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Cousins Properties (CUZ) Q1 FFO Meets Estimates, Revenues Up

Zacks Equity Research

Cousins Properties Incorporated CUZ reported funds from operations (FFO) per share of 20 cents, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Further, the figure comes in higher than the prior-year tally of 15 cents. However, due to lack of investors’ optimism, the stock fell slightly (0.21%) after the release.

Cousin Properties’ first-quarter 2019 revenue figure recorded year-over-year growth. Further, the company witnessed increase in same-property cash net operating income (NOI).

Rental property revenues for the quarter came in at $123.3 million, which compares favorably with $113.3 million witnessed in the year-ago quarter. Moreover, the figure outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $122.1 million.

Quarter in Detail

Cousins Properties executed leases for 682,129 square feet of office space in the January-March quarter. Same-property NOI, on a cash basis, increased 4% from the year-ago quarter. Moreover, second-generation net rent per square foot (cash basis) increased 7.1%.

During the reported quarter, the company commenced operations at Dimensional Place, a 281,000-square-foot office building situated in the South End submarket of Charlotte.

Further, the company signed a number of agreements with Norfolk Southern Railway Company. Per the agreements, the company will develop a new corporate headquarter for the later, recognizing associated fee income of $52.3 million. The company purchased 1200 Peachtree, a 370,000-square-foot office building in Midtown Atlanta, for $82 million.

Cousins Properties also entered into an agreement with TIER REIT to acquire the later in a 100% stock-for-stock deal.

Cousins Properties sold air rights worth $13.3 million, which cover eight acres in Downtown Atlanta.

Cousins Properties exited the first quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $3.5 million compared with $2.5 million recorded as of Dec 31, 2018.

2019 Outlook

Cousins Properties has revised its guidance for full-year 2019 FFO per share. The company expects FFO per share to be in the band of 70-74 cents compared to the previous guidance of 70-75 cents. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current-year FFO per share is currently pinned at 70 cents.

The projections for same property net operating income growth have been revised to 3-5% from 2-4%. Furthermore, the company now anticipates general and administrative expenses, net of capitalized salaries, in the range of $33.5-$35.5 million, up from the earlier estimate of $27-$29 million. Cousins Properties does not expect to sell Meridian Mark Plaza this year.

Conclusion

The company’s properties located in premium sun-belt markets have enabled it to enjoy robust rent growth that boosted its top-line performance during the quarter. Additionally, year-over-year growth in same property net operating income and fee income supported results.

Cousins Properties Incorporated Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

 

Cousins Properties Incorporated Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | Cousins Properties Incorporated Quote


Currently, Cousins Properties has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Performance of Other REITs

Duke Realty Corporation’s DRE first-quarter 2019 core FFO per share of 33 cents surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 32 cents. Moreover, the figure came in ahead of the year-ago quarter’s reported tally of 30 cents. Results indicate overall improved operations as well as increased investments in new industrial properties.

Highwoods Properties Inc.’s HIW first-quarter FFO per share of 72 cents missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 84 cents. The figure also compared unfavorably with the year-ago reported tally of 85 cents. Results were negatively impacted by the sudden closure of the company’s tenant Laser Spine Institute.

SITE Centers Corp. SITC posted first-quarter 2019 operating FFO per share of 32 cents, outpacing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 29 cents. Results reflected growth in same-store net operating income.

Note: Anything related to earnings presented in this write-up represent funds from operations (FFO) — a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs.

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