AIR Reports First Quarter 2021 Results

DENVER–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Apartment Income REIT Corp (“AIR”) (NYSE: AIRC) announced today first quarter results for 2021.

Chief Executive Officer Terry Considine comments: “2021 is off to a solid start with first quarter operating results coming in ahead of expectations. The combination of AIR’s best-in-class operating platform and a recovering economy allowed us to rebuild occupancy and raise rents while maintaining our focus on customer selection and customer quality.”

“Our five healthiest markets, representing half of AIR’s revenue, have fully recovered from the disruptions of 2020, as evidenced by almost 97% occupancy and asking rents that are 3% above their pre-COVID peaks. In our more challenged markets, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and the Bay Area, we see positive momentum with improving occupancy, leasing pace, and pricing.”

“We approach peak-leasing season with increased optimism that the worst of COVID is behind us and with the expectation that the economic recovery will carry on into 2022.”

“We continue to execute on the plan and promise of AIR to be the best way to own multi-family properties. Many of our primary objectives are complete, including best in class property operations and G&A relative to gross asset value that is the lowest in the sector. We have made substantial progress on other objectives, such as lowering leverage and improving the cost of equity capital. The recent issuance of $342 million in equity was a strong validation of AIR’s business strategy.”

Chief Financial Officer Paul Beldin adds: “First quarter FFO per share of $0.50 was $0.01 above the high-end of our guidance range due to higher property NOI and lower offsite and interest costs. In operations, Same Store revenue grew sequentially by 1.5% and our peer leading margins improved by 80 basis points.”

“Our leading indicators point to a building recovery; blended signed lease rates turned positive in March, a thousand basis point improvement from September. Occupancy improved sequentially by 110 basis points to 95.5%, and we remain on track to end 2021 at peak pre-COVID levels of approximately 97%.”

“Based on our strong operating results and our expectations for continued recovery, and considering both the dilution to-be-expected from equity issuance and property sales whose proceeds are used to reduce leverage, we expect 2021 FFO per share to be between $1.96 and $2.06, just as we communicated in our April 14 release.”

Financial Results: First Quarter Pro Forma FFO Per Share

 

 

FIRST QUARTER

 

 

(all items per common share – diluted)

 

2021

 

 

Net income

 

$

0.56

 

 

NAREIT Funds From Operations (FFO)

 

$

0.48

 

 

Pro forma adjustments

 

 

0.02

 

 

Pro forma Funds From Operations (Pro forma FFO)

 

$

0.50

 

 

Rent Collection Update

Residential Rent Collection – We measure residential rent collection as the amount of payments received as a percentage of all residential amounts owed on a proportionate basis.

In the first quarter, we recognized 98.0% of all residential revenue billed during the quarter, treating the balance of 2.0% as bad debt. Of the 98.0% of residential revenue recognized, as of quarter-end, we collected in cash all but 90 basis points, with 97.1% of the residential rents collected.

As of March 31, our proportionate share of the amount of uncollected and unreserved residential accounts receivable, not offset by tenant security deposits totaled $1.2 million. Most of this balance is expected to be collected during the second quarter of 2021.

77% of our uncollected accounts receivable relate to California residents. The state of California has recently implemented the SB-91 rent relief program, where the state has agreed to pay 80% of a resident’s past due rent in exchange for the landlord forgiving the remaining 20%. We are cautiously optimistic that this program will be helpful to restoration of access to collection remedies; however, it is premature to estimate the amount of potential recovery.

Looking forward, we expect bad debt expense to decline, but the timing and pace will depend on unwinding the emergency ordinances that currently allow residents to live rent free, so that we are again able to collect rent or to re-rent these apartments to new residents who pay the rent that is owed.

AIR Operating Results: First Quarter Same Store NOI Up 2.6% Sequentially

The table below includes the operating results of the 93 properties of AIR that meet our Same Store definition. These properties comprise 99% of AIR’s revenue.

 

FIRST QUARTER

 

Year-over-Year

Sequential

($ in millions)

2021

2020

Variance

4th Qtr.

Variance

Revenue, before utility reimbursements

$153.6

$162.9

(5.7%)

$151.4

1.5%

Expenses, net of utility reimbursements

44.1

42.8

3.2%

44.6

(1.1%)

Net operating income (NOI)

$109.5

$120.1

(8.8%)

$106.8

2.6%

Components of Same Store Revenue Growth – Year-over-Year Same Store revenue growth was impacted by lower residential rental rates, lower average daily occupancy, increased bad debt expense, waived late fees, and reduced commercial rents. The table below summarizes the change in the components of our Same Store revenue growth.

 

 

FIRST QUARTER

Same Store Revenue Components

 

Year-over-Year

Sequential

Residential Rents

 

 

(1.6

%)

 

 

(0.4

%)

 

Average Daily Occupancy

 

 

(1.6

%)

 

 

1.1

%

 

Residential Net Rental Income

 

 

(3.2

%)

 

 

0.7

%

 

Bad Debt

 

 

(1.7

%)

 

 

1.1

%

 

Late Fees and Other

 

 

(0.2

%)

 

 

(0.3

%)

 

Residential Revenue

 

 

(5.1

%)

 

 

1.5

%

 

Commercial Revenue

 

 

(0.6

%)

 

 

%

 

Same Store Revenue Growth

 

 

(5.7

%)

 

 

1.5

%

 

Same Store Rental Rates – We measure changes in rental rates by comparing, on a lease-by-lease basis, the effective rate on a newly executed lease to the effective rate on the expiring lease for that same apartment. A newly executed lease is classified either as a new lease, where a vacant apartment is leased to a new customer, or as a renewal.

The table below details changes in new and renewal lease rates, as well as the weighted-average (blended) lease rates for leases executed in the respective period. Transacted leases are those that became effective during a reporting period and are therefore the best measure of immediate effect on current revenues. Signed leases are those executed during a reporting period and are therefore the best measure of current activity.

 

FIRST QUARTER

 

2021

 

 

2021

 

2020

 

Variance

 

January

 

February

 

March

 

April*

 

Transacted Leases

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Renewal rent changes

 

1.7

%

 

5.7

%

 

(4.0

%)

 

0.7

%

 

1.5

%

 

2.1

%

 

2.1

%

New lease rent changes

 

(8.1

%)

 

1.9

%

 

(10.0

%)

 

(8.5

%)

 

(9.8

%)

 

(6.4

%)

 

(3.6

%)

Weighted-average rent changes

 

(4.7

%)

 

3.6

%

 

(8.3

%)

 

(6.0

%)

 

(6.6

%)

 

(2.8

%)

 

(0.8

%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Signed Leases

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Renewal rent changes

 

2.3

%

 

5.7

%

 

(3.4

%)

 

2.3

%

 

1.6

%

 

3.1

%

 

3.6

%

New lease rent changes

 

(5.6

%)

 

1.0

%

 

(6.6

%)

 

(8.3

%)

 

(8.4

%)

 

(2.0

%)

 

(0.5

%)

Weighted-average rent changes

 

(1.8

%)

 

3.8

%

 

(5.6

%)

 

(3.5

%)

 

(3.2

%)

 

0.4

%

 

1.4

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Average Daily Occupancy

 

95.5

%

 

97.1

%

 

(1.6

%)

 

95.4

%

 

95.7

%

 

95.6

%

 

95.4

%

*April leasing results are preliminary and as of April 27, 2021.

Same Store Markets – Our portfolio is diversified by price point and geography, and with a mix of urban and suburban submarkets.

In the first quarter of 2021, our five healthiest markets were San Diego, Denver, Miami, Boston and Washington, DC. These markets, which represent half of our total portfolio, together posted signed new lease rent increases of 1.8%, signed renewal rent increases of 3.9%, signed blended lease rent increases of 2.9%, and average daily occupancy of 96.9%. In these markets our asking effective rents are above their pre-COVID peak.

The positive momentum for the first quarter has carried over to April 2021, with leasing pace and rates continuing to trend higher. Although occupancy growth will begin to moderate as we experience greater frictional vacancy during peak leasing season, the fundamentals point towards a continued recovery in average daily occupancy through the balance of the year.

Portfolio Management

Our portfolio of apartment communities is diversified across “A,” “B,” and “C+” price points, averaging “B/B+” in quality, and is also diversified across several of the largest markets in the United States. The table below relates to the AIR portfolio, excludes the properties retained by Aimco in the separation from AIR, and excludes the properties leased to Aimco for their development or redevelopment.

 

FIRST QUARTER

 

2021

2020

Variance

Apartment Communities

95

99

(4)

Apartment Homes

25,722

26,592

(870)

Average Revenue per Apartment Home

$2,233

$2,360

(5%)

Percentage A (1Q 2021 Average Revenue per Apartment Home $2,809)

57%

56%

1%

Percentage B (1Q 2021 Average Revenue per Apartment Home $1,979)

26%

28%

(2%)

Percentage C+ (1Q 2021 Average Revenue per Apartment Home $1,764)

17%

16%

1%

NOI Margin

71%

73%

(2%)

Free Cash Flow Margin

66%

69%

(3%)

Acquisitions and Dispositions – We had no acquisitions or dispositions in the first quarter. Commencing on January 1, 2021, we leased four properties to Aimco for development and redevelopment.

Balance Sheet

We seek to increase financial returns by using leverage with appropriate caution. We limit risk through our balance sheet structure, employing low leverage, primarily long-dated debt; and we build financial flexibility by maintaining ample unused and available credit; holding properties with substantial value unencumbered by property debt; maintaining an investment grade rating; and using partners’ capital when it enhances financial returns or reduces investment risk.

Components of Leverage

Our leverage includes our share of the long-term, non-recourse property debt encumbering our apartment communities, together with outstanding borrowings under our revolving credit facility, our term loans, and our preferred equity.

 

 

PRO FORMA MARCH 31, 2021*

($ in millions)

 

Amount

 

 

% of Total

 

 

Weighted-Avg.

Maturity (Yrs.)

AIR share of long-term, non-recourse property debt

 

$

2,613

 

 

 

73

%

 

 

9.2

Term loans

 

 

800

 

 

 

22

%

 

 

4.8

Outstanding borrowings on revolving credit facility

 

 

118

 

 

 

3

%

 

 

5.0

Preferred equity**

 

 

81

 

 

 

2

%

 

 

9.9

Total Leverage

 

$

3,612

 

 

 

100

%

 

 

8.1

Cash, restricted cash, and investments in securitization trust assets

 

 

(182

)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes receivable from Aimco***

 

 

(534

)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net Leverage

 

$

2,896

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* Presented pro forma for the closing of the new credit facility on April 14, 2021 and the $342 million of proceeds received from the April 23, 2021 equity offering. The weighted-average maturity of our term loans and the revolving credit facility assumes that the maturity extension options will be exercised.

** AIR’s Preferred equity is perpetual in nature; however, for illustrative purposes, we have computed the weighted-average maturity of our preferred OP Units assuming a 10-year maturity and preferred stock assuming it is called at the expiration of the no-call period.

*** We have notes receivable from Aimco with an aggregate principal amount of $534 million. The notes will mature on January 31, 2024 and are secured by a pool of properties owned by Aimco. We consider the notes a reduction of leverage as we expect proceeds to be used to repay current amounts outstanding.

New Credit Facility

On April 14, we closed a new $1.4 billion credit facility, providing four-to-five-year money at a current all-in cost of 1.6%. The facility is comprised of a $600 million revolving credit facility and $800 million of variable rate term loans. Term loan proceeds are being used to extend the maturity of our current $350 million term loan; to repay $213 million of property debt; and to reduce borrowings on our revolving credit facility. The $213 million property debt repayment increases by over $530 million our pool of properties unencumbered by debt. The reduction of property level debt and the increase in unencumbered properties strengthen our investment grade balance sheet and enhances our ability to access the public bond market.

The $800 million of term loans are priced at a LIBOR spread of 100 basis points, with a LIBOR floor of 0.00%, 98 basis points lower than our previous term loan. Borrowing costs under the new revolving credit facility are 10 basis points lower than under our previous facility. To further our environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) initiatives, the facility allows for an additional one basis point margin reduction if certain ESG targets are achieved. The term of the revolver ends April 14, 2025, with two six-month extension options.

The term loans mature on the following schedule:

  • $150 million maturing on December 15, 2023 with two one-year extension options;
  • $300 million maturing on December 15, 2024 with a one-year extension option;
  • $150 million maturing on December 15, 2025; and
  • $200 million maturing on April 14, 2026.

The term loans were structured to maintain our balanced maturity ladder, and to also maximize flexibility through the ability to prepay freely and extend the maturity date of shorter duration loans.

Equity Issuance

On April 23, 2021, we issued and sold 7.825 million shares of our Class A Common Stock in a private placement to a large global real estate-focused investment firm for a cash purchase price of $342 million. We expect to use the proceeds to repay property debt with a weighted-average interest rate of 4.6%.

As a “new issuer”, we are not yet eligible to file a “shelf” registration statement. Until we have 12 months of post-separation filings, the registration process will result in a longer SEC clearance process and a longer marketing period, which could introduce greater volatility and uncertainty in pricing and execution.

Leverage Reduction – On Track

We target Net Leverage to Adjusted EBITDAre below 6.0x. At March 31, Net Leverage to Adjusted EBITDAre was 7.8x. We expect to achieve our target by year-end 2021 through a:

  • ~0.9x reduction from the equity issuance;
  • ~0.9x reduction from the sale of properties expected to generate $580 million in net proceeds; and
  • ~0.5x reduction resulting from growth in property NOI.
  • Resulting in a ratio of 5.5x.

Liquidity

We use our revolving credit facility primarily for working capital and other short-term purposes and to secure letters of credit. At March 31, 2021, pro forma the closing of the new credit facility, but excluding proceeds received from the equity issuance, our share of cash and restricted cash was $59 million and we had the capacity to borrow up to $460 million, under our new revolving credit facility, bringing total pro forma liquidity to $519 million.

We also manage our financial flexibility by maintaining an investment grade rating and holding communities that are unencumbered by property debt. AIR has been rated BBB by Standard & Poor’s. Pro forma the closing of the new credit facility and the expected use of proceeds from the equity issuance, we expect to hold communities unencumbered by property debt with an estimated fair market value of approximately $4.0 billion.

Dividend

On April 26, 2021, the AIR Board of Directors declared quarterly cash dividends of $0.43 per share of AIR Common Stock. This amount is payable on May 28, 2021, to stockholders of record on May 14, 2021. The safety and simplicity of our business model, combined with the predictability of our cash flows, allows us to distribute a greater percentage of income, leading to an improved dividend payout ratio after the separation from Aimco. Our refreshed tax basis allows our dividend to also be tax efficient. Before the consideration of any property sales, approximately 60% of AIR’s 2021 dividend is expected to be taxable, with approximately 40% of AIR’s dividend expected to be a tax-free return of capital. Actual results could differ materially.

2021 Outlook

At the midpoint, we expect FFO per share to be $2.01; consistent with our release on April 14, and up $0.03 from our February expectations. Our revised expectations for FFO incorporate:

  • $0.03 to $0.06 per share from increased Same Store NOI;
  • $0.02 of lower interest expense due to completed leverage neutral refinancing activity;
  • $0.03 of lower FFO from property sales; and
  • Less than $0.01 FFO dilution from the issuance of 7.8 million shares of common stock.

Our guidance ranges are based on the following components:

 

 

YEAR-TO-DATE MARCH 31, 2021

 

 

FULL YEAR 2021

 

PREVIOUS

FULL YEAR

2021

 

($ Amounts represent AIR Share)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net Income per share [1]

 

$0.56

 

 

$0.01 to $0.14

 

$(0.18) to $(0.05)

 

Pro forma FFO per share

 

$0.50

 

 

$1.96 to $2.06

 

$1.91 to $2.05

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Same Store Operating Components of NAREIT FFO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenue change compared to prior year

 

(5.7%)

 

 

(1.50%) to 0.50%

 

(3.00%) to (0.20%)

 

Expense change compared to prior year

 

3.2%

 

 

3.20% to 2.80%

 

3.75% to 2.75%

 

NOI change compared to prior year

 

(8.8%)

 

 

(3.40%) to (0.40%)

 

(5.60%) to (1.40%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Offsite Costs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Property management expenses

 

$6M

 

 

~$24M

 

~$24M

 

General and administrative expenses

 

$4M

 

 

~$16M

 

~$16M

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other Earnings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lease income [2]

 

$7M

 

 

~$27M

 

~$30M

 

Tax expense [2]

 

$0.3M

 

 

~($1M)

 

~($1M)

 

Proceeds from dispositions of real estate, net

 

 

 

~$580M

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AIR Share of Capital Investments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Capital Enhancements

 

$9M

 

 

$45M to $55M

 

$45M to $55M

 

[1] Does not include any gain from future property sales.

[2] Presented net of FFO and Pro forma FFO adjustments.

In the second quarter, AIR anticipates Pro forma FFO between $0.46 and $0.50 per share. At the $0.48 midpoint, a reduction of $0.02 from first quarter. The reduction is due to timing of debt repayment and seasonal increases in property operating expenses.

AIR Strategic Objectives

We created AIR to be an efficient way to invest in U.S. multi-family real estate, due to its simplified business model and diversified portfolio of stabilized apartment communities. Upon AIR’s separation from Aimco, we identified ten strategic objectives. The following table outlines our progress against these objectives.

 

Objective

Progress

 

High-quality and diversified portfolio of stabilized multi-family properties

Done

 

 

 

 

Best-in-class property operations

Done

 

 

 

 

Low cost of net leverage

Done

 

 

 

 

G&A as % of GAV lowest in sector

Done

 

 

 

 

Simplified business with minimal execution risk and without complex investments

Done

 

 

 

 

Higher FFO from elimination of lease-up “drag” and lower overhead costs

Done

 

 

 

 

Improved dividend payout ratio

Done

 

 

 

 

Strong, flexible balance sheet with low leverage

Ahead of Plan

 

 

 

 

Growth through acquisition of stabilized communities where property operations add value

In Progress

 

 

 

 

Excellence in corporate governance

In Progress

Earnings Conference Call Information

Live Conference Call:

Conference Call Replay:

Friday, April 30, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. ET

Replay available until July 30, 2021

Domestic Dial-In Number: 1-888-317-6003

Domestic Dial-In Number: 1-877-344-7529

International Dial-In Number: 1-412-317-6061

International Dial-In Number: 1-412-317-0088

Passcode: 1112866

Passcode: 10154255

Live webcast and replay:

 

investors.aircommunities.com

Supplemental Information

The full text of this Earnings Release and the Supplemental Information referenced in this release is available on AIR’s website at investors.aircommunities.com.

Glossary & Reconciliations of Non-GAAP Financial and Operating Measures

Financial and operating measures found in this Earnings Release and the Supplemental Information include certain financial measures used by AIR management that are measures not defined under accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (“GAAP”). Certain AIR terms and Non-GAAP measures are defined in the Glossary in the Supplemental Information and Non-GAAP measures reconciled to the most comparable GAAP measures.

About AIR

AIR is a real estate investment trust focused on the ownership and management of quality apartment communities located in the largest markets in the United States. AIR is one of the country’s largest owners and operators of apartments, with 95 communities in 12 states and the District of Columbia. AIR common shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol AIRC, and are included in the S&P 400. For more information about AIR, please visit our website at www.aircommunities.com.

Forward-looking Statements

This Earnings Release and Supplemental Information contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws, including, without limitation, statements regarding projected results and specifically forecasts of 2021 results, including but not limited to: NAREIT FFO, Pro forma FFO and selected components thereof; expectations regarding sales of AIR apartment communities and the use of proceeds thereof; and AIR liquidity and leverage metrics. We caution investors not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements.

These forward-looking statements are based on management’s judgment as of this date, which is subject to risks and uncertainties. Risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations include, but are not limited to: the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on AIR’s business and on the global and U.S. economies generally, and the ongoing, dynamic and uncertain nature and duration of the pandemic, all of which heightens the impact of the other risks and factors described herein, and the impact on entities in which AIR holds a partial interest, and the impact of governmental lockdowns on AIR’s residents, commercial tenants, and operations; real estate and operating risks, including fluctuations in real estate values and the general economic climate in the markets in which we operate and competition for residents in such markets; national and local economic conditions, including the pace of job growth and the level of unemployment; the amount, location and quality of competitive new housing supply; the timing and effects of acquisitions and dispositions; changes in operating costs, including energy costs; negative economic conditions in our geographies of operation; loss of key personnel; AIR’s ability to maintain current or meet projected occupancy, rental rate and property operating results; expectations regarding sales of apartment communities and the use of proceeds thereof; insurance risks, including the cost of insurance, and natural disasters and severe weather such as hurricanes; financing risks, including the availability and cost of financing; the risk that cash flows from operations may be insufficient to meet required payments of principal and interest; the risk that earnings may not be sufficient to maintain compliance with debt covenants, including financial coverage ratios; legal and regulatory risks, including costs associated with prosecuting or defending claims and any adverse outcomes; the terms of laws and governmental regulations that affect us and interpretations of those laws and regulations; possible environmental liabilities, including costs, fines or penalties that may be incurred due to necessary remediation of contamination of apartment communities presently or previously owned by AIR; Aimco’s and AIR’s relationship with each other after the business separation; the ability and willingness of Aimco and AIR and their subsidiaries to meet and/or perform their obligations under any contractual arrangements that were entered into among the parties in connection with the business separation and any of their obligations to indemnify, defend and hold the other party harmless from and against various claims, litigation and liabilities; and the ability to achieve some or all the benefits that we expect to achieve from the business separation; and such other risks and uncertainties described from time to time in filings by AIR with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).

Contacts

Beth Hagan

(303) 757-8101

investors@aircommunities.com

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Laurel McBride real estate agent with Century 21 N and N Realtors with homes for sale in Logan Utah