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Industrial Logistics Properties Trust (NASDAQ:ILPT)
Q3 2018 Earnings Conference Call
October 26, 2018, 10:00 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Good morning and welcome to the Industrial Logistics Properties Trust third quarter 2018 financial results conference call. All participants are in listen-only mode. Should you need assistance, please signal a conference specialist by pressing the * key followed by zero. After today's presentations, there will be an opportunity to ask questions. Please note, this event is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the conference over to Olivia Snyder, Manager of Investor Relations. Please go ahead.

Olivia Snyder -- Manager of Investor Relations 

Thank you and good morning, everyone. Thanks for joining us today. With me on the call today are ILPT's President and Chief Executive Officer John Popeo and Chief Financial Officer Rick Siedel. In addition, we are joined by John Murray, who has been appointed as Managing Trustee, President, and Chief Executive Officer, effective December 1st, 2018.

In just a moment, they will provide details about our business and our performance for the third quarter of 2018. We will then open the call up to your questions. First, I would like to note that the recording and retransmission of today's conference call is prohibited without the prior written consent of the company.

Also note that today's conference call contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and other securities laws. These forward-looking statements are based on ILPT's beliefs and expectations as of today, Friday, October 26th, 2018 and actual results may differ materially from those that we project.

The company undertakes no obligation to revise or publicly release the results of any revisions to the forward-looking statements made in today's conference call. Additional information containing factors that can cause those differences, it contains in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC, which can be accessed from our website ilptreits.com or the SEC's website.

Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance upon any forward-looking statements. In addition, we will be discussing non-GAAP numbers during this call, including normalized funds from operations or normalized FFO, and cash-based net operating income or cash-based NOI.

The reconciliation of these non-GAAP figures for net income and the components to calculate cash available for distribution or CAD are available in our supplemental operating and financial data package, which also can be found on our website.

And now, I will turn the call over to John Popeo.

John Popeo -- Managing Trustee, President, and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Olivia. Good morning everyone and welcome to the third quarter earnings call for Industrial Logistics Properties Trust or ILPT. As of the end of the third quarter, ILPT's portfolio consisted of 269 primarily warehouse and distribution properties with 29.2 million square feet located in 26 states.

Approximately 60% of ILPT's annualized revenues continues to come from 16.8 million square feet of industrial land located on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. Our mainland portfolio consists of 43 buildings with 12.4 million square feet located in 25 states that are 100 percent leased with an average lease term of around eight years as of quarter end. We have made steady progress on our mainland acquisition plan, acquiring two properties during the quarter and closing on one additional property during October. All three were briefly discussed during last quarter's earnings call. I'll now provide more details.

In September, we acquired a 205,000-square foot Class A warehouse distribution facility in Carlisle, Pennsylvania for $20 million. The paper is net leased for seven years to Transamerican Auto Parts or TAP, a leading manufacturer, distributor, retailer, and installer of off-road Jeep and truck accessories and a wholly owned subsidiary of Polaris Industries.

The building was constructed in 2016, features 32-foot clear heights, and serves as the largest of TAP's six US distribution centers. The property is well-located directly off I-81 and the I-81/I-78 distribution corridor, one of the largest and fastest-growing industrial markets in the country.

Also in September, we acquired a 221,000-square foot Class A warehouse distribution facility in Upper Marlboro, Maryland for $29.3 million. The property is located approximately 10 miles east of Washington DC's Capital Beltway, immediately adjacent to Route 301 and with ready access to I-95. The property is net leased for 12 years to La-Z-Boy Incorporated, who chose this location to better service Maryland, Virginia, and the Carolinas without having to travel through DC.

The property was built in 2016 with high-quality construction and design, including 32-foot clear heights and modern column spacing and dock capacity. After quarter end in October, we acquired for $27.7 million a multi-tenant net-leased warehouse distribution facility located in Maple Grove, Minnesota, one of the strongest industrial submarkets of Minneapolis. The 319,000-square foot property is constructed in 2015 with 32-foot clear heights and is 100% leased with a remaining average lease term of 6.3 years.

The primary tenant at the property is Bunzl Minneapolis, a distributor serving customers in the grocery, retail, food processing, convenient store, and airline industries throughout Minnesota, the Dakotas, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Maple Grove is situated at the intersections of Interstate-694, 494, and 94, with excellent access to the Twin Cities via Highways 169 and 610.

The average cap rate for these properties is approximately 5.3%, reflecting their construction quality and desirable locations. In addition, we're beginning to gain some traction with built-to-suit expansions for existing tenants. As previously reported, we have approximately 900,000 square feet of expansion options built into our existing main land leases.

We completed one small 35,000-square foot expansion for FedEx back in September 2017 and in early October of 2018, we successfully negotiated a second built-to-suit expansion at one of our existing 450,000-square foot distribution facilities leased to Toro. This 194,000-square foot expansion is expected to cost $15 million, which translates to a return on our invested capital of close to 7%. In October, we acquired a land parcel adjacent to the existing property for $450,000.00 to accommodate this expansion.

The lease term for the expansion space will be 15 years from the expected date of completion. We're currently expecting to complete this project by November 2019. As part of this expansion, we also expanded the lease term for the tenant's existing space by seven years to coincide with the expiration date of the new expansion space of December 2034.

We have around 700,000 square feet of additional expansion opportunities built in to our existing leases throughout the main land portfolio and we continue to proactively reach out to existing tenants to encourage them to execute their expansion options.

Before Rick touches on this quarter's leasing activities, I wanted to follow-up on my discussion last quarter of American Tire Distributors or ATD, one of our top tenants, accounting for approximately $5 million or 3.1% of annualized revenues. In early October, ATD announced they filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 to implement an agreement with bond holders on the terms of a recapitalization that would reduce the company's debt by approximately $1.1 billion.

ATD has stated that operations across their distribution networks are continuing without disruption as it moves through this process. ATD occupies five of our distribution facilities located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Albany, New York, Columbus, Ohio, Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Lincoln, Nebraska.

The tenant remains current on their rent and the hope is the plan is approved by the courts. However, if for some reason we are not able to collect on our existing leases, we're confident that we can relet the space within six to nine months at the three of the properties and between 12 and 24 months for the other two.

As a reminder, ILPT is managed by the RMR Group, which has over 30 regional management offices located throughout the US. RMR stands ready to provide new leasing solutions for the properties occupied by ATD if it becomes necessary. But again, we're hopeful that ATD continues to honor its leases within ILPT.

I'd like to briefly note that as a condition of the proposed merger agreement between our current majority shareholder, Select Income REIT or SIR, and Government Properties Income Trust, subject to requisite shareholder approvals and certain other conditions, SIR will distribute all of the 45 million common shares of ILPT that it owns to SIR's shareholders.

Lastly, for those of you who haven't heard, I have decided to retire as President, CEO, and Managing Trustee of ILPT and other executive positions I hold across the RMR platform effective November 30th. My employment at RMR will continue until March of 2019 to allow for as smooth a transition as possible.

I've been with the RMR Group since November 1997 and during this 21-year period, I was fortunate to participate in the tremendous growth that has taken place since then. I'm grateful for the friendships that developed over the years, both within the company and with bankers, analysts, investors, and vendors.

I'm proud to have been part of this organization and I'm profoundly grateful to the Portnoys for giving me the opportunity to work and grow in such a dynamic and exciting work environment.

John Murray has been named the new President, CEO, and Managing Trustee of ILPT, and I couldn't be happier for John and the company. John has been with the RMR Group longer than I have, primarily focused today on hotels and travel centers. John is a seasoned real estate professional and close friend. I wish John all the best in his new role at ILPT, effective December 1st, 2018. There's no question in my mind that ILPT and its shareholders are in good hands with John at the helm.

I'll now hand the call over to Rick Siedel to provide details on this quarter's leasing activity and financial results. Rick?

Richard Siedel -- Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

Thanks, John and good morning, everyone. I'll begin with an overview of leasing and then continue to an overview of our financial results. During the quarter, we executed new and renewal leases, totaling approximately 324,000 square feet at rents that were 12.1% higher than previous rents in the same space. The average lease term was 11.8 years and leasing capital per square foot per lease year was $0.10.

One of the new leases we executed this quarter was on our property in Lafayette, Louisiana currently leased to FedEx, which is occupied by a subtenant. This is the only one of our 13 FedEx facilities that is subleased and FedEx has told us they don't intend to renew at this building when their lease expires in 2020.

We executed a new lease this quarter direct from the sub-tenant that will ensure this building stays occupied and eliminates any downtime or capital typically associated with marketing and retenanting. FedEx was paying an above market rent for this 70,000-square foot facility constructed in 2010 so the new lease represents a rolldown on rent.

Excluding this one new lease that isn't effective for nearly two years, we achieved average rent rollups on new and renewal leases of 39.9% and 26.6% respectively over previous rental rates, which we believe illustrates the strong, internal growth we expect from our portfolio.

We also executed 11 rent resets in Hawaii for approximately 516,000 square feet of land at rental rates that were 20.3% higher than prior rates. Portfolio occupancy as of the end of the third quarter was 99.3% a 20-basis point increase from last quarter. We have no significant near-term lease expirations on the mainland with less than 1% of total annualized rents expiring by the end of 2019.

Moving to Hawaii, we have just 11,000 square feet of leases expiring during the remainder of this year. Looking forward to 2019, in Hawaii, 1.4 million square feet for $3.7 million of total annualized rents are scheduled to expire, in addition to 2 million square feet for $7 million of annualized rent that is scheduled to reset.

Our hope is that rents will continue to increase in Hawaii at rents consistent with our historical performance. We continue to be encouraged by our leasing results and growth we may achieve when over 50% of our Hawaii leases mark to market either through rent resets or as leases rollover over the next five years.

Moving on to the financials, normalized FFO for the third quarter of 2018 was $25.3 million or $0.39 per share. Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $29.6 million. Our quarterly dividend of $0.33 per share continues to be well-covered with a comfortable payout ratio of 84.6%. Total revenues for the third quarter of 2018 increased by $4 million to $4.4 million, representing a 3.5% increase over prior year results. This increase primarily reflects our acquisition activity, as well as lease renewals and rent resets at our Hawaii properties.

Same-store cash in Hawaii increased by 1.5% over the prior year, primarily as a result of our contractual rent increases and leasing activity in our Hawaii and mainland property. Hawaii same property cash NOI increased 1.2% over the prior year, reflecting increases in rent from renewal, releasing and resets, as well as recoveries related to a previously evicted tenant, offset by increased non-recoverable expenses, including bad debt reserves, repairs, real estate taxes, and security costs associated with our occupancy being slightly lower than the nearly 100% reported last year.

Mainland cash NOI increased 1.8% over the prior year, primarily as a result of the contractual rent increases and an increase in rent from an expansion project of FedEx that was completed in September of 2017. General and administrative expenses for the third quarter totaled $2.9 million or just under 20 basis points of our total assets as of September 30th.

Our recurring capital expenditures totaled $845,000.00. The majority of these expenditures were building and land improvements at various properties, which included parking lot resurfacing and a fire alarm system upgrade along with some minor leasing capital. The interest in interest expense over the prior year reflects average borrowing on our revolving credit facility.

The average interest rate on our revolver is based on LIBOR plus the spread, which amounted to approximately 3.5% at quarter end. After the acquisitions John mentioned earlier, we have just over $400 million outstanding on our $750 million unsecured revolving credit facility. So, we may consider refinancing with long-term fixed rate debt in the coming months.

We ended the quarter with $11.1 million of cash on hand, debt to adjusted EBITDA of just 3.6 times, and adjusted EBITDA to interest expense of 7.3 times. We have only one property encumbered by secured debt and we continue to believe our balance sheet is very well-positioned for growth.

That concludes our prepared remarks. Operator, we're now ready to take questions.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

Thank you. And at this time, if you would like to ask a question, please press * then 1 on your touchstone. If you are using a speakerphone, please pick up your handset before pressing the keys. To withdraw your question, please press * then 2.

Our first question will come from Brian Maher with B. Riley FBR. Please go ahead.

Bryan Maher -- B. Riley FBR -- Managing Director

Good morning. Thanks for those comments. Just a quick question on Hawaii -- I guess it was up 20% and change. It's a little shy of the historical average since 2003. Was there something particular there with the quarter and how should we think about that as we approach 2019 and 2020 with what you're seeing on the ground at the moment.

Richard Siedel -- Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

Hey, Brian, this is Rick. A couple thoughts on that -- individual resets can always vary from quarter to quarter depending on the particular parcels involved. Second, we have been negotiating rent steps of approximately 3% per year into some of our leases when they're due to be reset, which helps us consistently grow our cash NOI year after year and it's also a little bit less of the shock for the tenant.

So, often, we'll negotiate lease extension with resets at the same time and then we'll wind up reporting them in our renewal leasing activity. While the 20% number for resets was a little lower than historical, when you combine it with the first nine months of activity in Hawaii, we've averaged about 43.9% roll-ups on renewals and about 36.8% roll-ups on new leases. So, when you combine them, we're just under 30% combined. We think our leasing activity has been consistent with historical levels and has been strong.

From a Hawaii overall NOI results perspective this quarter, I mentioned some of the non-recoverable costs we incurred this period. Historically, we do get some of those back. Our team on the ground, we'll work with collections teams and everyone else to go after it. Typically, if one of our tenants falls behind, our team will occasionally offer a payment plan secured with the stipulated judgement so that we can quickly retake possession if it becomes necessary.

The good news is many of our Hawaii parcels can be released quickly because of their location between the port and Honolulu and we have a really strong team on the ground. So, looking forward to 2019. I think we like to say that we estimate that current rents are 20% below market, but as we look at the specific leases, we hope to be a little higher than that, but generally, the 20% number is a reasonable expectation for the portfolio.

Bryan Maher -- B. Riley FBR -- Managing Director

Great. That's really good color. Can you talk a little bit about your acquisition outlook? I know you guys have stepped up your acquisition activity of late and that's good to see. Are you seeing any changes near-term particularly as it relates to the volatility in the capital markets, things that are going on with Amazon -- are you seeing any changes in the marketplace for your acquisitions?

John Popeo -- Managing Trustee, President, and Chief Executive Officer

We continue to be very active on acquisitions. It was interesting. We weren't seeing a whole lot or we saw volume sort of tail off in July and August, but it's picked right back up again. There are still a lot of newer buildings coming to market listed by merchant builders and developers.

We've probably reviewed since our IPO over 100 listings, been on property just over 25, and we've lost all but 5. We're very happy with the 5 that we currently have closed on or have under contract. We're targeting properties that are close to major population centers that have solid highway access and that's resulting in the cap rates you're seeing as published in our financials of right around 5% going in.

We are taking a very disciplined approach. We've passed on property 60 or 70 properties based on the tertiary locations, building age, poor construction quality, low clear heights, or seeking out solid tenants in all cases, but we want to keep a real close eye on and pulse on market growth potential because that's the name of the game right now. That's how you justify going in cap rates of high-4s and low-5s.

Pending deals, we have closed for this year, we have around 2 million square feet pricing. It should come in around 5%-5.5%. These properties are located in Phoenix, Atlanta, and South Carolina. A couple of them are over 800,000 square feet. We talked about the Phoenix market on the last call. One of our properties, potential acquisitions is located in Phoenix. We bid on one and lost. We bid a little more aggressively this time around.

We're excited about this acquisition opportunity. It's a building built in 2008, 30-foot clear heights, top-tier e-commerce tenant occupies the building for over seven years. We're also excited about a property we're looking at in Atlanta, brand new construction, very close to downtown and the airport and we're also looking at various properties and other locations throughout the country.

In addition, the pipeline is pretty robust right now. We have close to $3 million square feet in the pipeline. Some of the markets we're looking at is Atlanta. We're also looking or continue to look for more product in the Phoenix market. We like Phoenix because it's fairly easy access to LA and also Austin, Texas. But these properties in markets numbered 6 to 15 still need to meet all our key underwriting attributes, good quality tenant, newer construction, 32-foot clear heights and so on.

Bryan Maher -- B. Riley FBR -- Managing Director

Great. Thanks. That's really good color. John Popeo, good look with your retirement. It's been great working with you. John Murray, it's going to be great working with you again. We've known each other for 15+ years. You do a great job. I'm pretty happy to see you in this new role. Congrats to both of you.

John Popeo -- Managing Trustee, President, and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you.

Operator

Again, if you would like to ask a question, please press * then 1. Our next question will come from Mitch Germain with JMP Securities. Please go ahead.

Mitch Germain -- JMP Securities -- Managing Director

Yeah. It seems like a notes offering could be, I think you said in the coming months. Maybe just some perspective there and some ideas around pricing.

Richard Siedel -- Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

Sure. Mitch, this is Rich again. We've seen the interest rate on our revolver increase 60 basis points this year. So, with just over $400 million outstanding, it may be a good time to refinance that into attractively priced long-term fixed rate debt. At this point, because we haven't really finished the seasoning period, we're still only a few months old having IPO'd in January of this year.

We're actually thinking that it might make sense to look at the secured debt market, which we historically haven't used a lot. We currently have one property encumbered by a mortgage. But depending on the particular assets we choose to encumber along with the leverage we elect to use, it seems 10-year rates between 4.25 and 4.75 are readily available. Pricing at these levels will allow for a positive spread between our cost to debt and our acquisition cap rates, along with our development returns we've talked a little bit about this quarter.

Like you mentioned, timing would likely be late in the fourth quarter but could possibly slip into Q1 if we take a good look at the options from the life insurance company. So, there will be more to come on that. But I think that's the plan.

Mitch Germain -- JMP Securities -- Managing Director

But don't expect it to be materially dilutive. You're expecting this to -- it sounds like pricing is going to be not far off from where your revolver is already.

Richard Siedel -- Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

That's correct. The revolver is at 3.5 now. To go at 4.5 is a little bit dilutive, but the acquisitions would offset that. So, it should be positive.

Mitch Germain -- JMP Securities -- Managing Director

And Rick, in your mind, I probably have this somewhere, but based on where your leverage metrics are, what sort of dry powder, how much capacity do you guys have to hit the levels you're kind of capped out at.

Richard Siedel -- Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

I think we still have significant capacity. Again, modeling in the pipeline John has talked about a little bit. I think we easily still have 500 million or so capacity next year at fairly aggressive cap rates before we're kind of in line with the higher-end of our leverage target.

Mitch Germain -- JMP Securities -- Managing Director

Great. Go ahead.

Richard Siedel -- Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

I was just going to say we're still only at 3.6 times debt to EBITDA today. So, there's a substantial amount of dry powder left.

Mitch Germain -- JMP Securities -- Managing Director

Got you. Any update on the taxability of the special dividend or is that still to be seen as the year progresses?

John Popeo -- Managing Trustee, President, and Chief Executive Officer

It's still a work in progress.

Mitch Germain -- JMP Securities -- Managing Director

Got you. Great. Congrats to you, John. I wish you the best. Thanks for your time.

John Popeo -- Managing Trustee, President, and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Mitch.

Operator

And this will conclude our question and answer session. I would like to turn the conference back over to John Popeo for any closing remarks.

John Popeo -- Managing Trustee, President, and Chief Executive Officer

Okay. We're very happy with our acquisition momentum this quarter and remain optimistic about our continued growth prospects through acquisitions, expansions, and Hawaii resets in the coming quarters. We look forward to seeing many of you at the Nareit Conference in San Francisco next month. Thank you, everyone for joining today's call.

Operator

The conference has now concluded. Thank you for attending today's presentation. You may now disconnect.

Duration: 30 minutes

Call participants:

Olivia Snyder -- Manager of Investor Relations 

John Popeo -- Managing Trustee, President, and Chief Executive Officer

Richard Siedel -- Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

Bryan Maher -- B. Riley FBR -- Managing Director

Mitch Germain -- JMP Securities -- Managing Director

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