Whitestone Provides a Business Update Related to COVID-19

Company Release - 6/4/2020 7:00 AM ET

 Collects Industry-Leading April Rental Collections of 83.6%
May Rental Collection of 67.4%, Higher than Reported Industry Average of 59.5%(1)

HOUSTON, June 04, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Whitestone REIT (NYSE: WSR) (“Whitestone” or the “Company”), a leading owner and operator of e-commerce resistant, community-centered retail properties producing industry leading, long-term Total Shareholder Returns, provides a business update regarding operations and May and April rent collections.

  • All 58 properties remain open and operating.
     
  • Approximately 83.6% of total April 2020 billed recurring rents have been collected to date, up from 64% reported as of May 5, 2020.
     
  • Approximately 67.4% of total May 2020 billed recurring rents have been collected through May month-end, 7% ahead of April 2020 collections at April month-end.
     
  • 91.0% of our tenants are open and operating based on annualized base rent. Openings are expected to continue to increase over the next few weeks as Texas and Arizona have begun and phased re-openings in June. Annualized base rent reflects the aggregate, annualized in-place contractual (defined as cash-basis excluding rent abatements) minimum rent for all occupied spaces as of June 1, 2020.

“Our e-commerce resistant business model, with quality properties in high household income neighborhoods, focuses on tenants who serve the needs (and essentials) of the consumer and  continues to demonstrate its financial strength, durability, stability, and predictability.”

“Whitestone’s well-mixed tenant base of national, regional and local tenants provide daily necessities, needed services and entertainment to their respective communities and have been nimble and quick to adjust to the rapidly changing environment. The prudent and swift decisions we made in late March to preserve cash, reduce cash outflows, and focus on helping our tenants has produced  impressive results relative to our peers. We have been pleased with the performance of our dedicated employees during the handling of the pandemic thus far, evidenced by our industry leading collection rates, which are significantly higher than the reported industry averages, and continue to increase,” said Jim Mastandrea, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

Mr. Mastandrea added, “We are fully committed to the long-term success of our tenants. We often say ‘local knows local best.’ That couldn’t be more true today, in Whitestone’s Community Centered Properties that are strategically located in the fastest growing cities in Texas and Arizona, including Houston, Dallas, Ft. Worth, Austin, and San Antonio, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Ahwatukee, Fountain Hills, and Anthem.” Mr. Mastandrea concluded, “Our e-commerce business model, which was born out of the Financial Crisis in 2008-2009, targets fast growing markets in business friendly states and has proven its earning potential and ability to endure economic downturns and uncertainty over time and continues to prove itself.”

“We really appreciate Whitestone’s resilience in helping us during these uncertain times,” stated Derek and Sheree Simm, co-owners of Rare Books Bar, at The Shops at Starwood property in Frisco, Texas. “They’ve been in constant contact with us since the onset of the pandemic and are helping us develop a plan for a speedy recovery.”

About Whitestone REIT
Whitestone is a community-centered retail REIT that acquires, owns, manages, develops and redevelops high quality "e-commerce resistant" neighborhood, community and lifestyle retail centers principally located in the largest, fastest-growing and most affluent markets in the Sunbelt. Whitestone’s optimal mix of national, regional and local tenants provides daily necessities, needed services and entertainment to the communities in which they are located. Whitestone's properties are primarily located in business-friendly Phoenix, Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio, which are among the fastest growing U.S. population centers with highly educated workforces, high household incomes and strong job growth. For additional information, visit www.whitestonereit.com

Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements contained in this press release constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”) and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). The Company intends for all such forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe-harbor provisions for forward-looking statements contained in Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Exchange Act, as applicable. Such information is subject to certain risks and uncertainties, as well as known and unknown risks, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or anticipated. Therefore, such statements are not intended to be a guarantee of our performance in future periods. Such forward-looking statements include statements about our earnings guidance, future liquidity, performance growth and expectations and other matters and can generally be identified by the Company’s use of forward- looking terminology, such as “may,” “will,” “plan,” “expect,” “intend,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “goals” or similar words or phrases that are predictions of future events or trends and which do not relate solely to historical matters.

The following are additional factors that could cause the Company's actual results and its expectations to differ materially from those described in the Company's forward-looking statements: the Company's ability to meet its long-term goals, its assumptions regarding its earnings guidance, including its ability to execute effectively its acquisition and disposition strategy, to continue to execute its development pipeline on schedule and at the expected costs, and its ability to grow its NOI as expected, which could be impacted by a number of factors, including, among other things, its ability to continue to renew leases or re-let space on attractive terms and to otherwise address its leasing rollover; its ability to successfully identify, finance and consummate suitable acquisitions, and the impact of such acquisitions, including financing developments, capitalization rates and internal rates of return; the Company’s ability to reduce or otherwise effectively manage its general and administrative expenses; the Company’s ability to fund from cash flows or otherwise distributions to its shareholders at current rates or at all; current adverse market and economic conditions; lease terminations or lease defaults; the impact of competition on the Company's efforts to renew existing leases; changes in the economies and other conditions of the specific markets in which the Company operates; economic, legislative and regulatory changes, including the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017; the success of the Company's real estate strategies and investment objectives; the Company's ability to continue to qualify as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended; and other factors detailed in the Company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10- Q and other documents the Company files with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time.

(1) Source: U.S. Publicly Traded Shopping Center peer company filings as of close of market, June 3, 2020. Peers are based on SNL data and include Acadia Realty Trust, Brixmor Property Group Inc., Cedar Realty Trust Inc., Federal Realty Investment Trust, Kimco Realty Corp., Kite Realty Group Trust, RPT Realty, Regency Centers Corp., Retail Opportunity Investments Corp., Retail Properties of America, Inc., Saul Centers Inc., Site Centers Corp., Urban Edge Properties, Urstadt Biddle Properties Inc., Weingarten Realty Investors, and Wheeler REIT Inc.

Contact Whitestone REIT:
Kevin Reed
Director of Investor Relations
(713) 435-2219
ir@whitestonereit.com

 


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Source: Whitestone REIT