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Piedmont Leases to Catamaran

Zacks Equity Research

Piedmont Office Realty Trust, Inc. (PDM), a real estate investment trust (:REIT), recently inked a 12-year lease agreement with Catamaran Corporation (CTRX) to lease full space of a Chicago-based property – Windy Point II. The transaction was in line with the company’s policy of signing long-term leases with high-quality tenants in core strategic markets.

Situated in the northwest suburb of Chicago, Windy Point II is an 11-storey building spanning around 300,686 square foot. The property is in close proximity to major state and interstate highways and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

Moreover, the property also has convenient access to high-end restaurants, hotels, daycare facilities, banks and health clubs. The property is under the ownership and management of Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. (JLL).

Catamaran Corporation (formerly known as SXC Health Solutions) engages in pharmacy benefit management services and healthcare information technology solutions to the healthcare benefits management industry in North America. The company was recently formed by amalgamation of SXC Health Solutions and Catalyst Health Solutions in 2012. The company is scheduled to relocate its headquarters situated in Lisle, Illinois to Windy Point II in the spring of 2013.

Subsequent to the end of the second quarter of 2012, Piedmont Office Realty signed long-term lease agreements with two renowned firms – Guidance Software, Inc. (GUID) and Schlumberger Limited (SLB) – to lease more than 100,000 square feet of office space. The properties were based in the company’s core markets – California and Texas.

Piedmont Office Realty deals in premium Class A office properties located primarily in the ten largest U.S. office markets including Chicago, Washington, D.C., New York, Dallas, Los Angeles and Boston. As of June 30, 2012, the company’s portfolio comprises of 74 wholly-owned office buildings spanning over 20 million rentable square feet.

The company recently reported second-quarter 2012 FFO (funds from operations) of 21 cents, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 12 cents. We presently have a long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock. However, it carries a Zacks #2 Rank (a short-term Buy rating).

Note: FFO, a widely accepted and reported measure of the performance of REITs, is derived by adding depreciation, amortization and other non-cash expenses to net income.

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