Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Agree Realty Corporation (ADC) Q3 2021 Earnings Call Transcript

By Motley Fool Transcribers – Nov 2, 2021 at 3:30PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

ADC earnings call for the period ending September 30, 2021.

Logo of jester cap with thought bubble.

Image source: The Motley Fool.

Agree Realty Corporation (ADC 0.16%)
Q3 2021 Earnings Call
Nov 2, 2021, 9:00 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Good morning and welcome to the Agree Realty Third Quarter 2021 Conference Call. [Operator Instructions]. I would now like to turn the conference over to Nicole Witteveen, Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff. Please go ahead Nicole.

10 stocks we like better than Agree Realty
When our award-winning analyst team has a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.* 

They just revealed what they believe are the ten best stocks for investors to buy right now... and Agree Realty wasn't one of them! That's right -- they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

See the 10 stocks

*Stock Advisor returns as of October 20, 2021

Nicole Witteveen -- Executive Vice President, People and Culture, Chief of Staff

Thank you. Good morning everyone and thank you for joining us agree Realty's Third Quarter 2021 Earnings Call. Before turning the call over to Joey and Peter to discuss the results for the quarter, let me first run through the cautionary language. Please note that during this call we will make certain statements that may be considered forward-looking under federal securities law. Our actual results may differ significantly from the matters discussed in any forward-looking statements for a number of reasons including uncertainty related to the scope, severity, and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, the actions taken to contain the pandemic or mitigate its impact and the direct and indirect economic effects of the pandemic and the containment measures of us and our tenants. Please see yesterday's earnings release and our SEC filings, including our latest Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent reports for discussion of various risks and uncertainties underlying our forward-looking statements.

In addition, we discuss non-GAAP financial measures including core funds from operations or core FFO, adjusted funds from operations or AFFO and net debt to recurring EBITDA. Reconciliations of these non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures can be found in our earnings release website and SEC filings. I will now turn the call over to Joey.

Joey Agree -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Nicole. I'm very pleased to report that we achieved record investment volume of approximately $1.1 billion for the first 9 months of 2021 with continued momentum heading into the 4th quarter of this year. While replicating these investment volume is the testament to the efforts of our talented team, I am most pleased with the exceptional quality of the investments that we've made in a challenging environment. While our investment activities further strengthen our best-in-class retail portfolio we have also fortified our robust balance sheet with $1.5 billion of capital markets transactions year-to-date positioning our company for dynamic growth in the quarters ahead. Notably, we completed our inaugural preferred equity offering during the 3rd quarter, raising $175 million at a 4.25% coupon. This represents the lowest non-PSA REIT preferred equity coupon in history and provides a new source of perpetual capital for our rapidly growing company. During the 3rd quarter, we invested approximately $343 million in 83 high quality retail net lease properties across our 3 external growth platforms, 80 of these properties were sourced through our acquisition platform representing acquisition volume of over $340 million. The 80 properties acquired during the 3rd quarter are leased to 49 tenants operating in 20 distinct retail sectors including best in class operators and off-price retail, convenience stores, tire and auto service, home improvement, auto parts, grocery, and general merchandise. The acquired properties at a weighted average cap rate of 6.2% and a weighted average lease term of 10.7 years. As mentioned, through the first 9 months of the year, we've invested a record $1.1 billion in 226 retail net lease properties spanning 40 states across the country and 26 retail sectors. While raising the lower end of our acquisition guidance for the year to $1.3 billion our thoughtful and disciplined approach is evidenced by the nearly one-third of annualized base rents acquired year-to-date derived from ground lease assets and roughly 70% of annualized base rents acquired derived from leading investment grade retailers. During this past quarter, we executed on several unique transactions, including our 3rd Amazon Fresh store in Illinois. We're excited about the opportunity to add yet another Amazon Fresh store to the portfolio located in a prominent Chicago suburb with median household incomes of 110,000 and a daytime population of roughly 225,000 within a 5-mile radius. Our acquisition team also continues to uncover compelling ground lease opportunities. During the quarter, we completed the acquisition of a 9-property portfolio of Thorntons Convenience Stores for approximately $21 million. The stores which are paying an average annual rent of only $120,000 per year and had a weighted average lease term of close to 20 years are all well located in the Nashville and Chicago MSAs. Shortly after executing a letter of intent to purchase this portfolio, BP announced they're taking full ownership of Thorntons convenience store chain after 2.5 years as part of a joint venture established in 2019. This transaction makes BP, which is an A minus rated company by S&P, one of the leading convenience store operators in the Midwest with more than 200 stores across 6 states. Other notable ground lease acquisitions during the quarter, including are Walmart and Sam's Club in Lansing, Michigan, two Lowe's Stores located in Wallingford, Connecticut and Abington, Massachusetts, and a CVS in Springfield, Massachusetts.

We have acquired 73 ground leases year-to-date for total investment spend of nearly $350 million representing nearly 31% of acquisition spent for the entire year. This includes 28 ground leases during the 3rd quarter representing investment volume of over $108 million. As of September 30, our ground lease exposure reached a record of nearly 14% of annualized base rents. The ground lease portfolio now derives roughly 87% from investment grade tenants and has a weighted average lease term of 12.1 years, with an average rent of less than 10 dollars per square foot. This portfolio continues to represent an extremely attractive risk-adjusted investment for our shareholders. On recent earnings calls and discussions, there had been considerable dialog regarding our ground lease portfolio and its valuation. I would encourage everyone to take a look at the new slide we added on page 10 of our investor presentation which compares our ground lease portfolio to the 10-Year Bloomberg BBB index, which has been trading between 2% and 3% over the past 12 months. This is a very compelling comparison when thinking about the value of our ground lease portfolio, which is a weighted average credit rating of BBB plus over 2 years of additional term in comparison to the Bloomberg BBB index and internal growth of nearly 1%.

As of September 30, our portfolio's total investment grade exposure was approximately 67% representing close to 100 basis point year-over-year increase. On a 2-year stacked basis, our investment grade exposure has improved by roughly a 1,000 basis points.

Moving on to our Development and Partner Capital Solutions program, we continue to uncover compelling opportunities with our retail partners. We had 7 development in PCS projects either completed or under construction during the first 9 months of the year that represent total committed capital of approximately $40 million. I'm pleased to announce we commenced construction during the quarter on our 3rd development with Gerber Collision in New Port Richey, Florida. Gerber will be subject to a new 15-year lease upon completion and we anticipate rent will commence in the second quarter of 2022. Construction continued during the 3rd quarter on 2 development in PCS projects with anticipated cost of just over $5 million. The projects consists of our first 7-Eleven development in Saginaw Michigan and a Gerber Collision in Pooler, Georgia. We remain focused on leveraging our three external growth platforms and our differentiated asset management capabilities to expand our relationships with best-in-class retailers providing comprehensive solutions that facilitate the real estate strategies and growth plans.

While we continue to strengthen our best-in-class retail portfolio through record investment activity, we remain active on the disposition front during the 3rd quarter. We continue to reduce exposure to franchise restaurants and non-core tenants through the disposition of 3 properties for total gross proceeds of approximately $11.8 million with a weighted average cap rate of 6.3%. As of September 30, we've disposed of 13 properties for gross proceeds of just over $48 million and are maintaining our disposition guidance of $50 million to $75 million for the year. Bolstered by the recent addition of David Darling as our Vice President of Real Estate, the asset management team continues to diligently address upcoming lease maturities. Their efforts have reduced our 2021 maturities to just 4 leases, representing 10 basis points of annualized base rents. During the 3rd quarter, we executed new leases, extensions or options in approximately 72,000 square feet of gross leasable area. Through the first 9 months of the year, we executed new leases, extensions, or options on approximately 347,000 square feet of gross leasable space. Our 2022 lease maturities are de minimis with only 19 leases maturing representing less than 1% of annualized base rents expiring over the course of the next year. As of September 30, our expanding retail portfolio consisted of 1338 properties across 47 states, including 162 ground leases and remains effectively fully occupied at 99.6%. Notably and as pointed out in our press release, Walgreens in LA Fitness are no longer top tenants for our company, both now represent less than 1.5% of annualized base rents. For those that have been following our company over the years, this reduction in Walgreens exposure is a true milestone given our historical exposure which once approached 40% of our portfolio. We have made a concerted effort to approach to tailor our pharmacy exposure given the high per square foot rental rates of many vintage pharmacy leases and then virgin approaches of CVS and Walgreens to a quickly changing landscape.

Before I turn the call over to Peter to discuss our financial results, I'd like to welcome, Mike Judlowe to our Board of Directors. Many of you are familiar with Mike as he most recently served as Chairman of the US Real Estate, Gaming and Lodging Investment Banking Practice at Jefferies. Over the course of his career, Mike has raised in excess of $50 billion of capital through numerous transactions. Having had the opportunity to work with Mike for many years, I am extremely excited to leverage his unique perspectives and experiences as our company continues to dynamically grow and evolve. With that, I'll hand the call over to Peter to discuss our financial results for the quarter. Peter?

Peter Coughenour -- Interim Chief Financial Officer

Thank you, Joey, starting with earnings. Core funds from operations for the 3rd quarter was $0.92 per share, representing a 13% year-over-year increase. Adjusted funds from operations per share for the quarter increased 11.5% year-over-year to $0.89. As a reminder, treasury stock is included within our diluted share count prior to settlement if and when ADC stock trades above the deal price of our outstanding forward equity offerings. The aggregate dilutive impact related to these offerings was roughly half a penny in the 3rd quarter. As mentioned on the last 2 calls, we expect to achieve high single-digit earnings growth for full year AFFO per share. Building upon our 6% AFFO per share growth in 2020, this implies 2 year stack growth in the mid teens. We view this level per share growth is very compelling when combined with the strength of our portfolio and our fortress like balance sheet. This consistent and reliable earnings growth continues to support a growing and well covered dividend.

During the 3rd quarter, we declared monthly cash dividends of [Phonetic] $0.217 per common share for July, August and September. On an annualized basis, the monthly dividends represent an 8.5% increase over the annualized dividend from the 3rd quarter of last year. While meaningfully increasing the common dividend over the past year, we maintained conservative payout ratios for the 3rd quarter of 71% of core FFO per share and 70% of AFFO per share respectively. Subsequent to quarter end, we again increased the monthly cash dividend by 4.6% to $0.227 per common share for October. The monthly dividend reflects an annualized dividend amount of $2.72 per share or 9.8% increase over the annualized dividend amount of $2.48 per share from the 4th quarter of 2020. On a 2-year stack basis, this reflects annualized dividend growth of more than 15%.

General and administrative expenses for the 3rd quarter which were impacted by recent changes to the company's executive officers totaled $5.7 million. G&A expense was 6.5% of total revenue or 6% excluding the noncash amortization of above and below-market lease intangibles. While we continue to invest in people and systems to support our dynamic and growing business, we still anticipate that G&A as a percentage of total revenue will be roughly 7% for full year 2021. This excludes the impact of lease intangible amortization on total revenues. As mentioned last quarter, G&A expense for our acquisitions team fluctuates based on acquisition volume for the year and our current anticipation for G&A expense reflects acquisition volume within our new guidance range of $1.3 billion to $1.4 billion.

Total income tax expense for the 3rd quarter was approximately $390,000, which was slightly lower than our expectation. Due to a one-time refund. We continue to anticipate total income tax expense for 2021 to be close to $2.5 million.

Moving onto our capital markets activities for the quarter, as Joey mentioned, in September, we completed our inaugural preferred equity offering raising $175 million of gross proceeds at a record low coupon of 4.25. This attractive offering demonstrates our ability to opportunistically access yet another source of capital to support the continued growth of our company. During the 3rd quarter, we entered into forward sale agreements in connection with our ATM program to sell an aggregate of approximately 367,000 shares of common stock for anticipated net proceeds of roughly $27 million. During the quarter, we also settled close to 886,000 shares under forward ATM sale agreements and received net proceeds of approximately $56 million. At quarter end, we had approximately 3.4 million shares remaining to be settled under existing forward sale agreements which are anticipated to raise net proceeds of more than $226 million upon settlement. Inclusive of the settlement of our outstanding forward equity, our fortified balance sheet stood at approximately 3.7 times net debt to recurring EBITDA. Excluding the impact of our unsettled forward equity, our net debt to recurring EBITDA was approximately 4.4 times. If you include our recent preferred equity offering and net debt, this adds roughly half a turn of leverage to our net debt to recurring EBITDA metrics.

At September 30, total debt to enterprise value is just under 25%, while our fixed charge coverage increased to a record 5.1 times. With full availability under our revolving credit facility and nearly $830 million in total liquidity, we have tremendous flexibility to execute on our growth plans. With that I'd like to turn the call back over to Joey.

Joey Agree -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Peter. At this time, operator, we will open it up for questions.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

We will now begin the question-and-answer session. [Operator Instructions]. Our first question comes from Brad Heffern with RBC Capital Markets. Please go ahead.

Brad Heffern -- RBC Capital Markets -- Analyst

Hey, good morning everyone. I was wondering on the acquisition front, if you could walk through the relative attractiveness of the investment grade versus sub-investment grade. This quarter I noticed it was a little bit below the normal proportion for the portfolio overall and it was down quite a bit sequentially. Thanks.

Joey Agree -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Good morning, Brad. First off, we're focused on our sandbox of industry-leading retailers at 25 to 30 retailers across the country that generally speaking have investment grade credit ratings and/or a ground lease asset where we see residual upside and so notably, this quarter, we acquired a shorter term out that portfolio of unrated tenants, we don't impute any scores or rating to those included. There is a AAA KFC franchise and Outback Steakhouse just for example, the Outback paying 950 a foot on 2 acres, on the 2-acre site $63,000 a year we see tremendous upside if we were to able to get that, get that asset back. We acquired a Publix, obviously it doesn't have a credit rating. You can impute an investment grade credit rating to Publix if you'd like in South Carolina. Lastly, we acquired a BJ's in Wallingford, Connecticut to immediately adjacent to the Lowe's, we own in Wallingford as well right on the toll road, great piece of real estate, high performing store, low rent and clear visibility into the residual of the real estate there. So you will see those numbers investment grade and/or term ground lease as well fluctuate from quarter to quarter, but I think over the course of the year it is pretty consistent.

Brad Heffern -- RBC Capital Markets -- Analyst

Okay, got it. And then on ground lease you all continue to acquire sort of 30% level every quarter, is that what we should sort of think of as the long-term goal for ground leases as a percentage of the portfolio or any color you could put around how big you want it to eventually be?

Joey Agree -- President and Chief Executive Officer

We see, as I mentioned, in our prepared remarks, tremendous opportunity, we think the valuation of that portfolio when you convert to something like a BBB index it is extremely compelling. In terms of a go-forward basis we're opportunists that are core, the Outback that I just mentioned is a perfect example there, we'd love to get that asset back and release it for 3 times of the current rent. So we'll see those transactions continue to materialize as a number of them in Q4, visibility into 2022 is still pretty light here at the beginning of November. But we're focused on finding the best in class opportunities on a risk adjusted basis.

Brad Heffern -- RBC Capital Markets -- Analyst

Okay, thank you.

Joey Agree -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks. Brad.

Operator

Our next question comes from Katy McConnell with Citi. Please go ahead.

Katy McConnell -- Citi -- Analyst

Thanks, good morning. Can you discuss what the acquisition pipeline looks like today and have you seen any notable changes in the opportunity set or pricing trends that might contribute to some conservatism that you're assuming for 4Q.

Joey Agree -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, good morning. Katy I would read too much into the upper end of our guidance being raised, certainly no deceleration in our pipeline. We have a few hundred million dollars, close to 100 properties in our pipeline today. It's really just a question of timing when those -- when those close. So does it close by year end or they push into next year, a lot of that is under our control subject to a seller and-or are retailers, and so I can say with confidence here the pipeline is in place, to continue to execute on the granular nature of our traditional transactions or much larger transaction if that comes to -- comes about or comes to fruition. So you can combine the team here in conjunction with our ARC system, it's a powerful combination, will continue to execute. I wouldn't read into any guidance not being raised at the year end here or the 1.4 billion not being raised, it's quite possible we will hit it or exceed it subject to timing.

Michael Bilerman -- Citi -- Analyst

Hey, Joey. It's Michael Bilerman. Good morning. And just going back to the ground lease portfolio, you and I discussed this earlier when you started to really accelerate the ground lease assets. if you're not going to get a commensurate decline in your cost of capital and I can understand the residual value, that could be embedded in some of these, which are quite long duration. So it's not always immediate in terms of getting to that opportunity, and I'm sure you're going to company examples that you have, but in aggregate, you're not going to able to get the residual value as quickly and I'm not sure the market gives you value especially if your cost of capital is not declining to the same degree to create the same level ofaccretive growth. So I guess, are you thinking at all about different structures for the ground lease portfolio or how do you, help us understand why buying a ground lease even I understand the risk-adjusted growth BBB's argument, but that's not how you're stock sort of trades and so I'm just trying to better understand why go after lower yielding even if they are more secure, longer term, how does that really drive your cash flow growth to which, would we get a higher multiple.

Joey Agree -- President and Chief Executive Officer

No, I appreciate the question. We've obviously made a focus here and an emphasis on communicating and articulating the value proposition of the ground lease portfolio. First, we're not reaching for yield, in terms of chasing cap rates or in the ground lease portfolio generally the ground lease assets on individual basis at acquisition are in line with our acquisition cap rates. What we've done is pivot with our capabilities with our relationships with retailers and owners, developers, sellers is really a flight to quality and so we see tremendous upside. Now, these aren't 99-year ground leases, ie., leasehold interest or something of the like in the safe hold where 99-year ground leases in your never getting the residual back. The Alpek is a good example of that. I think it's -- there are 2 ways to go to in an environment where you see continued cap rate compression, it's continue to drive toward quality and finding symmetric and unique opportunities or you can go up the risk curve in terms of credit or term or single purpose buildings which you won't see us do, so I think the premise of that question we're not going to reach for yield in terms of ground lease, they're going to be effectively in the same range as our standard net leases.

Michael Bilerman -- Citi -- Analyst

And then if you can just transition to the CFO side of the equation, obviously you and Simon Leopold sort of I guess broke up in mid-August. You only had come into the CFO role in 6 or 7 months, before that was a Board member for a period of time before that and look over the years you've this will be CFO, I think, number 4 or 5 over the last decade. Help us understand what's going on in that role. Why isn't there more and I know you're going to -- I know every situation specific, but it is rare to see the turnover in a company that's growing as fast as yours and that has performed well and hasn't had the hiccups that you would normally see with a lot of executive turnover. So what is it about that role, that's not getting sticky within the company and how are you thinking about filling the role going forward and just take us through a little bit of what's happened.

Joey Agree -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, no, I appreciate the question. Peter, can you plug your ears or leave the room please.

Peter Coughenour -- Interim Chief Financial Officer

Just getting.

Joey Agree -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Well, look, I think the Simon and Joey did not break up that first of all, there was no personal animosity, there was no challenge interpersonally or strategic -- strategic challenge there in terms of the performance of the company on a go forward basis that was just a case of operating styles or operating models not sinking, it was obviously disappointing for us, we quickly pivoted and understood that we needed to -- we needed to separate and I think both parties it's better off for both parties there. So that's what I'll say about Simon, we only wish him -- wish him the best continues to be a friend. In terms of the CFO, we've had, we've had a -- we will continue to execute on the search, we will do our diligence. Peter is doing a tremendous job, you can plug your ears now. Peter is doing a tremendous job here, executing on the preferred offering and now earnings. We're going to continue to do our diligence on this search. It's been a unique circumstances instead of events with these CFOs, two left on their own volition, for other, for one for a personal reason and one for professional opportunity that didn't work out for them in another state, and so it's incumbent upon us to make the right choice for the seat for this company. Most importantly, this is an operating seat and so it's, we're not out there pontificating or thinking strategically about things that aren't aligned with our operating strategy, everyone here in the 60-person Company rolls up their sleeves and has to execute to a really a disciplined operating strategy. So that's most important and we've taken the last several months here -- a few months to really evaluate this seat, I've had a number of conversations with not only candidates but existing REIT CEOs, as well as under industries to think about how the CFO search here should -- should culminate in a permanent successor. I mean, David Wolff, our Chief Accounting Officer is sitting here, we have -- we have a fantastic Chief Accounting Officer and David in accounting team that's really closing the books here and day to day accounting. And so now it's incumbent upon us to figure out what the right role and responsibilities for the CFO here at AGA Realty and a growing company.

Michael Bilerman -- Citi -- Analyst

Right. I guess is there any introspective that you have on yourself or the Board because it is I know every situation has got their reasons or rationale. It has happened a little bit often, and so I'm just wondering if there is a reflection of maybe your own management style, or how you like to work with people, how the Boards involved. I mean it is rare right you obviously knew Simon well, he was a Board member even for a short period of time. These things don't happen that often Joey and I feel like it's come up, you have to explain things away a few too many times and so I'm just trying to understand if there is a larger thing going on that's not keeping the CFOs, but in their seats.

Joey Agree -- President and Chief Executive Officer

To succinctly answer to that question, the last part of the question is, no, there is no larger thing going on, this is not a personal dynamic with Joey. This is part of being a broader leadership team at a growing and dynamic company, even comparing with the CFO seat today to 2 years ago or 3, 4, 5 years ago here required just so just what's different skill sets, 5.5 years ago we moved into the current building that we're in with 14, 15 employees, but we are at 60 team members here. And so I think is it to the first part of your question, yeah, 100%. There is an introspective look in the mirror and we would be, we'd be ignorant frankly not to look in the mirror and say what do we have to do differently, but also and what can we do better, but also what is, how has this rule change in context of the overall growth of this company, we're a $7 billion approaching $7 billion enterprise more likely than not soon to be $10 billion enterprise with the dynamic team here and so the introspective piece here is both looking backwards, but also looking forwards and again I would emphasize that this is the team that is committed to producing consistent results and also is committed to working both in and on the business. We aren't -- we aren't golfers here. We take this thing seriously, we operate it like it's a private company in the sense that we have an ownership mentality that's probably are most important core value.

Michael Bilerman -- Citi -- Analyst

Thanks for your time Joey.

Joey Agree -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you Mike.

Operator

Our next question comes from Linda Tsai with Jefferies. Please go ahead.

Linda Tsai -- Jefferies Group LLC -- Analyst

Hi, good morning. Looking at slide 16 of your IR deck Sandbox offers runway for growth, and you showed the different retailer categories. Where you're seeing the best opportunities from a risk adjusted basis as you continue to build the pipeline for 2022.

Joey Agree -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Hey, good morning, Linda. I think, I think it's across the full spectrum for us. So we saw the surge in grocery due to the Kroger transaction and the Wegman's transaction in Q2. This quarter we see divergent again we have emphasize the Amazon Fresh in the portfolio, but it's really across the sectors that we're targeting. But most importantly across the Sandbox of retailers. Obviously, the ground lease opportunities spans the full spectrum, all the way from a casual dining opportunity like the Alpek a highlighted to a Walmart Costco, Lowe's, or Home Depot and so it's pretty fragmented, this quarter the C-store emphasis with the Thornton's transaction as well as the ground leased to Royal farms that we also acquired were very unique. But the most interesting part about this business is the pipeline changes every day. And again, I emphasize, there is no rhyme or reason for that change. It's what the origination team continues to dig up, so I'd tell you, it's extremely divergent.

Linda Tsai -- Jefferies Group LLC -- Analyst

Got it. And then, just given the lift that retailers have seen across the board in 2021, has your underwriting changed at all to accommodate for this more positive environment. I know you mostly have material exposure to necessity based and [Phonetic] IG retailers, but even these guys have done a little bit better than usual.

Joey Agree -- President and Chief Executive Officer

No, I tell you, it hasn't changed our underwriting if anything it's emphasize that we have a firm belief that the stronger, the bigger getting bigger, the access to capital, their balance sheets, their ability to invest in price even in a supply constrained environment and compete as well as their ability to invest in an omnichannel future. So, but we've seen sales surge is pent up demand across categories, we've seen some idiosyncrasies in different sectors everyone got a bike or a shotgun or whatever they're buying an Academy Sports today, we've seen some unique changes there, but we think those are our cyclical and will normalize here hopefully sooner rather than later in terms of consumer behavior. So the environment continues to be what we expect the big, have the access to capital, they have the ability to invest in both 2 most important pieces of their business today competitive on price and an omnichannel future which obviously is paramount.

Linda Tsai -- Jefferies Group LLC -- Analyst

Thanks. Just one last one on the past couple of earnings calls, you've for verbalized here earnings growth expectations for the year. For 2022, should we expect the same type of communication.

Joey Agree -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Good question. But we're looking at all -- we're looking at all options including providing all the way from providing formal earnings guidance all the way to a similar strategy we've executed this year. I'll tell you, our expectation is a continued upper single digits earnings growth profile in terms of AFFO. We have the ability to do that with extremely strong balance sheet, investing in the best retailers in the country with superior real estate and that's what you're going to see us execute and do.

Linda Tsai -- Jefferies Group LLC -- Analyst

Thank you.

Operator

Our next question comes from Tayo Okusanya with Credit Suisse. Please go ahead.

Omotayo Okusanya -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Yes, good morning everyone. Joey. You guys are still pretty bullish on your acquisition outlook, a bunch of your peers put out '22 guidance this morning as well with very strong acquisition outlook, I guess what I'm curious about is number one, what's kind of really driving everyone to being so bullish and being able to kind of match or even the kind of what our record acquisition volumes this year, especially given the backdrop of everyone getting concerned about higher interest rates, higher inflation and things of that sort.

Joey Agree -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, good morning. I wouldn't want to answer for our peers. Ours is opportunistic. It's 100 transactions approximately right at any given time moving through our pipeline average price point of 4 million to 5 million ranging from $1 million to $80 million. I wouldn't want to speak for our peers. I'll tell you across we have done -- you see favorable cost of capital. You see, generally speaking companies deploy them in terms of external growth and the next question is what is the quality of the underlying real estate, credit, residual that people are acquiring. And so I know what our strategy is specifically here it's starts with that omnichannel critical e-commerce resistant necessity based approach on a granular basis, open to larger opportunities that fit within the context of this portfolio and obviously are accretive, I can't speak for what other -- what other REITs or other peers are acquiring, but I think given the favorable cost of capital you see them continuing to achieve spreads that they think makes sense and context of their overall portfolio.

Omotayo Okusanya -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Okay, that's helpful and then just a quick second question. You guys have relatively low leverage at this point why did this isn't go down the pref route rather than just kind of issue straight up debt that would have not a lower interest rate.

Joey Agree -- President and Chief Executive Officer

I'll turn that question over to Peter. I'd tell you when we saw forward a quarter as Peter mentioned in the prepared remarks and non-PSA record at forward a quarter, it was extremely attractive now obviously that preferred equity is a hybrid security, we think perpetual paper at 4.25 with a call ability feature after 5 years was extremely attractive and again non PSA record, but I'll turn that over to Peter, he really executed on that.

Peter Coughenour -- Interim Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. Thanks, Joey. Tayo, I would just mention when historically look at the preferred market to Joey's point, the pricing has and always made sense in the context of other capital sources, but this past summer we saw several REITs print very low coupons, relative to what they've been able to achieve historically and thought it made sense for us to explore that market further and the market dynamics when we're taking a look seemed favorable. There was a lot of demand for high quality investment grade paper and given that anticipated pricing and strong demand, as well as the fact we really didn't have a need for a $300 million index eligible bond we thought that it made sense to issue our inaugural preferred offering and really open up another source of capital for the company as we continue to grow. In terms of the execution of that offering, the demand was stronger than we anticipated and we were able to upsize the deal from $100 million to $175 million and tighten pricing down to 4.25 as we mentioned with a really strong order book and strong institutional demand. So it was a great execution for the company.

Omotayo Okusanya -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Makes sense. Thank you.

Operator

Out our next question comes from Wes Golladay with Baird. Please go ahead.

Wes Golladay -- Robert W. Baird & Co. -- Analyst

Hey, good morning guys. I just want to stick with the preferred. When I look at the portfolio, it's very high quality and the Company's balance sheet is very strong with low leverage and it is a risk on environment. So I wanted to see what your appetite is to get a little bit more leverage to the common via the preferred.

Joey Agree -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Well, I think the preferred all of inherently. If you look at net debt plus preferred EBITDA inherently leverage was up an additional half a turn. Now again, with no maturity and a call ability to perpetual paper our stated range of 4 to 5 times is exclusive of that preferred and that half turn that add to our current leverage profile. So it does provide for us to "lever up" obviously then we look at it both -- in both directions here, both as an equity substitute, as well as the ability to add incremental leverage without a maturity.

Wes Golladay -- Robert W. Baird & Co. -- Analyst

So what did I guess a half a turn would be where you'd be comfortable with as you grow the company.

Joey Agree -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Certainly, I mean it's, again our stated range of 4 to 5 times is exclusive of the preferred, but we're certainly comfortable at 5.5 times with the preferred, so inclusive of the preferred, so you can look at and I, we understand investors look at it both ways preferred as well as the rating agencies. We've had continued dialog with. As Peter mentioned, the ability to to raise $175 million at 4.25 effectively rate on our weighted average cost of capital and then invested with 200 hundred basis point spreads in the perpetuity there, it's, we think that was extremely attractive for us.

Wes Golladay -- Robert W. Baird & Co. -- Analyst

Got it. And then I guess when you talk to existing tenants. I guess what is your appetite for new projects. To go into the development and PCS project pipeline for next year.

Joey Agree -- President and Chief Executive Officer

So it varies across the board, by tenant, and generally by sector. We see a lot of activity, obviously in the off-price space. We see a lot of activity in the auto and tire service space. And so it truly varies. At the same time, we see the home improvement retailers, most notably Home Depot and Lowe's, not looking for net new stores but investing in their omnichannel distribution initiatives and so it varies across retailers, there are definitely retailers in a freestanding basis that are expanding throughout this country. Our 3rd Amazon Fresh store obviously they're expanding into who read the news. And so it really varies by retailer and by sector today, you've guys that are contracting and guys that are growing aggressively.

Wes Golladay -- Robert W. Baird & Co. -- Analyst

Got it. Thanks for the time. Thanks, Wes.

Operator

This concludes the question-and-answer session. I would like to turn the conference back over to Joey Agree for any closing remarks.

Joey Agree -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Well, thank you for joining us everybody today. We look forward to catching up virtually at the upcoming REIT in about 10 DAYS. we'll talk to you soon. Thank you.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks]

Duration: 40 minutes

Call participants:

Nicole Witteveen -- Executive Vice President, People and Culture, Chief of Staff

Joey Agree -- President and Chief Executive Officer

Peter Coughenour -- Interim Chief Financial Officer

Brad Heffern -- RBC Capital Markets -- Analyst

Katy McConnell -- Citi -- Analyst

Michael Bilerman -- Citi -- Analyst

Linda Tsai -- Jefferies Group LLC -- Analyst

Omotayo Okusanya -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Wes Golladay -- Robert W. Baird & Co. -- Analyst

More ADC analysis

All earnings call transcripts

AlphaStreet Logo

This article is a transcript of this conference call produced for The Motley Fool. While we strive for our Foolish Best, there may be errors, omissions, or inaccuracies in this transcript. As with all our articles, The Motley Fool does not assume any responsibility for your use of this content, and we strongly encourage you to do your own research, including listening to the call yourself and reading the company's SEC filings. Please see our Terms and Conditions for additional details, including our Obligatory Capitalized Disclaimers of Liability.

The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.