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Cousins Properties Sells Orlando & Miami Office Properties

By Zacks Investment ResearchStock MarketsDec 21, 2017 09:16PM ET
Cousins Properties Sells Orlando & Miami Office Properties
By Zacks Investment Research   |  Dec 21, 2017 09:16PM ET
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Cousins Properties (NYSE:CUZ) announced that it has completed the sale of its Orlando office portfolio and equity interest in a joint-venture (JV) Miami asset. The Orlando portfolio, which consists of Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) Center, Citrus Center and One Orlando Centre, has been sold for a gross price of $208.1 million. As of Sep 30, 2017, the one million-square-foot office portfolio was 84.2% leased.

The company also sold its 20% stake in Courvoisier Center — a 343,000-square-foot property in Miami. The interest was sold to the JV partner for $33.9 million. This also included Cousin Properties’ share of JV mortgage debt that amounted to $22,176,000 and carried an interest rate of 4.6%, as of Sep 30, 2017.

Cousins Properties had acquired interest in the office property through the Parkway Properties merger on Oct 6. With this sale, the company has no other ownership interest in the city. The property enjoys decent demand and was 84.6% leased as of the three-month period ended Sep 30, 2017.

Per the company’s second-quarter earnings call, these assets at subordinate locations displayed limited rent growth opportunities. Hence, these were non-strategic to Cousins Properties’ portfolio, which is situated in the best urban sub-markets, and command high rents.

Further, the transaction recycles the company’s capital to other priorities. The deal is a strategic fit as it provides growth and investment capital to the company, which is focusing on trophy assets and opportunistic developments in targeted submarkets to strengthen its platform. Notably, the company has raised around $558 million in gross proceeds through its property dispositions in the year so far.

Although Cousins Properties has been optimizing its portfolio holding through buyouts and dispositions, the earnings dilutive effects of the disposals cannot be bypassed. The Orlando portfolio contributed 4.4% to the company’s net operating income (“NOI”) for the three-month period ended Sep 30, 2017. In fact, in the recent earnings call, management noted that the sale of the Orlando and Miami portfolio might adversely impact the company’s 2018 earnings.

Cousin Properties currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Moreover, shares of the company have outperformed its industry, in the year so far. While the stock has gained 7.6%, the industry has recorded growth of 3.4% during this period.

Better-ranked stocks in the real estate investment trust space include Franklin Street Properties (NYSE:FSP) , Columbia Property Trust (NYSE:CXP) and MedEquities Realty Trust (NYSE:MRT) . All three carry a Zacks Rank of 2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Franklin Street Properties’ funds from operations (FFO) per share estimates for 2017 remained unchanged at $1.05 over the past month. Its share price has increased 2.3% in three months’ time.

Columbia Property Trust’s FFO per share estimates for the current year have moved up 2.7% to $1.15 in a month’s time. Over the past three months, the company’s shares have gained 4.9%.

MedEquities Realty’s 2017 FFO per share estimates remained unchanged at $1.12 over the past month. The stock has been down 3.6% for the past three months.

Note: All EPS numbers presented in this write up represent funds from operations (“FFO”) per share. 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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MedEquities Realty Trust Inc. (MRT): Free Stock Analysis Report

Cousins Properties Incorporated (CUZ): Free Stock Analysis Report

Franklin Street Properties Corp. (FSP): Free Stock Analysis Report

Columbia Property Trust, Inc. (CXP): Free Stock Analysis Report

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Cousins Properties Sells Orlando & Miami Office Properties

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Cousins Properties Sells Orlando & Miami Office Properties

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