Back in March, in a Herculean effort to create liquidity, the Federal Reserve pledged a multi-trillion dollar expansion of its balance sheet through the purchase of a broad swath of securities. In September Chair Jay Powell declared that interest rates would stay at or near zero through 2023.
This largesse has finally come to REITs. Here are just a few recent examples of the action.
Earlier this month, Health Trust of America (HTA) announced issuance of $800MM 2.00% ten-year notes. They will use the proceeds to redeem $300MM 3.7% notes due 2023, reducing annual interest expense by $5.1MM (increasing income by $0.0233/share). On 9/22 they increased their dividend. On 9/23 they reinstated a $300MM share repurchase program which will further increase FFO/share.
On 9/18 Healthcare Realty Trust (HR) announced the issuance of $300MM 2.05% Senior Unsecured Notes due 2031. Simultaneously, they announced the redemption of $250MM 3.75% Senior Notes due 2023. While the 1.7% lower coupon of the new notes will save them ~$4.2MM/annum in interest expense ($0.031/share), the $21.5MM early extinguishment charge HR will take in the 4th quarter makes the maneuver look a little dubious.
Even bolder, On 09/07, Interxion (Digital Realty’s recently acquired European unit) announced a strategic land acquisition in Madrid. On 09/09, they acquired Altus IT to establish a business presence in Croatia. On 09/14, they simultaneously announced the redemption of €300MM 4.75% Guaranteed Notes due 2023 and that they would pay for the redemption with the issuance of €1.05B super cheap, long dated debt. Not done yet, and this is where it gets really interesting, on 09/15 they announced the redemption of Digital’s 5.875% Series G Preferred Stock.
On August 20 UHM Properties (UMH), a small cap REIT in the manufactured housing sub-sector, announced the completion of a $106MM