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MERRY LAND & INVESTMENT COMPANY REPORTS RECORD EARNINGS

 AUGUSTA, Ga., Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Merry Land & Investment Company, Inc. (NYSE: MRY) reported record earnings and funds from operations for the third quarter and the nine month period ended Sept. 30:
 MERRY LAND & INVESTMENT CO. INC.
 1993 1992 Pct. Chg.
 Third Quarter, 1993
 Revenues $16,713,000 $6,737,000 148
 Net income 5,396,000 1,802,000 199
 Preferred dividends 2,012,500 0 ---
 Net income applicable
 to common 3,383,500 1,802,000 88
 Net income per common share $ .19 $ .13 46
 Funds from operation $ 8,346,000 $2,808,000 197
 Preferred dividends 2,012,500 0 ---
 Funds applicable to common 6,333,500 2,808,000 126
 Funds per common share $ .36 $ .26 38
 Nine Months Through 9/30/93:
 Revenues $44,601,000 $24,499,000 82
 Net income 17,824,000 9,142,000 95
 Preferred dividends 2,012,500 0 ---
 Net income applicable
 to common 15,811,500 9,142,000 73
 Net income per common share $ .97 $ .91 7
 Funds from operation $18,219,000 $9,496,000 92
 Preferred dividends 2,012,500 0 ---
 Funds applicable to common 16,206,500 9,496,000 71
 Funds per common share $ .99 $ .70 41
 The company bought the following apartment communities during the third quarter:
 Units Cost
 Audubon Village, Tampa, Fla. 447 $19,200,000
 Auvers Village, Orlando, Fla. 480 21,000,000
 Colony Place, Fort Myers, Fla. 300 17,600,000
 Mission Bay, Orlando, Fla. 304 16,500,000
 Polos, Fort Myers, Fla. 328 14,550,000
 Belmont Crossing, Atlanta 316 12,550,000
 Belmont Landing, Atlanta 424 15,300,000
 West Wind Landing, Savannah, Ga. 192 6,750,000
 Willow Trail, Atlanta 224 7,200,000
 Sailboat Bay, Raleigh, N.C. 192 5,850,000
 Total 3,207 $136,500,000
 These acquisitions bring the company's investment in apartments to $423 million, represented by 11,428 units in 16 of the best cities in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. At the end of September the company's entire apartment portfolio was 95.1 percent occupied.
 On Sept. 30, the company completed the sale of $120 million of senior notes in a private placement to a small group of institutional investors. The notes are unsecured, carry an investment grade rating, bear interest at 6-5/8 percent and are repayable $40 million per year at the end of years six, seven and eight.
 Proceeds from the sale of the notes were used to repay all existing debt of the company, including debt incurred to complete the third quarter apartment acquisitions.
 The company paid $1,308,000 to cancel its existing interest rate swap agreement and for prepayment penalties on two mortgage loans assumed from previous property owners. The entire amount was charged against income in the third quarter, otherwise net income would have been even higher. The loss on debt restructuring had no effect on funds from operations.
 The company also re-worked its credit line with First Union National Bank as of Sept. 30. The new line of $100 million is for a period of one year, automatically renewable from year to year with the bank's continuing approval, is unsecured and bears interest at 65 basis points above the London Inter-Bank Offered Rate ("LIBOR"), payable monthly. The company pays 25 basis points per year on any unused portion of the facility.
 The company's board of directors approved an increase in the company's regular dividend to a $1.04 annual rate, effective with the fourth quarter of 1993. A dividend of $.26 per share will be paid on Dec. 31 to stockholders of record on Dec. 16.
 This is the third increase in the company's dividend in 1993 -- it was raised from $.17 to $.20 for the first quarter and to $.22 for the second and third quarters. The total paid during 1993 will be $.90 per share, which will represent a payout ratio of about 75 percent of projected funds from operations for the full year -- which is consistent with the company's announced objective.
 -0- 10/6/93
 /CONTACT: Tennent Houston, president of Merry Land, 404-722-6756/
 (MRY)


CO: Merry Land & Investment Company, Inc. ST: Georgia IN: SU: ERN

RA-CM -- AT007 -- 9384 10/06/93 13:50 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 6, 1993
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