Citi Analyst Advises Hold on Extra Space Storage

An analyst from Citi today advises a hold on stock for Extra Space Storage Inc. (NYSE: EXR), with a price target of $7. The analyst indicated to StreetInsider.com that while the company’s long-term outlook for the self-storage industry is positive, margins will likely be inhibited by reduced consumer demand and an overall weak economy. A historical trailing four-quarter correlation of .75  between same-store net-operating income and gross domestic product may indicate the toll the economy is taking on Extra Space, the analyst said. In addition, Citi expects there could be a risk to the dividend of $1 per share, which is currently uncovered by cash flow.

Salt Lake City-based Extra Space is a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust that that owns or operates 654 self-storage properties in 33 states and Washington, D.C.
 
Source:
StreetInsider.com, Citi Initiates Coverage on Extra Space Storage Inc (EXR) with a Hold, Attractive Long-Term Valuation

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Study: Counting Calories Key for Weight Loss

Low-fat or low-carb doesn't matter as much as calorie counting when trying to lose weight, according to a new study.
 
The study shows that people can lose weight on a variety of diets as long as they consume fewer calories. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health financed a two-year study of hundreds of overweight people to determine which diets work the best. 
 
The researchers recruited 811 overweight or obese older adults and put them on one of four diet plans, including two low-fat diets with 20 percent of calories from fat and two high-fat plans with 40 percent of calories from fat.
 
All four plans adhered to heart-healthy guidelines, which emphasize eating less than 8 percent of calories from artery-clogging saturated (animal) fat, eating vegetables, fruits and whole-grain products, and consuming at least 20 grams of fiber a day.
 
Among the findings, presented in today's New England Journal of Medicine
  • In six months, the dieters lost an average of 13 pounds no matter which diet they were on.
  • After two years, they had kept off an average of 9 pounds and lost 1 to 3 inches in the waist, regardless of which diet they were on.
  • Dieters had improvements in heart-disease risk factors, including increases in the HDL (good) cholesterol, and decreases in LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides (blood fats) at six months and two years.
  • People reported similar levels of fullness, hunger and satisfaction on the different diets.

Source:  USA Today.com,  In 4-Diet Study, All Lose Weight if They Watched Their Calories

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U-Store-It Trust Announces 1Q 2009 Dividend

The board of trustees of U-Store-It Trust, a real estate investment trust focused on self-storage facilities, declared a quarterly dividend of $0.025 per common share for the period ending March 31, 2009. The dividend is payable on April 22 to common shareholders of record on April 7, 2009.
 
Wayne, Pa.-based U-Store-It is self-administered and self-managed. Founded in 2004, the company operates nearly 25 million square feet of self-storage space. For more information, visit www.ustoreit.com.

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Bullseye Storage Opens Sixth Houston Facility, Launches New Website

BullsEye Storage of Houston has opened its sixth location in the area. In addition, the company recently launched its new website at www.bullseyestorage.com, including a comprehensive menu of features such as a storage-space estimator.
 
Locally owned and operated, BullsEye Storage was recently named 2008 Houston Storage Facility of the Year by the Houston Press and honored with the American Subcontractors Association Excellence in Construction Award. The company has been an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau since 1993, and is the only storage facility in Houston with that distinction.

Source: MSNBC.com, Houston Storage Company Opens Its Sixth Location

Strategic Storage Trust Chooses Centershift Software

Strategic Storage Trust Inc. has chosen Centershift Inc.’s Store Enterprise platform as its self-storage facility-management software. Store is an integrated, Web-based operating software that will be used to manage the Strategic Storate Trust's nationwide network of self-storage facilities. Allowing the company to access centralized data, the program will provide for real-time integration of its websites, call center and self-service kiosks. Store features real-time consolidated reports for managers as well as revenue-management tools. 
 
Strategic Storage Trust is a publicly registered, non-traded real estate investment trust with a portfolio comprising 377,000 rentable square feet of storage space.
 
Salt Lake City-based Centershift provides software solutions to the self-storage industry.
 
Source: The Earth Times, Strategic Storage Trust Inc. Picks Cutting-Edge Software to Integrate Management of All Properties

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Recession Leads to More Cyber-Scams

Cyber-scams have been a problem since the Internet's conception. But with the economic recession, the number of scams is on the rise. 

Experts and law-enforcement officials who track Internet crime say scams have intensified in the past six months, as fraudsters take advantage of economic confusion and anxiety to target both consumers and businesses.

Thieves are sending out phony emails and putting up fake websites pretending to be banks, mortgage-service providers or even government agencies. Cellphones and Internet-based phone services have also been used to seek out victims. The object: to drain customer accounts of money or to gain information for identity theft.

Though most are thwarted by computer-security defenses, such as spam filters and fraud-detection systems, that still leaves potentially millions of victims.

The FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center confirms a increase in cyber-attacks. In its most recent Internet Crime Report, the FBI said it received 207,000 complaints about crimes perpetrated over the Internet in 2007, the latest year for which data are available, amounting to nearly $240 million in reported losses, or $40 million more than a year earlier. Organized groups in the United States and elsewhere are behind many of the crimes, experts say.

Source:  Yahoo Finance,  Cyber-Scams on the Uptick in Downturn

Top 100 Self-Storage Operators: List Released by Inside Self-Storage

Inside Self-Storage (ISS) has released its 2009 Top-Operators List highlighting 100 of the nation’s most successful multi-facility self-storage operators. This annual who’s-who of the self-storage industry ranks operations by total net-rentable square footage and includes data regarding number of locations, number of units, expansion plans and contact information for each participant. Data is collected from real estate investment trusts, franchises, independents, developers and property-management companies.
 
The complete list will be published in the April issue of ISS magazine and is available online now at www.insideselfstorage.com (choose “Top-Operators List” on the top menu). The top five self-storage companies on the 2009 list are:

  1. Public Storage Inc. of Glendale, Calif. Founded in 1972, the company owns 2,196 facilities across the country.
  2. Extra Space Storage of Salt Lake City. Founded in 1977, it operates 684 facilities with a total square footage of 50 million.
  3. U-Haul International Inc. of Phoenix. Founded in 1945, U-Haul is one of the oldest operators in the industry. The company has 1,073 facilities in 50 states.
  4. U-Store-It Trust of Wayne, Pa. Founded in 2004, the company operates nearly 25 million square feet of self-storage space.
  5. Sovran Self Storage Inc. of Buffalo, N.Y. Founded in 1982, the company operates 359 facilities.

ISS is a dynamic-services company that provides resources and services to the self-storage industry including a monthly magazine, bi-annual tradeshows, an information-packed website and educational seminars and materials. ISS is also the owner of the Self-Storage Training Institute (www.selfstorageeducation.com), an online education portal for managers and owners, and Self-Storage Talk (www.selfstoragetalk.com), the industry’s largest online community.

StorageLand Founder Joins Sperry Van Ness/Jackson Cooper

Michael Bishop, founder of StorageLand LLC and president of the Idaho Self Storage Association (ISSA), has joined Sperry Van Ness/Jackson Cooper Inc. as a sales associate specializing in self-storage. Working from the company’s Boise, Idaho, office, his region will be Idaho and the western states. Sperry Van Ness/Jackson Cooper provides real estate advisory services to the commercial real estate industry 
 
Bishop will continue to operate and grow StorageLand while working in his new role. Established in 1996, StorageLand is a management and consulting firm that actively manages the daily operations of self-storage facilities and works to assist startup and established projects.
 
Bishop has 10 years of experience in the technology/Internet sector, including a position as project manager at Hewlett Packard. He previously founded two Internet-based companies and used his extensive software knowledge to advise self-storage operators in selecting and maximizing their facility-management software. In addition to his post as president, Bishop is a member of the ISSA Board of Directors.

Bishop can be contacted at 208.363.7000. For more information about SVN/Jackson Cooper, visit www.jacksoncooper.com.

Free Education Sessions Presented by Florida Self Storage Association

This week, the Florida Self Storage Association (FSSA) completed the first in a series of free education sessions scheduled to take place throughout the state in 2009. FSSA members gathered in Miami Lakes to learn about self-storage facility upgrades, revenue management and marketing. The presenters are Chip Cordes, vice president of JanUS Door; Rick Yonis, owner of Sentry Self Storage; and David Blum, president of Best Management Services.
 
The next three-hour sessions will be held on March 5 in Orlando. In addition, participants can choose from the following events: 

  • March 27, Tampa
  • May 8, Ft. Myers
  • June 11, Ft. Lauderdale
  • July 10, Palm Beach Gardens
  • August 7, Destin
  • September 17, Jacksonville
  • October 9, Melbourne
  • November 13, Gainesville

The FSSA is a non-profit organization comprised of professionals with an interest in the self-storage industry in Florida. Members include self-storage owners, operators, vendors, developers, investors, property managers and suppliers. For more information, contact Executive Director Kate Corripio at 877.222.9441, or visit www.floridassa.org.

President Promises Recovery in First Speech to Congress

Health care, energy and education were prominent topics in President Obama's first joint session speech to Congress Tuesday.

The President outlined his ambitious agenda to a cheering crowd, saying it was time for America to act boldly to not just revive the economy, but " to build a new foundation for lasting prosperity."

The president struck an optimistic tone, asserting that "we will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before." 

Obama said his administration has already identified $2 trillion in government spending cuts that can be made over the next decade.
The president touted the $787 billion stimulus plan he signed into law last week, saying it will invest in areas critical to the country's economic recovery. He also made bold promises for what these investments will achieve.

Obama predicted that because of the recovery plan, the United States will double its supply of renewable energy in the next three years.

Source:  CNN.com,  Obama Outlines Ambitious Agenda for 'Lasting Prosperity'

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