Liberty Property Trust (LPT), a real estate investment trust (:REIT), disclosed its lease renewal deals for a total of 195,800 square feet of space in Crosspoint Center and Perimeter West industrial parks in Charlotte. The move strengthened the company’s relationship with existing tenants and ensured steady occupancy of 99% at its Charlotte portfolio.
In particular, at Crosspoint Center industrial park, Liberty Property renewed three lease deals with Rooms to Go, Clark Tire & Auto Inc. and Novitex Enterprise Solutions, Inc. for 117,400 square feet, 38,400 square feet and 16,000 square feet of space, respectively. On the other hand, at Perimeter West industrial park, Liberty Property penned a renewal deal with Wheel Pros for 24,000 square feet of space. For Liberty Property, the above-mentioned transactions will help to secure steady rental revenues.
Notably, the company has of late, been executing a repositioning program to enhance its portfolio base. Last month, Liberty Property declared having started constructing a Class A office building at its development project – Legacy at Fallbrook – at 10720 West Sam Houston Parkway, to expand its Houston portfolio. Going forward, we believe that such repositioning efforts by Liberty Property will help it to ride on the growth trajectory.
In February, Liberty Property reported fourth-quarter 2013 funds from operations (:FFO) of 63 cents per share, which was in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate as well as the prior-year quarter figure. The results benefited from year-over-year revenue gains, strong leasing and portfolio restructuring activity.
Liberty Property currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Some other stocks worth considering in the REIT sector include Cousins Properties Inc. (CUZ), Public Storage (PSA) and Omega Healthcare Investors Inc. (OHI). All of these have the same Zacks Rank as Liberty Property.
Note: Funds from operations, a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs, are obtained after adding depreciation and amortization and other non-cash expenses to net income.