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CubeSmart Sees Management Churn

Zacks Equity Research

Wayne, Pennsylvania-based, self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust (:REIT), CubeSmart (CUBE) recently announced the resignation of its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and member of the board of Trustee, Dean Jernigan, on the ground of expiration of his current employment agreement on December 31, 2013. The company is yet to announce the replacement for Jernigan.

Dean Jernigan held the position of CEO and member of the Board of Trustee since April 2006. Previously, he served as the company’s president from April 2006 to November 2008. Mr. Jernigan currently serves as the member of the board of Thomas & Betts, Inc., a publicly-traded electrical components and equipment company. He also held various top executive positions in other companies before joining CubeSmart.

Mr. Jernigan played a key role in strengthening the quality of portfolio, technology and balance sheet of the company. He chalked out an effective strategy to drive further growth both internally and externally. During his tenure, he effectively formed and managed a group of talented executives and ensured seamless change of leadership in future.

We believe his contribution to the company is remarkable and we expect the task of finding a replacement for Mr. Jernigan to be rather challenging, given his rich experience and expertise.

Additionally, CubeSmart declared that its president and chief investment officer, Christopher Marr, will now serve as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) as well. Management expects CubeSmart to scale new heights as Mr. Marr’s exhaustive experience will be beneficial for the company’s property operations, revenue and marketing managements, which is a part of his extended responsibility.

Founded in 2004, CubeSmart along with its subsidiaries owns, operates, acquires and develops self-storage facilities and CubeSmart Network in the United States. As of now, it owns 478 self-storage facilities and around 825 additional self-storage facilities, under the CubeSmart Network.

In the recently concluded first quarter of 2012, CubeSmart reported adjusted funds from operations (:FFO) per share of 16 cents, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The estimates for 2012 and 2013 are pegged at 71 cents and 79 cents, respectively, representing a year-over-year growth of 9.54% and 10.39%.

CubeSmart, which competes with the likes of Public Storage (PSA) and Extra Space Storage Inc. (EXR), currently retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term Hold rating. We are maintaining our long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock.

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