Public Storage Earnings Call Nuggets: Same-Store Expenses and Public Storage Rates

Public Storage (NYSE:PSA) recently reported its first quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

Same-Store Expenses

Gaurav Mehta – Cantor Fitzgerald: A question on your expenses. If you look at your same-store expenses, your expenses have been going down for last couple of years I guess. So when you look at your expenses today, do you think the 1Q reflects the long-term run rate for you guys, or you think there is more expense savings ahead?

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Ronald L. Havner, Jr. – Chairman, CEO and President: This is Ron. I think we tell people long-term you should assume a 3% to 4% expense increase, longer term. I think what we’ve benefited from the last couple of years and in particular Q1 again is lower advertising, media costs, lower yellow page cost. As I touched on earlier, we expect Q2 expenses in that area to also be lower. The other big swing items were repairs and maintenance, and if you call in Q1 of 2012 we had a big surge in R&M and so we kind of got easier comps this quarter versus last year, that was partially offset by snow removal cost in Q1 and you should expect to see an uptick in snow removal cost in Q2 offset by somewhat lower core R&M expenses.

Gaurav Mehta – Cantor Fitzgerald: One follow-up question. In your prepared remarks you touched upon the markets that outperformed. Could you also talk about the markets that did not meet your expectations?

Ronald L. Havner, Jr. – Chairman, CEO and President: Yeah, the two that come to mind are the D.C., Northern Virginia markets, which I think the growth is 2% to 3% and Philadelphia is about 1.5%.

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