Essex Announces Third Quarter 2021 Results and Increases Full-Year 2021 Guidance
October 26, 2021 at 16:15 PM EDT
Essex Property Trust, Inc. (NYSE: ESS) (the “Company”) announced today its third quarter 2021 earnings results and related business activities.
Net Income, Funds from Operations (“FFO”), and Core FFO per diluted share for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2021 are detailed below.
Third Quarter 2021 Highlights:
“For the second consecutive quarter, we are pleased to report Core FFO that exceeded our expectations, driven by improving net effective rent growth. The economic recovery on the West Coast has led to a significant increase in demand for housing and September net effective rents are 6.4% above pre-COVID levels for our portfolio. The strong recovery in fundamentals and rents has led us to increase our guidance for the third time this year. We remain cautiously optimistic that the West Coast is still in the early stages of the recovery with office re-openings and associated economic growth representing an additional catalyst for continuous rental demand,” commented Michael J. Schall, President and CEO of the Company.
Same-property operating results exclude any properties that are not comparable for the periods presented. The table below illustrates the percentage change in same-property gross revenues for the quarter ended September 30, 2021 compared to the quarter ended September 30, 2020, and the sequential percentage change for the quarter ended September 30, 2021 compared to the quarter ended June 30, 2021, by submarket for the Company:
The table below illustrates the components that drove the change in same-property revenues on a year-over-year basis for the three- and nine-month periods ending September 30, 2021.
The table below illustrates the components that drove the change in same-property revenues on a sequential basis for the three-month period ending September 30, 2021.
In September 2021, the Company purchased Third & Broad, a fully leased single tenant commercial property located in downtown Seattle, WA for $52.5 million. The Company will hold the property for future apartment development.
In September 2021, the Company purchased 7 South Linden, a commercial property located in South San Francisco, CA for $33.5 million. The property is fully leased to two commercial tenants. The Company is currently pursuing entitlements to construct an apartment community on the property.
In September 2021, the Company formed a new joint venture, Wesco VI, LLC (“Wesco VI”), with the State of Wisconsin Investment Board with a $150.0 million equity commitment from each partner and total purchasing power of up to $660.0 million. Essex has a 50% ownership interest in the venture. Wesco VI acquired two apartment communities for a combined contract price of $108.0 million. Both communities are located in Snohomish County, WA and contain 294 apartment homes. One of these properties closed during the third quarter of 2021 and the other occurred subsequent to quarter end.
In August 2021, the Company sold a non-core multifamily community containing 276 apartment homes in Hemet, CA for a total contract price of $54.5 million. The Company recognized a $42.9 million gain on sale, which has been excluded from Core FFO.
In the third quarter of 2021, the Company originated two preferred equity investments totaling $37.2 million. The investments have a weighted average initial preferred return of 12.2% and were partially funded in the third quarter.
Subsequent to quarter end, the Company originated a subordinated loan investment totaling $50.0 million with an 11.0% return. This investment will fund concurrent with the senior construction loan which is scheduled to begin funding in the second half of 2022.
In August 2021, the Company received cash proceeds of $21.6 million from the partial redemption of a preferred equity investment.
The Company’s sole development property in lease-up, Wallace on Sunset in Hollywood, CA, is 89.5% leased as of October 22, 2021.
Liquidity and Balance Sheet
In the third quarter of 2021, the Company did not issue any shares of common stock through its equity distribution program or repurchase any shares through its stock repurchase plan.
In July 2021, Wesco I, a joint venture in which the Company owns a 57.7% interest, refinanced five apartment communities with a new $275.6 million secured term loan. The loan is priced at LIBOR + 1.35% and matures in 2026.
In September 2021, the Company amended and restated its $1.2 billion unsecured line of credit facility. The amended facility includes a 5 basis point reduction in borrowing costs to LIBOR plus 0.775% and an extension of the maturity date to September 2025 with three 6-month extensions, exercisable at the Company’s option. Additionally, the amended facility now incorporates a sustainability-linked pricing component which could reduce the borrowing spread up to 2.5 basis points if certain environmental goals are achieved.
As of October 22, 2021, the Company has approximately $1.3 billion in liquidity via undrawn capacity on its unsecured credit facilities, cash, and marketable securities.
For the third quarter of 2021, the Company exceeded the midpoint of the guidance range provided in its second quarter 2021 earnings release for Core FFO by $0.08 per diluted share.
The following table provides a reconciliation of third quarter 2021 Core FFO per diluted share to the midpoint of the guidance provided in the Company’s second quarter 2021 earnings release.
The table below provides key changes to the Company’s 2021 full-year assumptions for Net Income, Total FFO, Core FFO per diluted share, and same-property growth. For additional details regarding the Company’s 2021 assumptions, please see page S-14 of the accompanying supplemental financial information. For the fourth quarter of 2021, the Company has established a range for Core FFO per diluted share of $3.15 to $3.25.
2021 Full-Year Guidance
Conference Call with Management
The Company will host an earnings conference call with management to discuss its quarterly results on Wednesday, October 27, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. PT (2:00 p.m. ET), which will be broadcast live via the Internet at www.essex.com, and accessible via phone by dialing toll-free, (877) 407-0784, or toll/international, (201) 689-8560. No passcode is necessary.
A rebroadcast of the live call will be available online for 30 days and digitally for 7 days. To access the replay online, go to www.essex.com and select the third quarter 2021 earnings link. To access the replay, dial (844) 512-2921 using the replay pin number 13723636. If you are unable to access the information via the Company’s website, please contact the Investor Relations Department at email@example.com or by calling (650) 655-7800.
The Company is scheduled to participate in the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (“NAREIT”) REITWorld Conference held virtually from November 9 - 11, 2021. A copy of any materials provided by the Company at the conference will be made available on the Investors section of the Company’s website at www.essex.com.
Essex Property Trust, Inc., an S&P 500 company, is a fully integrated real estate investment trust (REIT) that acquires, develops, redevelops, and manages multifamily residential properties in selected West Coast markets. Essex currently has ownership interests in 247 apartment communities comprising approximately 60,000 apartment homes with an additional 3 properties in various stages of active development. Additional information about the Company can be found on the Company’s website at www.essex.com.
This press release and accompanying supplemental financial information has been furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission electronically on Form 8-K and can be accessed from the Company’s website at www.essex.com. If you are unable to obtain the information via the Web, please contact the Investor Relations Department at (650) 655-7800.
FFO, as defined by the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (“NAREIT”), is generally considered by industry analysts as an appropriate measure of performance of an equity REIT. Generally, FFO adjusts the net income of equity REITs for non-cash charges such as depreciation and amortization of rental properties, impairment charges, gains on sales of real estate and extraordinary items. Management considers FFO and FFO which excludes non-core items, which is referred to as “Core FFO,” to be useful supplemental operating performance measures of an equity REIT because, together with net income and cash flows, FFO and Core FFO provide investors with additional bases to evaluate the operating performance and ability of a REIT to incur and service debt and to fund acquisitions and other capital expenditures and to pay dividends. By excluding gains or losses related to sales of depreciated operating properties and excluding real estate depreciation (which can vary among owners of identical assets in similar condition based on historical cost accounting and useful life estimates), FFO can help investors compare the operating performance of a real estate company between periods or as compared to different companies. By further adjusting for items that are not considered part of the Company’s core business operations, Core FFO allows investors to compare the core operating performance of the Company to its performance in prior reporting periods and to the operating performance of other real estate companies without the effect of items that by their nature are not comparable from period to period and tend to obscure the Company’s actual operating results. FFO and Core FFO do not represent net income or cash flows from operations as defined by U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) and are not intended to indicate whether cash flows will be sufficient to fund cash needs. These measures should not be considered as alternatives to net income as an indicator of the REIT's operating performance or to cash flows as a measure of liquidity. FFO and Core FFO do not measure whether cash flow is sufficient to fund all cash needs including principal amortization, capital improvements and distributions to stockholders. FFO and Core FFO also do not represent cash flows generated from operating, investing or financing activities as defined under GAAP. Management has consistently applied the NAREIT definition of FFO to all periods presented. However, there is judgment involved and other REITs’ calculation of FFO may vary from the NAREIT definition for this measure, and thus their disclosures of FFO may not be comparable to the Company’s calculation.
The following table sets forth the Company’s calculation of diluted FFO and Core FFO for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2021 and 2020 (in thousands, except for share and per share amounts):
Net Operating Income (“NOI”) and Same-Property NOI Reconciliations
NOI and Same-Property NOI are considered by management to be important supplemental performance measures to earnings from operations included in the Company’s consolidated statements of income. The presentation of same-property NOI assists with the presentation of the Company’s operations prior to the allocation of depreciation and any corporate-level or financing-related costs. NOI reflects the operating performance of a community and allows for an easy comparison of the operating performance of individual communities or groups of communities. In addition, because prospective buyers of real estate have different financing and overhead structures, with varying marginal impacts to overhead by acquiring real estate, NOI is considered by many in the real estate industry to be a useful measure for determining the value of a real estate asset or group of assets. The Company defines same-property NOI as same-property revenues less same-property operating expenses, including property taxes. Please see the reconciliation of earnings from operations to NOI and same-property NOI, which in the table below is the NOI for stabilized properties consolidated by the Company for the periods presented (dollars in thousands):
Safe Harbor Statement Under The Private Litigation Reform Act of 1995:
This press release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements are statements which are not historical facts, including statements regarding the Company's expectations, estimates, assumptions, hopes, intentions, beliefs and strategies regarding the future. Words such as “expects,” “assumes,” “anticipates,” “may,” “will,” “intends,” “plans,” “projects,” “believes,” “seeks,” “future,” “estimates,” and variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements regarding the Company’s expectations related to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and related variants on the Company’s business, financial condition and results of operations and the impact of any additional measures taken to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, the Company’s intent, beliefs or expectations with respect to the timing of completion of current development and redevelopment projects and the stabilization of such projects, the timing of lease-up and occupancy of its apartment communities, the anticipated operating performance of its apartment communities, the total projected costs of development and redevelopment projects, co-investment activities, qualification as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, the real estate markets in the geographies in which the Company’s properties are located and in the United States in general, the adequacy of future cash flows to meet anticipated cash needs, its financing activities and the use of proceeds from such activities, the availability of debt and equity financing, general economic conditions including the potential impacts from such economic conditions, including as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and governmental measures intended to prevent its spread, trends affecting the Company’s financial condition or results of operations, changes to U.S. tax laws and regulations in general or specifically related to REITs or real estate, changes to laws and regulations in jurisdictions in which communities the Company owns are located, and other information that is not historical information.
While the Company's management believes the assumptions underlying its forward-looking statements are reasonable, such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are beyond the Company’s control, which could cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. The Company cannot assure the future results or outcome of the matters described in these statements; rather, these statements merely reflect the Company’s current expectations of the approximate outcomes of the matters discussed. Factors that might cause the Company’s actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the following: the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and related variants, which remains inherently uncertain as to duration and severity, and any additional governmental measures taken to limit its spread and other potential future outbreaks of infectious diseases or other health concerns could continue to adversely affect the Company’s business and its tenants, and cause a significant downturn in general economic conditions, the real estate industry, and the markets in which the Company's communities are located; the Company may fail to achieve its business objectives; the actual completion of development and redevelopment projects may be subject to delays; the stabilization dates of such projects may be delayed; the Company may abandon or defer development or redevelopment projects for a number of reasons, including changes in local market conditions which make development less desirable, increases in costs of development, increases in the cost of capital or lack of capital availability, resulting in losses; the total projected costs of current development and redevelopment projects may exceed expectations; such development and redevelopment projects may not be completed; development and redevelopment projects and acquisitions may fail to meet expectations; estimates of future income from an acquired property may prove to be inaccurate; occupancy rates and rental demand may be adversely affected by competition and local economic and market conditions; there may be increased interest rates and operating costs; the Company may be unsuccessful in the management of its relationships with its co-investment partners; future cash flows may be inadequate to meet operating requirements and/or may be insufficient to provide for dividend payments in accordance with REIT requirements; changes in laws or regulations; the terms of any refinancing may not be as favorable as the terms of existing indebtedness; unexpected difficulties in leasing of development projects; volatility in financial and securities market; the Company’s failure to successfully operate acquired properties; unforeseen consequences from cyber-intrusion; the Company’s inability to maintain our investment grade credit rating with the rating agencies; government approvals, actions and initiatives, including the need for compliance with environmental requirements; and those further risks, special considerations, and other factors referred to in the Company’s annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and other reports that the Company files with the SEC from time to time. Additionally, the risks, uncertainties and other factors set forth above or otherwise referred to in the reports that the Company has filed with the SEC may be further amplified by the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and related variants. All forward-looking statements are made as of the date hereof, the Company assumes no obligation to update or supplement this information for any reason, and therefore, they may not represent the Company’s estimates and assumptions after the date of this press release.
Definitions and Reconciliations
Non-GAAP financial measures and certain other capitalized terms, as used in this earnings release, are defined and further explained on pages S-18.1 through S-18.4, "Reconciliations of Non-GAAP Financial Measures and Other Terms," of the accompanying supplemental financial information. The supplemental financial information is available on the Company's website at www.essex.com.