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Self-Storage REITs Release Financial Results for Fourth-Quarter 2020

March 1, 2021

8 Min Read
Self-Storage REITs Release Financial Results for Fourth-Quarter 2020

The five largest publicly traded, U.S.-based self-storage real estate investment trusts (REITs)—CubeSmart, Extra Space Storage Inc., Life Storage Inc., National Storage Affiliates Trust and Public Storage Inc.—have released financial statements for the quarter that ended Dec. 31. In general, the companies indicated gains in funds from operations (FFO), net operating income (NOI) and occupancy.

“Steady demand and muted vacates continue to result in all-time high occupancy levels, leading to solid rental rate growth across our diversified portfolio,” said Joe Margolis, CEO of Extra Space. “Our people, portfolio and platform demonstrated resiliency and durability, in spite of the turbulence that came with 2020.”

Christopher P. Marr, president and CEO of CubeSmart, expressed similar sentiments. “The fourth quarter was a strong conclusion to a challenging year that showcased the strength of the CubeSmart platform, as robust operating fundamentals lead to a further acceleration of growth trends. Our team demonstrated its resilience by adapting to the many unique challenges faced throughout the year, while their innovative spirit positions us well heading into 2021.”

CubeSmart

CubeSmart reported FFO per share of $0.47 during the quarter, which was up from $0.42 a year ago. Same-store NOI at its 475 facilities grew 5.1 percent year over year. The company attributed this to a 3.4 percent increase in revenue and a .8 percent decrease in operating expenses. Same-store locations contributed 90.1 percent of property NOI during the quarter.

Same-store physical occupancy was 93.4 percent as of Dec. 31, up from 91.2 percent a year ago. The company’s total-owned portfolio, representing 543 facilities and comprising 38.5 million square feet of rentable space, had a physical occupancy of 92.3 percent at the end of the year.

CubeSmart acquired 18 facilities during the quarter for $661.2 million. Purchases included an eight-facility Storage Deluxe portfolio in New York for $540 million. The other deals were five properties in Florida, two in Texas and one each in Nevada, New York and Virginia for $121.2 million. At quarter-end, the company had six joint-venture projects under construction to which it’s expected to contribute $143.8 million.

On Dec. 8, the company declared a dividend of 34 cents per common share, up from 33 cents the previous quarter. The dividend was paid on Jan. 15 to common shareholders of record on Jan. 4.

CubeSmart owns or manages 1,266 self-storage facilities across the United States. Its operating portfolio comprises 87 million square feet.

Extra Space Storage Inc.

Same-store revenue and NOI increased 2.3 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively, compared to the same period in 2019. Core FFO, excluding acceleration of share-based compensation expense due to retirement of an executive officer and adjustments for non-cash interest, was $1.48 per diluted share, a 16.5 percent increase over the previous year. Same-store occupancy was 94.8 percent as of Dec. 31 compared to 92.4 percent a year prior.

During the quarter, the company acquired 21 facilities and made two Certificate-of-Occupancy (C-of-O) purchases for approximately $253.7 million. In conjunction with joint-venture partners, it also acquired an operating facility, completed a development project and made five C-of-O purchases for a combined $85.6 million, of which the company contributed $33.9 million.

Extra Space paid a quarterly dividend of 90 cents per common share, which was equal to the previous quarter. It was paid on Dec. 31 to common shareholders of record on Dec. 15.

Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Extra Space owns or operates 1,921 self-storage properties in 40 states; Washington, D.C.; and Puerto Rico. The company’s properties comprise approximately 1.4 million units and 149.2 million square feet of rentable space.

Life Storage Inc.

Same-store revenue and NOI increased 4.9 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively, compared to 2019. FFO was $1.02, compared to $0.97 a year ago, while adjusted FFO for the quarter was $1.07 per fully diluted common share, compared to $0.96.

Net income attributable to common shareholders for the fourth quarter was $41.6 million, or $0.57 per fully diluted share. For the same period in 2019, net income attributable to common shareholders was $43.5 million, or $0.62 per fully diluted common share. The decrease was primarily attributed to a $4.8 million gain in property sales during the previous fourth quarter.

Same-store revenue for the company’s 515 wholly owned, stabilized facilities increased 4.9 percent year over year, impacted by an increase in average occupancy of 310 basis points. Overall occupancy as of Dec. 31 was 92.2 percent, up from 88.2 percent a year ago, with units renting for an average of $14.69 per square foot.

During the quarter, Life Storage acquired nine facilities across six states for $113 million. The assets include three in Florida, two in California and one each in Missouri, New Jersey, New York and South Carolina. At quarter-end, the company was under contract to acquire 10 properties for $111.3 million.

Subsequent to the end of the quarter, the company completed a three-for-two stock split, made in the form of a 50 percent stock dividend. The additional shares were distributed on Jan. 27. The company also approved a quarterly dividend of $0.74 per share on a post-split basis. It was paid on Jan. 27 to shareholders of record on Jan. 15.

Based in Buffalo, N.Y., Life Storage operates more than 900 self-storage facilities in 31 states and Ontario, Canada. Its portfolio of owned and managed facilities comprises more than 67.7 million square feet.

National Storage Affiliates Trust (NSAT)

Core FFO per share was $0.46 during the fourth quarter, a 15 percent year-over-year increase. The company’s net income was $24.5 million, a 30.2 percent increase compared to the same period in 2019.

NSAT reported diluted earnings per share of $0.18 during the quarter, which was primarily attributed to the Hypothetical Liquidation at Book Value method used for allocating net income among various classes of equity. Same-store NOI was up 6.1 percent, driven primarily by a 4.8 percent increase in same-store revenue and partially offset by a 1.6 percent increase in same-store operating expenses.

As of Dec. 31, same-store occupancy was 91.8 percent, an increase of 460 basis points from a year ago. Average annualized rental revenue per occupied square foot for same-store facilities was $12.26 during the quarter compared to $12.27 in 2019.

During the quarter, NSAT acquired 33 properties and completed two expansion projects for about $260.5 million. The moves added 2.5 million rentable square feet and approximately 16,750 units to the company portfolio.

On Nov. 12, the company declared a quarterly dividend of $0.35 per common share, which was up from $0.34 the previous quarter. It was paid on Dec. 31 to holders of record on Dec. 15.

Headquartered in Greenwood, Colo., NSAT is a self-administered and -managed REIT focused on the acquisition, operation and ownership of self-storage properties within the top 100 U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas throughout the United States. The company has ownership interest in 821 storage facilities in 36 states and Puerto Rico. Its portfolio comprises approximately 52 million net rentable square feet. It's owned by its affiliate operators, who are contributing their interests in their self-storage assets over the next few years as their current mortgage debt matures.

Public Storage Inc.

Revenue for same-store facilities increased .8 percent, or $4.7 million, over the same quarter in 2019, primarily due to improved occupancy. Operations costs for same-store facilities decreased 1.1 percent, or $1.6 million, compared to the previous year. This was attributed primarily to a 9.3 percent ($2.6 million) decrease in onsite-manager payroll.

FFO was $2.57 per diluted common share, compared to $2.72 for the same period of 2019, marking a 5.5 percent decrease. NOI increased $16.5 million, which was driven by a $6.3 million increase in same-store facilities and a $10.2 million increase from other facilities acquired in 2019 and 2020 as well as lease-up from recently developed and expanded properties.

During the quarter, Public Storage acquired 43 facilities across 17 states for $513.7 million. The properties comprise 3.7 million net rentable square feet. The company also completed one development project and various expansions, adding 400,000 net rentable square feet to its portfolio for $41.3 million.

The company reported a regular common quarterly dividend of $2 per common share, which was equal to the previous quarter. It also declared dividends with respect to various series of preferred shares. All the dividends are payable on March 31 to shareholders of record as of March 16.

Based in Glendale, Calif., Public Storage has interests in 2,548 self-storage facilities in 38 states, with approximately 175 million net rentable square feet. It holds a 35 percent interest in Shurgard Self Storage SA, which has 241 facilities in seven European countries, with approximately 13 million net rentable square feet.

Sources:
CubeSmart, CubeSmart Reports 2020 Annual Results
Extra Space, Extra Space Storage Inc. Reports 2020 Fourth Quarter and Year-End Results
Life Storage, Life Storage Inc. Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2020 Results
National Storage Affiliates Trust, National Storage Affiliates Trust Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2020 Results
Public Storage, Public Storage Reports Results for the Fourth Quarter and Year Ended December 31, 2020

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