Glimcher Realty Trust Earnings Call INSIGHTS: Leasing Stays the Course, Leasing Pipeline

On Friday, Glimcher Realty Trust (NYSE:GRT) reported its second quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call. Take a look.

Leasing Stays the Course

Todd Thomas – KeyBanc Capital Markets: I am on with Jordan Sadler as well. First question for Marshall about leasing, I was just wondering given the moderation in sales comps, I was wondering if there has been any impact in the leasing negotiations around future leasing, say three or four quarters out, whether that’s impacted any of your discussion at all.

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Marshall A. Loeb – President and COO: Good question, and really it’s probably not as – it’s just not that volatile. We’ve not yet – sales have moderated. We’ve had such strong run over last eight, nine quarters. We’ve not sensed any slowdown from the retailers. They will get their direction from the Board, kind of on their open to buy, so nothing, it won’t come down the road, but today its business as usual. We’re staying full and kind of picking and choosing as best we can.

Todd Thomas – KeyBanc Capital Markets: You mentioned that occupancy cost to decline. I was just wondering if you had any sense after some of the quarter’s acquisitions of high sales productivity centers when we might see an inflection in that occupancy cost ratio.

Marshall A. Loeb – President and COO: I mean, I think probably (I’ll try) to your first question is, if sales continue to moderate, really I view, and I was talking to our Head of Leasing this morning, our turn, our lease roll just hasn’t kept pace with the growth in sales. That’s the great problem to have. The last couple years our occupancy costs are below where we were projecting them probably 18 months ago and we just haven’t been able to roll leases as fast as sales have grown. I’m happy to see the 11% number for the quarter and 9% year-to-date. We had said 5% to 10% for the year, earlier in the year and we’re at the high end of that range and feel more comfortable at the high end of that range than lower. But if sales moderate, you’ll continue to see – then you’ll see occupancy costs turning and rising.

Mark E. Yale – EVP, CFO and Treasurer: Todd, this is Mark. I think we are close to that inflectionary point. If you look we’re only down 10 basis points in our occupancy cost and that had really been trending down at a much quicker pace. So, I think it’s combinations of seeing sales moderate, the 11% re-leasing spreads and the impact of some of the higher sales per square foot centers that we added to the portfolio that do have a higher inherent occupancy cost ratio.

Todd Thomas – KeyBanc Capital Markets: Then just in terms of the discussion about the capital plans going forward, any thoughts about preferred equity and whether or not you could look to refinance the 8% Series G preferreds today?

Mark E. Yale – EVP, CFO and Treasurer: Todd, this is Mark. I mean, that’s certainly on our radar screen. We’re keeping an eye on the market. It certainly has been pretty hot the last couple of weeks. So, it’s something that we’ll definitely take a look at. It’s probably from our perspective when you factor in everything that’s involved, Todd, you probably need about a 100 basis points from our perspective of arbitrage to make it worth the effort and that’s something we’re keeping an eye on and certainly wouldn’t be opposed to.

Leasing Pipeline

Nathan Isbee – Stifel, Nicolaus & Company: Aside from the contingent contract you’ve signed with Scottsdale, can you just provide a little more detail on what happened there during the quarter in the leasing front, especially coming out of ICSE, were there any significant closures that occurred there?

Michael P. Glimcher – Chairman and CEO: Nate, this is Michael. We feel great about Scottsdale Quarter and there’s obviously a list of tenants that are in our pipeline that aren’t signed but when you think about adding Bath & Body and adding L’OCCITANE, and losing a restaurant which was – the delta’s less than a 1,000 feet. I know a number of people are worried about occupancy there but we got two great credit tenants that are highly productive. We took, what was a restaurant space, which is now going to be converted into retail space because we think we have probably a good balance of food users and we’re able to get a high productivity of apparel user to take that space. That’s all pretty positive. The interest level is extremely high. We’re feeling I’d say more optimistic than we were 90 days ago and the center’s going to continue to lease-up. There’s going to be movement though and we’ve talked about it. We’re going to lose one here. We’re going to add two or three there. It’s just a process of continuing to upgrade the assets. So we feel more and more confident with it. Sales are strong, traffic is very strong. All the trends, from our perspective are going in the right direction and as you see every name we add are strong national brands and every name we take out are weaker reagionals or locals.

Nathan Isbee – Stifel, Nicolaus & Company: Would you say that you are hearing from retailers, any sense of we are going to wait and see on how the Phase III pans out?

Michael P. Glimcher – Chairman and CEO: Not at all. I think there is probably a tier of tenants that skew more towards luxury, that would tie themselves to a fashion department store, but outside of those users, we have a number of well know national tenants that either have leases out to or letters of intent that are saying, I want to be a part of this project and I want to make sure I get my hands on some real estate. I know it’s not going to always be available. So, this is a very measured process, and like I said, every name you see is better than the name it replaces. So, it’s a fluid process, but it’s a process at the center, only getting better.

Nathan Isbee – Stifel, Nicolaus & Company: Then, you referenced in the release about the 25% higher leasing volumes this quarter. Can you just talk about some of the pockets of strength in the leasing?

Marshall A. Loeb – President and COO: A lot of that, as I go through it, our new leasing is up year-to-date, so that’s been a nice trend, and a lot of that is just we are – we’ve pushed our team to get out ahead of renewals and things like that. So, it’s just pure square footage, and I guess the better news is it’s really not – it’s the not the top tier properties. If you are seeing our top tier, it’s a major tier we are actually down year-to-date or down in the second quarter in occupancy, and we are up 110 basis points on the Tier 2. So, it’s pretty consistent volume through the portfolio, and a lot of that 25% ahead is just we are further along with renewals year-to-date, and actually our term on the renewals we’ll see if that holds. It’s a little early, but we are seeing longer terms on the renewals which ties to more remodels. Some of these as we’ve remodeled and as Mark has cited on the redevelopments, we are pushing for longer-term renewals, store remodels, things like that, and we are seeing that impact throughout the portfolio.

Nathan Isbee – Stifel, Nicolaus & Company: Then Marshall you spoke about the accelerating NOI growth in the fourth quarter. How should we think about the third quarter same-store NOI?

Mark E. Yale – EVP, CFO and Treasurer: Nate, it’s Mark. I think we talked about in the prepared remarks that we’re looking at flat to a modest increase in our NOI growth for the third quarter.

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