NEW YORK CITY-W.P. Carey Inc. on Thursday put the spotlight on its conversion to REIT status and merger with affiliate Corporate Property Associates 15 Inc. in reporting its third-quarter results, while noting that its headline numbers were off year over year. In a conference call for investors, president and CEO Trevor Bond cited the cyclical nature of incentive fees—which were higher in Q3 2011, due to the merger of CPA:14 and CPA:16—and the comparatively light investment sales volume thus far in 2012.
However, Bond noted that Q4 is traditionally the 39-year-old company’s busiest quarter, and the expectation is that this year’s final weeks will prove to be no exception. “Currently, we do have a strong pipeline, although of course we can’t be sure we’ll close everything in that pipeline,” he said. Nonetheless, he predicted that Q4 would be stronger than each of the year’s first quarters.
The locally based company, which has focused on net lease since its founding in 1973 by the late Wm. Polk Carey, can count strong fundamentals on its side. Currently, the WPC-owned portfolio of 430 properties covering 39 million square feet is 98.4% occupied, with the average lease term increasing to 9.1 years.
The day before releasing its earnings, WPC announced that CPA:17 Global, one of its publicly held non-traded REIT affiliates, had made a pair of acquisitions totaling about $43 million. In the larger of the two deals, CPA:17 picked up a 163,000-square-foot manufacturing and office facility in Sterling, VA, which will be net leased to Cuisine Solutions Inc. for 20 years. The purchase price was approximately $26 million. The REIT also paid $17 million for a 274,000-square-foot industrial and office facility in Elk Grove Village, IL, leased mainly to Shale-Inland Holdings LLC, with the balance of the property leased to Material Sciences Corp.
Separately, a company now headed by WPC’s one-time CEO, Gordon DuGan, reported a Y-O-Y improvement in its Q3 FFO. Gramercy Capital Corp., which this past summer announced that it would focus solely on income-producing net leased real estate, said Thursday it saw Q3 FFO of $1.3 million, compared to a loss of $18.6 million during the same quarter last year.
Also during Q3, Gramercy hired Wells Fargo Securities Corp. to assist in a possible sale of its collateralized debt obligation business. In a release, Gramercy says it’s pursuing a sale of the CDO business line to focus on net lease, increase its liquidity and capital availability and decrease its cost structure.