Liberty Property Closes Remaining Assets Sale - Analyst Blog


As apart of its previously announced transaction comprising the sale of 97 properties, Liberty Property Trust ( LRY ) completed the divestiture of remaining 48 properties spanning about 2.6 million square feet of space and 19 acres of land. The company reaped proceeds of $329.6 million from the transaction.

Libert Property had already sold 49 properties in December 2013 and garnered $367.7 million from those divestitures that time. The move came as part of the company's strategy to reposition its portfolio and support its growth initiatives. 

In particular, the 48 properties divested this January comprised office properties spanning 2.1 million square feet and flex assets aggregating 468,000 square feet. These include 24 New Jersey, 23 Maryland and 1 Pennsylvania (Fort Washington) based properties.

As a matter of fact, presently, the U.S. industrial market is benefiting from healthy demand for industrial properties with improving net absorption rate and declining vacancy rates. With a thriving demand for premium-quality industrial space, Liberty Property is repositioning its portfolio and shifting focus to industrial real estate in growing markets.

Despite the near-term drag on profitability, we believe that repositioning efforts on the part of Liberty Property are encouraging. The dispositions provide the wherewithal to be invested in acquiring premium assets and poise the company well for riding on the growth trajectory going forward.

This Pennsylvania-based real estate investment trust (REIT) is slated to report its fourth-quarter 2013 results on Feb 4. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for FFO per share is currently pegged at 63 cents. The company's Earnings ESP , which represents the difference between the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate, stands at +1.59%. This along with the Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) makes us confident about a positive earnings beat.

Investors interested in the REIT-Equity Trust - Other industry may consider stocks like SL Green Realty Corp. ( SLG ), PS Business Parks Inc. ( PSB ) and Chatham Lodging Trust ( CLDT ). All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

CHATHAM LODGING (CLDT): Free Stock Analysis Report

LIBERTY PPTY TR (LRY): Free Stock Analysis Report

PS BUSINESS PKS (PSB): Free Stock Analysis Report

SL GREEN REALTY (SLG): Free Stock Analysis Report

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Zacks Investment Research

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: CLDT , LRY , PSB , SLG

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