Highwoods Properties' Q1 Net Income Rises

By Sarah Baker

Highwoods Properties Inc.’s first-quarter net income was $16.7 million – up from $10.1 million during the same period last year – the Raleigh, N.C.-based real estate investment trust announced Wednesday, May 2, in its Q1 earnings conference call.

Funds from operations was $53.5 million for the period ending March 31, compared to $46.1 million during the same period in 2011.

In addition, Highwoods updated its FFO guidance to $2.60-$2.76 per share available for common stockholders, from the previous guidance of $2.56-$2.76 per share.

Highwoods is one of the largest owners and operators of office properties in the Southeast. In Memphis, Highwoods’ portfolio is composed of 19 office buildings in two submarkets: East (Poplar Corridor) and 385 Corridor.

Vice president Steve Guinn heads the Memphis division and its 1.9 million square feet of assets. Highwoods president and CEO Ed Fritsch complemented Guinn during the call for his vision and initiative to add two new national restaurant tenants – The Capital Grille and Seasons 52 – to the 10.43-acre Crescent Center site that Highwoods acquired for $52.6 million from an affiliate of Behringer Harvard in July 2010.

“Our investment will be approximately $7.25 million, and the restaurants will invest substantial capital of their own in each of these venues,” Fritsch said. “Both restaurants are expected to open in second half of 2013. Kudos to Steve Guinn and the rest of our Memphis team for their creative thinking to carve out land to add these vibrant amenities, which are within walking distance of 1.3 million square feet of Highwoods office product.”

Highwoods leased 990,000 square feet of second-generation office space during Q1, a 14 percent increase from Q1 2011. On the balance sheet front, Highwoods so far this year has raised $55.9 million, including $20.5 million from non-core dispositions and $35.4 million from its ATM program.