U.S. Markets closed

Cousins Vends Murfreesboro Retail Center

Zacks Equity Research

Cousins Properties Incorporated (CUZ) recently sold a Tenn.-based retail property – The Avenue Murfreesboro – for $163 million. The strategic move was in line with the company’s ongoing portfolio repositioning activity to focus on higher growth markets.

The Avenue Murfreesboro is an open-air regional lifestyle shopping center, spanning 752,000 square feet, in suburban Nashville. The property has over 100 stores of major U.S. retailers such as Barnes & Noble, Inc. (BKS), Best Buy Company, Inc. (BBY), Chico's, ULTA and Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc. (DKS).

Previously, Cousins Properties owned the divested property through a 50/50 joint venture with Faison Enterprises. The divestiture helped Cousins Properties to reap net proceeds of about $36 million. The company plans to use the amount to partially finance its impending acquisition of the Texas office portfolio worth $1.1 billion, which is slated to close in mid-September this year.

Notably, Cousins Properties is focused on building its business on a simpler platform and specifically targets trophy assets and opportunistic investments, which ensure a steady revenue stream. In pursuit of this, last month, the company inked a definitive deal to buy the above-mentioned Texas office portfolio comprising 2 assets – Greenway Plaza (Houston) and 777 Main Street (Fort Worth) – for $1.1 billion. The acquisitions will strengthen Cousins Properties’ Texas portfolio with high-quality assets.

Last month, Cousins Properties reported second-quarter 2013 results with funds from operations (:FFO) per share of 12 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny. However, it came below the year-ago figure of 13 cents due to lower net income, which resulted from preferred stock redemption charges in the said quarter.

Cousins Properties currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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

Read the Full Research Report on BBY

Read the Full Research Report on CUZ

Read the Full Research Report on BKS

Read the Full Research Report on DKS

Zacks Investment Research

More From Zacks.com