepared remarks management will accept questions from registered financial analysts. I will now turn the call over to Arlen.
Thanks, Marti, and welcome, everyone, to our year-end 2016 earnings conference call. To begin 2016 was a very strong year for NSA on all fronts. We realized robust growth across virtually our entire portfolio driving strong increases in all our operating metrics. We grew same store portfolio average occupancy by 210 basis points, increasing average occupancy to 90% for the year.
Our average rent per square foot increased by 5.3% resulting in same store revenue and NOI increases of 7.7% and 10.2% respectively. It was another year of very strong acquisition growth further demonstrating the depth and quality of our pipeline and our unique ability to source and close accretive acquisitions through our PRO relationships.
During 2016, we acquired and invested in a total of 173 high quality assets primarily in our core growth markets representing total investment of over $1.3 billion including the addition of our seventh PRO hideaway in April and the acquisition of our 66th property, iStorage portfolio through a joint venture with the major state pension fund. As a result, we ended the year with a portfolio of 448 self storage properties located in 23 states.
In total, we have about 28 million rentable square feet, an increase of 75% from one year earlier and over 100% since our initial public offering. In 2016, we materially expanded and improved our balance sheet. We upsized our creditor facility to $725 million, closed on an additional $100 million term loan and issued over $500 million in new equity.
Our equity base grew through two well received common equity offerings issuances under our ATM program and through substantial issuance of new OP and SP equity for property acquisitions. The combination of these transactions maintains the capacity and flexibility we need to fund future growth opportunities.
As a result at the bottom line, we achieved core FFO of $1.12 per share for 2016, up 21.7% from 2015, which meaningfully exceeded our own guidance. In December, our Board announced a 9% increase in our quarterly common dividend to $0.24 per share. This was on top of the 10% increase we announced in May. And we continue to maintain significant AFFO coverage of our dividend payout.
And finally, I'm very pleased to announce that we have recently signed Marc Smith of Personal Mini storage in Orlando, Florida to become our 8th PRO. Through this transaction, Personal Mini is co-investing the SP equity to assume management of four of our recent third-party acquisitions in this market. And we will be having a 5th property to our portfolio very soon.
Beyond that Personal Mini operates a portfolio of over 30 properties, which we will look to acquire over the next several years in addition to other third-party acquisitions. Further Marc is very well known and respected as a major thought leader within the industry and has served on the board of directors of the National Self Storage Association for the last six years including as Chairman in 2016.
His reputation and relationships are a huge plus for us as we continue to recruit additional PROs to join our platform. It was truly an exceptional year for NSA and I'm enormously proud of the hard work, spirit and dedication of the entire NSA and PRO teams. Thank you to all.
Fundamentals in the self storage sector remain good and we remain optimistic about more normalized, but continued growth through 2017. We continue to experience stable demand across our portfolio, driven by positive economic fundamentals in nearly all our core markets including high employment rates and growing consumer spending. Although new supply is certainly creating some pressures in a few markets, such as Oklahoma, we believe this risk is generally concentrated and market specific and we still don't see new supply risk being elevated for NSA's portfolio on a national basis. There continues to be a lot of market chatter about starts but as for now we're not seeing plans translating into supply exceeding demand in a significant way in most of our primary markets.
I'd like to take a moment to update you on our key initiatives. Our portfolio is now operating near what we believe to be our optimum stabilized occupancy levels. So our initiatives to capture revenue upside from rent increases and other sources are vitally important. Our revenue management system is constantly evolving and is more active on our platform than ever.
At this time, virtually all of our properties are configured on the revenue management system. We're now evaluating implementation of new modules to enhance the current system and more effectively drive additional revenue.
In addition, we continue to make upgrades and improvements to our management information systems, our internet marketing platform and our call center operations to allow us to make better decisions and improve the results of our marketing spend.
Turning to the transaction front in the fourth quarter alone we acquired 31 wholly owned self-storage properties for a total investment of approximately 228 million dollars. These fourth quarter acquisitions encompass about 2.1 million rentable square feet with more than 16,600 storage units.
In addition the 66 iStorage joint venture properties added over 4.5 million rentable square feet and over 35,000 storage units to NSA's platform. Our pro network is a key element to our continued ability to grow. First through, our captive pipeline, which includes properties that are PROs manage but NSA does not yet own. Today with the addition of Personal Mini, The captive pipeline consists of over 120 properties and over 8 million square feet, valued at nearly a billion dollars.
Our second channel is third party acquisitions where our PROs act as our boots on the ground. They are market focused and have local knowledge and relationships, which lead to substantial third party off market acquisitions. In total over the last two years through our captive and third party pipelines and our joint venture, we've acquired over 230 properties adding over 15 million rentable square feet.
Equally important this growth has both expanded our geographic reach and deepened our presence within our existing markets providing enhanced local marketing and efficiency gains. Our third channel of growth is adding new PROs and we're always in discussions with a number of high quality operators.
As I mentioned, we're extremely pleased that we've added our eighth PRO Personal Mini Storage to join NSA this month. We are clearly-off to a great start in 2017 and we look forward to working with Marc Smith and his team to continue to grow NSA. We are very proud of NSAs accomplishments to-date, which demonstrate our unique opportunities for continued growth both internally and externally, as well as our ability to deliver strong value for our shareholders.
With our joint venture acquisition, the addition of our eighth PRO, balance sheet flexibility and a healthy pipeline we're excited to continue executing on our stated growth initiatives in 2017. I'll now turn the call over to Tammy.
Thank you Arlen, in my comments today, Ill review our fourth quarter and full-year 2016 results, update you on our balance sheet and liquidity and finally discuss our outlook for 2017, which was provided in detail in our earnings release issued yesterday.
Beginning with our financial results for the fourth quarter 2016, we reported net income of $6.1 million, compared to $5.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2015. And core FFO of $20 million or $0.30 per share an increase of 25% on a per share basis compared to Q4 2015.
For the full-year 2016 our net income was $24.9 million compared to $4.8 million in 2015 and our core FFO was $65.5 million or $1.12 per share, an increase of 21.7% compared to $0.92 per share reported in 2015. The increase in core FFO for both the quarter and the year was due to strong growth within the same store portfolio. As well as our robust acquisition activity in 2016 partially offset by higher financing costs, G&A and an increase of the fully diluted share count.
Turning to our operations for the fourth quarter 2016, we reported a 9.2% increase in same-store NOI compared to Q4 2015. Same store revenue was up 6.3% driven by a 6.7% increase in average rent per square foot, slightly offset by a 30 basis point decrease in average occupancy to 89.1%.
One impact we are seeing of our new revenue management system is that it results in pushing rental rates further. Even if that results in slight occupancy decreases property operating expense increased only a 0.5% compared to the prior year, which was in line with our expectations.
For the full-year 2016 our same-store NOI increased 10.2% compared to 2015. Same-store revenue was up 7.7% driven by a 5.3% increase in average rent per square foot and a 210 basis point increase in average occupancy to 90%. Property operating expenses increased 2.9% year-over-year, again in line with our expectations.
We continue to benefit from our geographically diverse portfolio that is concentrated in states with the above average population and job growth.
Our stores located in Oregon, California, Georgia and Arizona, which represent more than half of our 2016 same-store NOI, continued to outperform, each delivering double-digit same-store NOI growth in 2016. We continued to see softness in the fourth quarter in Oklahoma and West Texas, which has been impacted by both the energy sector and new supply coming online. And our stores in Washington State were impacted in the fourth quarter, by higher property taxes, timing of repair and maintenance projects and increased advertising spend. While we have selectively used increased discounting in promotions to support occupancy gains in some markets, we continue to benefit from a roll up in rental rates for move in versus move out, driven in part by our revenue management system.
We also delivered double-digit growth in tenant insurance revenues during 2016 as our penetration rates continue to grow through high rates of adoption among our new customers, ending the year at over 55% penetration across our portfolio. As we discussed, in October we formed a joint venture with the major state pension fund to acquire the iStorage portfolio. And as they invested roughly $80 million for a 25% ownership stake and the joint venture put in place $320 million of mortgage financing. The investment was immediately accretive to core FFO per share and we expect to generate approximately $7 million to $8 million per year in gross fee income before incremental G&A expense of approximately $3.5 million, allowing us to leverage our total G&A spend.
Our balance sheet remains a strong point for NSA. During 2016 and into the first quarter 2017 we actively worked to expand our capacity and retain financial liquidity and flexibility. During the fourth quarter, we completed our second follow-on equity offering issuing nearly 5.2 million common shares and raising net proceeds of $105 million. We use the proceeds of the offering to pay down our revolving line of credit.
Also in the fourth quarter, we launched an ATM program adding yet another source of capital to enhance our balance sheet and fund growth. During the fourth quarter, we issued approximately 1.7 million shares under the ATM, raising net proceeds of about $34 million and leaving about $165 million of liquidity under the program. In addition we issued over $16 million of OP and SP equity in the fourth quarter to fund acquisitions completed during the quarter.
At year end, our total consolidated debt outstanding was about $873 million of which about 72% was fixed-rate mortgage financing or fixed with swaps. Our weighted average effective interest rate was about 3% and our weighted average maturity was 5.2 years. We have almost no debt maturing before 2020.
Subsequent to year end we completed an expansion of our credit facility, which increased our borrowing capacity by yet another $170 million, resulting in total capacity under our credit facility today of $895 million. As part of this expansion we increased our five-year term loan by $10 million dollars, our six-year term loan by $55 million and added a $105 million seven-year term loan tranche.
We expanded capacity on our revolver from $350 million to $400 million last December. As we have consistently demonstrated, we remain disciplined on the capital front, ensuring a strong and flexible balance sheet to support our growth strategy.
Turning to our guidance, we recognize that 2017 may be a year of transition for the industry with more new supply coming on line, making it a bit more challenging to forecast. While we have not yet seen a material slowdown in our property performance, we are cognizant of the fact that new supply may impact NSA more significantly later in the year. For that reason, we have built into our guidance somewhat lower growth expectations, compared to 2016.
As we announced last evening, we expect 2017 core FFO to be in the range of $1.22 zero to a $1.29 nine per share. Our guidance is based on several factors, including anticipated same-store NOI growth of 6% to 8%, driven by expected revenue growth of 5% to 7% and expense growth of 3% to 4%. As a note, our same-store portfolio in 2017 will include 277 properties. Expected acquisitions in a range of $200 million to $500 million, full-year corporate G&A cash expense including all iStorage G&A is expected to be in the range of 9.5% to 10.5% of revenue, excluding the iStorage property revenue. Plus another 1% to 1.5% in non-cash comp expense.
To put these numbers in context if we included the iStorage property revenue in the total revenue denominator, our total cash plus non-cash G&A and would be 9% to 10% of total revenues as we continue to leverage our G&A capacity.
This concludes our prepared remarks. With that we will now take your questions. Operator?
Thank you we will not be conducting a question-and-answer session. [Operator Instructions] Our first question comes from the line of Vikram Malhotra with Morgan Stanley, please go ahead with your questions.
Thank you. Two quick questions, so one, can you maybe just give us a little bit more color on when you talk about supply and not really seeing impacts but you're baking in some impact towards a second half. How are you the sort of the new supply coming online, whats your expectation in terms of how it will impact occupancy, rent growth and how are you factoring that into the guidance?
Hi Vikram, this is Arlen. So yes we monitor of course all of our properties on a regular basis to look at where do we see new supply potentially coming in online over the next 12 to 18 months. And particularly as it relates to properties that have some exposure to new supply this year about 12% of our portfolio has the potential that by the end of the year some new supply will be within their trade area.
And so our forecast in our budgeting for this year reflects the fact that we expect those new stores to come online, which will obviously create some additional pressure on discounting some impact on occupancy and therefore slower revenue growth in the few cases even revenue being flat. But generally we reflect that based upon those forecasted openings as the time that they're expected to come into the market.
Okay, that's helpful. And just to clarify the revenue growth expectation for 2017, the five to seven, can you break that, Arlen between occupancy and rate growth?
Yes, we are pretty close to what we would consider optimal occupancy based on the way the revenue management program is directing us to push harder on rate, we might gain another 50 basis points for average occupancy for this year or something like that but we're really forecasting almost all of that to be rate growth.
All of that to be rate, okay and then just last one to clarify on the supply comment. Just based on what you're seeing and talking to other PROs. Will we peak supply is 2017 sort of the year where we see peak supply your comments around the second half. And just maybe how much lead time are sort of what you need to see to get a sense of how supply would could potentially look like in 2018?
Yes. It looks like late 2017 will probably be the peak additions of new supply. Now we do have some visibility into supply coming into 2018 obviously. But we're also starting to see some of the developers canceling projects as they reevaluate the market and they recognize wait a minute, there's too much supply here already on the pipeline. So we are actually starting to see some of that. So I do think late 2017 maybe early 2018 will probably be the peak of when supply additions peak in the overall total National market.
Okay. Thank you very much.
Thank you. Our next question is come from the line of RJ Milligan with Robert W. Baird. Please go ahead with your question.
Hey, good afternoon guys. Arlen, I was wondering if you could give some guidance in terms of your expected external growth this year $350 million at the midpoint, can you give us an idea of what buckets those are coming from whether itd be another PRO, within your captive pipeline or just one-off growth?
Yes, thanks RJ. We have as I mentioned we have our captive pipeline now is almost $1 billion. And as we look at that of what's maturing in 2017 for debt maturities about 20% of that will be maturing in 2017, now we never project that well get all of that because obviously the decision makers on that are not always are PROs and such. But we know sizable portion of that growth will come through the captive pipeline this year. We also do expect a sizable number of third-party acquisitions, we already have closed on some this year. And we have a number of ongoing discussions underway as well. We as you know we added Marc Smith in Personal Mini as our new PRO, we dont anticipate very much new properties coming from the Personal Mini this year.
But we will have at least one or two acquisitions on that area as well. And then if we ended with another new PRO in late this year that would be more to put as toward the high end of the guidance. But otherwise it's primarily just what we know right now plus the captive pipeline in the third-party acquisitions.
Okay. And then Tammy, I wanted to talk about the same-store definition. So does same-store for 2017 include everything that was acquired in 2015?
Its all the stores that we owned for all of 2016.
Is it fair to assume, given that you guys have acquired a significant amount in 2016. I think $1.3 billion as you bring those on to your platform and continue to lease those up or maximize revenue in those properties. Could we expect in I guess an added benefit in 2018 same-stores NOIs those properties are brought into the system in the same-store pool?
Yes, RJ. This is Arlen. I would say that weve definitely seen that. Particularly as we acquire new properties the first two years of that we see outsized growth. So 2017 obviously, we don't they're not in our 2017 pool but in 2018 we'll see some continuation on that. To be honest, wed like to be able to continue to accelerate the platform adoption programs to try and get those benefits as quickly as possible. But historically, we've seen substantial gains in both year one and year two.
So on average the acquisitions in 2015 will be a greater contributor to same-store NOI growth in 2017 versus the legacy portfolio?
Yes, that's true. It's probably about a percent or so higher than the legacy portfolio.
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National Storage Affiliates Trust's (NSA) CEO Arlen Nordhagen on Q4 2016 Results - Earnings Call Transcript - Seeking Alpha