AP NEWS
Press release content from Business Wire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.
PRESS RELEASE: Paid content from Business Wire
Press release content from Business Wire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

COPT Reports 4Q and Full Year 2018 Results

February 7, 2019

COLUMBIA, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb 7, 2019--Corporate Office Properties Trust (“COPT” or the “Company”) (NYSE: OFC) announced financial and operating results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2018.

Management Comments

“Our fourth quarter represented a strong finish to a solid year,” stated Stephen E. Budorick, COPT’s President & Chief Executive Officer. “Leasing further accelerated during the fourth quarter, resulting in nearly 250,000 square feet of vacancy leasing, 377,000 square feet of development leasing, and 700,000 square feet of renewals, resulting in a robust 82% retention rate. For the year, we leased over 4.2 million square feet, including nearly 600,000 square feet of vacancy leasing, and 1.1 million square feet of development leasing—the second highest level in our 20 year history as a public company.” He continued, “Thus far in 2019, we have completed the lease for the second floor at 310 NBP with the U.S. Government, are in advanced negotiations on a significant level of development leasing, and are on track to register another strong year of leasing in the operating portfolio.”

Financial Highlights

4 th Quarter Financial Results:

Diluted earnings per share (“EPS”) was $0.16 for the quarter ended December 31, 2018 as compared to $0.10 for the fourth quarter of 2017. Diluted funds from operations per share (“FFOPS”), as calculated in accordance with NAREIT’s definition, was $0.47 for the fourth quarter of 2018, equal to fourth quarter 2017 results. FFOPS, as adjusted for comparability, was $0.50 for the quarter ended December 31, 2018 as compared to $0.53 for the fourth quarter of 2017.

Full Year 2018 Financial Results:

EPS for the year ended December 31, 2018 was $0.69 as compared to $0.56 for 2017. Per NAREIT’s definition, FFOPS for 2018 was $1.97 as compared to $1.94 for 2017. FFOPS, as adjusted for comparability, for 2018 was $2.01 as compared to $2.02 for 2017.

Adjustments for comparability encompass items such as gains and impairment losses on non-operating properties, losses on early extinguishment of debt, derivative gains (losses), issuance costs associated with redeemed preferred shares, demolition costs of redevelopment and nonrecurring improvements, and executive transition costs.

Operating Performance Highlights

Operating Portfolio Summary:

At December 31, 2018, the Company’s core portfolio of 161 operating office properties was 93.1% occupied and 94.0% leased. During the quarter, the Company placed two developments aggregating 238,000 square feet plus our build-to-suit for a defense contractor into service; all three developments were 100% leased. During the year, the Company placed seven developments totaling 688,000 square feet that were 90% leased and the build-to-suit for a defense contractor that was 100% leased into service.

Same-Property Performance:

At December 31, 2018, COPT’s same-property portfolio of 147 buildings was 93.0% occupied and 93.8% leased. For the quarter and year ended December 31, 2018, the Company’s same-property cash NOI from Defense/IT locations increased 1.0% and 2.1%, respectively, over the prior year’s comparable periods. For the same time periods, the Company’s total same-property cash NOI decreased 1.1% and 0.4%, respectively, over the prior year’s comparable periods.

Leasing:

Square Feet Leased ―For the quarter ended December 31, 2018, the Company leased 1.3 million total square feet, including 704,000 square feet of renewing leases, 248,000 square feet of new leases on vacant space, and 377,000 square feet in development projects. For the year ended December 31, 2018, the Company leased 4.2 million total square feet, including 2.5 million square feet of renewing leases, 596,000 square feet of new leases on vacant space, and 1.1 million square feet in development projects. Renewal Rates ―During the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2018, the Company renewed 82.2% and 78.4%, respectively, of total expiring leases. Rent Spreads & Average Escalations on Renewing Leases ―For the quarter ended December 31, 2018, rents on renewed space increased 3.0% on a GAAP basis and decreased 6.9% on a cash basis; average annual escalations on renewing leases in the fourth quarter were 2.7%. For the year ended December 31, 2018, rents on renewed space increased 6.8% on a GAAP basis and decreased 2.0% on a cash basis; average annual escalations on renewing leases for the year were 2.6%. Lease Terms ―In the fourth quarter, lease terms averaged 4.6 years on renewing leases, 8.5 years on new leasing of vacant space, and 14.7 years on development leasing. For the year, lease terms averaged 3.8 years on renewing leases, 7.4 years on new leasing of vacant space, and 12.4 years on development leasing.

Investment Activity Highlights

Development & Redevelopment Projects:

Construction Pipeline. At January 2, 2019, the Company’s construction pipeline consisted of nine properties totaling 1.1 million square feet that were 81% leased. These projects have a total estimated cost of $332.5 million, of which $162.4 million has been incurred. Redevelopment. At the end of the quarter, one project was under redevelopment totaling 106,000 square feet that was 0% leased. Subsequent to the quarter, the Company executed a 10,000 square foot pre-lease, bringing the project to 9% leased. The Company has invested $11.6 million of the $25.1 million anticipated total cost.

Balance Sheet and Capital Transaction Highlights

As of December 31, 2018, the Company’s net debt plus preferred equity to adjusted book ratio was 39.1% and its net debt plus preferred equity to in-place adjusted EBITDA ratio was 6.0x. For the same period, the Company’s adjusted EBITDA fixed charge coverage ratio was 3.6x. As of December 31, 2018 and including the effect of interest rate swaps, the Company’s weighted average effective interest rate was 4.1%; additionally, 93% of the Company’s debt was subject to fixed interest rates and the consolidated debt portfolio had a weighted average maturity of 4.5 years. During the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2018, the Company issued 1.4 million and 5.9 million common shares under its forward equity sale agreement for net proceeds of $40.0 million and $172.5 million, respectively. Also during the year, the Company issued 992,000 common shares through its At-the-Market (“ATM”) program at an average gross price of $30.46 per share for net proceeds of $29.8 million. In October, the Company entered into a new $800 million credit agreement to replace its existing $800 million revolving credit facility. The new credit facility has a maturity date of March 2023, plus two six-month extension options. The new facility’s interest rate is calculated as LIBOR plus 77.5—145 basis points; based on the Company’s current credit ratings, the initial spread over LIBOR is 110 basis points.

Associated Supplemental Presentation

Prior to the call, the Company will post a slide presentation to accompany management’s prepared remarks for its fourth quarter and year end 2018 conference call, the details of which are provided below. The accompanying slide presentation can be viewed on and downloaded from the ‘Latest Updates’ section of COPT’s Investors website: https://investors.copt.com/

Conference Call Information

Management will discuss fourth quarter and year end 2018 results on its conference call tomorrow at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time, details of which are listed below:

The conference call will also be available via live webcast in the ‘Latest Updates’ section of COPT’s Investors website: https://investors.copt.com/

Replay Information

A replay of the conference call will be immediately available via webcast on the Investors website. Additionally, a telephonic replay of this call will be available beginning at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, February 8, through 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, February 22. To access the replay within the United States, please call 855-859-2056; to access it from outside the United States, please call 404-537-3406. In either case, use passcode 1485747.

Definitions

For definitions of certain terms used in this press release, please refer to the information furnished in the Company’s Supplemental Information Package furnished on a Form 8-K which can be found on its website ( www.copt.com ). Reconciliations of non-GAAP measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures are included in the attached tables.

Company Information

COPT is a REIT that owns, manages, leases, develops and selectively acquires office and data center properties in locations that support the United States Government and its contractors, most of whom are engaged in national security, defense and information technology (“IT”) related activities servicing what it believes are growing, durable, priority missions (“Defense/IT Locations”). The Company also owns a portfolio of office properties located in select urban/urban-like submarkets in the Greater Washington, DC/Baltimore region with durable Class-A office fundamentals and characteristics (“Regional Office Properties”). As of December 31, 2018, the Company derived 88% of its core portfolio annualized revenue from Defense/IT Locations and 12% from its Regional Office Properties. As of the same date and including six buildings owned through an unconsolidated joint venture, COPT’s core portfolio of 161 office and data center shell properties encompassed 17.9 million square feet and was 94.0% leased; the Company also owned one wholesale data center with a critical load of 19.25 megawatts.

Forward-Looking Information

This press release may contain “forward-looking” statements, as defined in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, that are based on the Company’s current expectations, estimates and projections about future events and financial trends affecting the Company. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “expect,” “estimate,” “plan” or other comparable terminology. Forward-looking statements are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties, many of which the Company cannot predict with accuracy and some of which the Company might not even anticipate. Although the Company believes that the expectations, estimates and projections reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions at the time made, the Company can give no assurance that these expectations, estimates and projections will be achieved. Future events and actual results may differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements.

Important factors that may affect these expectations, estimates, and projections include, but are not limited to:

general economic and business conditions, which will, among other things, affect office property and data center demand and rents, tenant creditworthiness, interest rates, financing availability and property values; adverse changes in the real estate markets including, among other things, increased competition with other companies; governmental actions and initiatives, including risks associated with the impact of a prolonged government shutdown or budgetary reductions or impasses, such as a reduction in rental revenues, non-renewal of leases, and/or a curtailment of demand for additional space by the Company’s strategic customers; the Company’s ability to borrow on favorable terms; risks of real estate acquisition and development activities, including, among other things, risks that development projects may not be completed on schedule, that tenants may not take occupancy or pay rent or that development or operating costs may be greater than anticipated; risks of investing through joint venture structures, including risks that the Company’s joint venture partners may not fulfill their financial obligations as investors or may take actions that are inconsistent with the Company’s objectives; changes in the Company’s plans for properties or views of market economic conditions or failure to obtain development rights, either of which could result in recognition of significant impairment losses; the Company’s ability to satisfy and operate effectively under Federal income tax rules relating to real estate investment trusts and partnerships; possible adverse changes in tax laws; the dilutive effects of issuing additional common shares; the Company’s ability to achieve projected results; security breaches relating to cyber attacks, cyber intrusions or other factors; and environmental requirements.

The Company undertakes no obligation to update or supplement any forward-looking statements. For further information, please refer to the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, particularly the section entitled “Risk Factors” in Item 1A of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017.

View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190207005854/en/

CONTACT: IR Contacts:

Stephanie Krewson-Kelly

443-285-5453

stephanie.kelly@copt.comMichelle Layne

443-285-5452

michelle.layne@copt.com

KEYWORD: UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA MARYLAND

INDUSTRY KEYWORD: PROFESSIONAL SERVICES REIT FINANCE CONSTRUCTION & PROPERTY COMMERCIAL BUILDING & REAL ESTATE

SOURCE: Corporate Office Properties Trust

Copyright Business Wire 2019.

PUB: 02/07/2019 04:16 PM/DISC: 02/07/2019 04:16 PM

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190207005854/en