Eric Bolton, chairman and CEO of Mid America Apartment Communities Inc., expects 2014 to be a period of solid growth for the firm.

MEMPHIS, TN—Flush from first quarter results that met or exceeded analyst expectations, Eric Bolton, chairman and CEO of Mid America Apartment Communities Inc. believes the company is on solid ground for NOI growth this year.

“First quarter performance was better than we expected with favorable operating results and lower general and administrative costs driving Core Funds from Operations above the mid-point of our guidance range,” Bolton said. “As we head into the peak leasing season, we believe first quarter trends support our outlook for another year of solid growth in net operating income. We are nearing completion of the remaining integration activities resulting from our merger transaction that we closed late last year and look forward to fully capturing the benefits over the next several quarters.”

MAA is a self-administered, self-managed apartment-only REIT, which owned or had ownership interest in 83,612 apartment units throughout the Sunbelt region as of March 31, 2014.

Mike Salinsky, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets, gave MAA a rating of Sector Perform, noting that its earnings and operations were largely in line with expectations, while its general and administrative costs beat expectations.

For the quarter ended March 31, 2014, funds from operations (FFO) was $97.4 million, or $1.23 per diluted share/unit, or per share, compared to $55.2 million, or $1.25 per share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2013. Core FFO for the quarter ended March 31, 2014, which excludes merger and integration costs related to the merger with Colonial Properties Trust, as well as other non-routine items to facilitate comparison of performance between periods, was $95.6 million, or $1.21 per share, compared to $55.2 million, or $1.25 per share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2013.

Based on MAA’s performance in the first quarter and revised expectations for both apartment operations and transaction activity over the remainder of the year, MAA management stated that it was updating its earnings guidance for 2014, noting that it believes an increase in the full-year 2014 Core FFO per share to a range of $4.84 to $5.04 is appropriate. Core FFO per share is expected to be in the range of $1.15 to $1.27 for the second quarter, $1.19 to $1.31 for the third quarter, and $1.21 to $1.33 for the fourth quarter, the company reported.

The company expects recurring capital expenditures of approximately $60 million for 2014, producing AFFO per share in the range of $4.09 to $4.29 for the full year.