Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust Value Stock - Dividend - Research Selection
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Description of the company
Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, a Pennsylvania business trust founded in 1960 and one of the first equity real estate investment trusts (“REITs”) in the United States, has a primary investment focus on retail shopping malls located in the eastern half of the United States, primarily in the Mid-Atlantic region.
We currently own interests in 29 retail properties, of which 25 are operating properties and four are development or redevelopment properties. The 25 operating properties include 21 shopping malls and four other retail properties, have a total of 20.2 million square feet and are located in nine states. We and partnerships in which we hold an interest own 15.5 million square feet at these properties (excluding space owned by anchors or third parties). In 2017, we sold three of our wholly owned mall properties.
There are 19 operating retail properties in our portfolio that we consolidate for financial reporting purposes. These consolidated properties have a total of 16.0 million square feet, of which we own 12.6 million square feet. The six operating retail properties that are owned by unconsolidated partnerships with third parties have a total of 4.1 million square feet, of which 2.8 million square feet are owned by such partnerships.
We have one property under redevelopment classified as “retail” (redevelopment of The Gallery at Market East into Fashion District Philadelphia, formerly referred to as Fashion Outlets of Philadelphia). This redevelopment is expected to open in 2018 and stabilize in 2020. We have three properties in our portfolio that are classified as under development, however we do not currently have any activity occurring at these properties.
We are a fully integrated, self-managed and self-administered REIT that has elected to be treated as a REIT for federal income tax purposes. In general, we are required each year to distribute to our shareholders at least 90% of our net taxable income and to meet certain other requirements in order to maintain the favorable tax treatment associated with qualifying as a REIT.
We are primarily engaged in the ownership, management, leasing, acquisition, redevelopment, and disposition of shopping malls. In general, our malls include tenants that are national or regional department stores, large format retailers or other anchors and a diverse mix of national, regional and local in-line stores offering apparel (women’s, family, teen, children’s, men’s), shoes, eyewear, cards and gifts, jewelry, sporting goods, home furnishings and personal care items, among other things. In recent years, we have increased the portion of our properties that is leased to non-traditional mall tenants, and approximately 20% of our portfolio is space committed to non traditional tenants offering services such as dining and entertainment, health and wellness, off price retail and fast fashion.
To enhance the experience for shoppers, most of our malls have restaurants and/or food courts, and some of the malls have multi-screen movie theaters and other entertainment options, either as part of the mall or on outparcels around the perimeter of the mall property. In addition, many of our malls have outparcels containing restaurants, banks or other stores. Our malls frequently serve as a central place for community, promotional and charitable events in their geographic trade areas.
The largest mall in our retail portfolio is 1.4 million square feet and contains 171 stores, and the smallest is 0.5 million square feet and contains 80 stores. The other properties in our retail portfolio range from 370,000 to 780,000 square feet.
We derive the substantial majority of our revenue from rent received under leases with tenants for space at retail properties in our real estate portfolio. In general, our leases require tenants to pay minimum rent, which is a fixed amount specified in the lease, and which is often subject to scheduled increases during the term of the lease for longer term leases. In 2017, 84% of the new leases that we signed contained scheduled rent increases, and these increases, which are typically scheduled to occur between two and four times during the term, ranged from 1.4% to 13.3%, with approximately 87% ranging from 2.0% to 4.0%. In addition or in the alternative, certain tenants are required to pay percentage rent, which can be either a percentage of their sales revenue that exceeds certain levels specified in their lease agreements, or a percentage of their total sales revenue.
The majority of our leases also provide that the tenant will reimburse us for certain expenses relating to the property for common area maintenance (“CAM”), real estate taxes, utilities, insurance and other operating expenses incurred in the operation of the property subject, in some cases, to certain limitations. The proportion of the expenses for which tenants are responsible was historically related to the tenant’s pro rata share of space at the property. As discussed below, we have continued to shift the provision in our leases that addresses these items to be a fixed amount, which gives greater predictability to tenants, and a majority of such revenue is derived from leases specifying fixed CAM reimbursements.
Retail real estate industry participants sometimes classify malls based on the average sales per square foot of non-anchor mall tenants, the population and average household income of the trade area and the geographic market, the growth rates of the population and average household income in the trade area and geographic market, and numerous other factors. Based on these factors, in general, malls that have high average sales per square foot and are in trade areas with large populations and high household incomes and/or growth rates are considered Class A malls, malls with average sales per square foot that are in the middle range of population or household income and/or growth rates are considered Class B malls, and malls with lower average sales and smaller populations and lower household incomes and/or growth rates are considered Class C malls. Although these classifications are defined differently by different market participants, in general, some of our malls are in the Class A range and many might be classified as Class B properties. The classification of a mall can change, and one of the goals of our current property strategic plans and remerchandising programs is to increase the average sales per square foot of certain of our properties and correspondingly increase their rental income and cash flows, and thus potentially their class, in order to maximize the value of the property. The malls that we have sold pursuant to our strategic property disposition program have generally been Class C properties.
Our primary objective is to maximize the long-term value of the Company for our shareholders. To that end, our business goals are to obtain the highest possible rental income, tenant sales and occupancy at our properties in order to maximize our cash flows, net operating income, funds from operations, funds available for distribution to shareholders and other operating measures and results, and ultimately to maximize the values of our properties.
To achieve this primary goal, we have developed a business strategy focused on increasing the values of our properties, and ultimately of the Company, which includes:
• Raising the overall level of quality of our portfolio and of individual properties in our portfolio;
• Improving the operating results of our properties;
• Taking steps to position the Company for future growth opportunities; and
• Improving our balance sheet by reducing debt and leverage, and maintaining a solid liquidity position.
Raising the Overall Level of Quality of Our Portfolio and of Individual Properties in Our Portfolio
Portfolio Actions. We continue to refine our collection of properties to enhance the overall quality of the portfolio. We seek to have a portfolio that derives most of its NOI (a non-GAAP measure; as defined below) from higher productivity properties, and one that is represented in the vicinity of a few major east coast cities. One avenue we used for raising the level of quality of our portfolio was by disposing of certain assets, which had sales productivity or occupancy below the average for our portfolio. In 2017, we sold Beaver Valley Mall, Crossroads Mall and Logan Valley Mall. At December 31, 2016, these properties had average aggregate sales per square foot of $324 and total occupancy of 87.3%, which were substantially less than the metrics for the balance of our portfolio. Since 2012, we have sold 17 low-productivity malls.
Redevelopment. We might also seek to improve particular properties, to increase the potential value of properties in our portfolio, and to maintain or enhance their competitive positions by redeveloping them. We do so in order to attract more customers and retailers, which we expect to lead to increases in sales, occupancy and rental rates. Redevelopments are generally more involved than strategic property plans or remerchandising programs and usually require some use of capital. We give redevelopment priority to properties in our portfolio that are of a higher quality, and where the redevelopment can be economically transformative. Our property redevelopments focus primarily on anchor replacement, remerchandising, renovation and densification. We believe these activities will enable us to optimize our financial returns.