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Public Storage (PSA) Q1 FFO Grows Y/Y: Will Stock Gain?

Public Storage’s PSA first-quarter 2016 funds from operations (“FFO”) per share came in at $2.10, beating the prior-year quarter tally of $1.91. However, the figure fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.19. The company also announced a 5.9% increase in the quarterly common dividend rate. We expect the earnings release to lead to stock movement.

The year-over-year improvement reflected an increase in net operating income (“NOI”) from both same-store and non-same store facilities.

This self-storage real estate investment trust (“REIT”) recorded an 8.3% year-over-year rise in total revenue to $611.8 million. However, the figure missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $620 million.

Behind the Headlines

Same-store revenues increased 6.5% year over year to $506.9 million during the first quarter, while NOI climbed 10.4% to $366.9 million. The increase in same-store revenues was primarily driven by a 6.1% rise in realized annual rental income per occupied square feet to $16.15. The weighted-average square foot occupancy of 93.9% as of Mar 31, 2016, remained flat year over year.

Moreover, the company’s NOI from non-same store facilities increased, backed by the development and acquisition of 200 self-storage facilities since Jan 2013.

Portfolio Activity

In first-quarter 2016, Public Storage bought 12 self-storage facilities, comprising 0.8 million net rentable square feet, for $98 million. Following the quarter end, the company acquired or was under contract to acquire 13 self-storage facilities, spanning 1.0 million net rentable square feet, for $115 million.

Finally, as of Mar 31, 2016, the company had several facilities in development (3.9 million net rentable square feet), with an estimated cost of $506 million, as well as expansion projects (0.7 million net rentable square feet) worth an estimated $101 million. The company expects to incur the remaining $332 million of development costs related to these projects in the rest of 2016 and 2017.

Liquidity

Public Storage exited first-quarter 2016 with around $305.7 million of cash and cash equivalents, up from $104.3 million at the prior-year end.

Dividend Hike

On Apr 25, 2016, Public Storage’s Board of Trustees declared a quarterly dividend of $1.80 per share, reflecting a hike of 5.9% from the prior-quarter dividend. The amount will be paid on Jun 30 to shareholders of record as of Jun 15.

In Conclusion

Public Storage has a strong brand image and is a recognized name in the self-storage industry. Healthy fundamentals of the storage real estate market and a strong presence in key cities serve as growth drivers. Acquisition initiatives are further likely to aid growth. Yet, any rise in interest rates may pose a challenge to the company.

Public Storage currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

We now look forward to the earnings releases of Essex Property Trust Inc. ESS, Apartment Investment and Management Company AIV and DDR Corp. DDR which are scheduled this week.

Note: FFO, a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs, is obtained after adding depreciation and amortization and other non-cash expenses to net income.

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