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WRIT PURCHASES 515 KING STREET IN OLD TOWN ALEXANDRIA, VA., FOR $8 MILLION

 WRIT PURCHASES 515 KING STREET IN OLD TOWN ALEXANDRIA, VA.,
 FOR $8 MILLION
 BETHESDA, Md., July 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Fresh from completing the sale of a $42.5 million stock offering, the Washington Real Estate Investment Trust (WRIT) (AMEX: WRE) closed on its second acquisition in a month with the purchase of an $8 million office building at 515 King Street in the Old Town section of Alexandria, Va.
 Strategically located across from the Alexandria courthouse and a block from City Hall with its lovely Market Square, Crestar Bank's major banking facility in Northern Virginia is the prime tenant, occupying 60 percent of the 78,600 square feet; 93 percent is leased. WRIT's projected yield is 11 percent.
 2,497,000 Shares Sold for $42.5 Million
 WRIT completed the sale of an additional 2,497,000 shares, including the underwriters over-allotment option (the Green Shoe), for $17 per share in its largest offering. The total gross proceeds were $42.5 million. In the cash-starved world of real estate investment, WRIT is unique in being able to raise new cash equity at a 5 percent cost; the current annual dividend rate is 84 cents per share.
 This underwriting was co-managed by Alex. Brown & Sons Incorporated, Merrill Lynch & Co., Dean Witter Reynolds Inc. and A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc.
 Ballston Financial Center Purchased Last Month
 for $6.3 Million From RTC
 On June 24, 1992, WRIT also purchased from the Resolution Trust Corporation for $6.3 million, the Arlington Financial Center, an office building at 4420 North Fairfax Drive in Arlington, Va. This property is in the heart of the newly redeveloped Ballston area, one block from the Ballston metro stop. The 57,000 square foot five- story office building is 98 percent leased, including the United States government (81 percent), Mount Vernon/Weichert Realty (9 percent) and Household Bank, FSB, a subsidiary of Household International, Inc. (8 percent). WRIT's yield is 11 percent.
 Money Costing 5 Percent Buys 11 Percent Yields
 "These acquisitions illustrate our philosophy of purchasing prime properties with good growth prospects," said B. Franklin Kahn, president of WRIT. "By paying all cash, we were able to purchase superbly located office buildings at far lower prices and higher yields than available a couple of years ago. Hence, the 5 percent new money has been used to purchase 11 percent yields on new properties. This yield spread is at least double that of most of our competition."
 After the underwriting and the purchase of these two new office buildings, WRIT has $58 million cash for further property purchases. WRIT currently has under consideration or feasibility study several other properties in the metropolitan Washington area.
 Consistent Conservatism -- A Unique Record
 WRIT is included in the most recent issue of America's Finest Companies. They report that out of the more than 15,00 publicly- traded companies, 33 racked up 25 consecutive years of higher earnings per share. The 33 include WRIT, Johnson & Johnson, H.J. Heinz, Eli Lilly and McDonald's in an elite fraction of the upper 1 percent. WRIT not only made the team, but also reported a 25-year compound annual rate of per share earnings growth of 14 percent right through the recessions of the early 1970s, the early 1980s and the early 1990s.
 America's Finest Companies
 25 Consecutive Years of Increasing
 Earnings Per Share
 33 Recent Earnings
 Companies Dividend 25-Year
 Including: Yield Growth Rate
 WRIT 4.9 pct. 14 pct.
 Eli Lilly 2.8 pct. 13 pct.
 H.J. Heinz 3.0 pct. 16 pct.
 Johnson & Johnson 2.0 pct. 16 pct.
 McDonald's 0.9 pct. 21 pct.
 This contrarian conservative philosophy serves WRIT well. The track record of growth has been reflected in the stock market price per share and stock splits that total more than 10-for-1 over the last 11 years as follows:
 -- May 1992 3-for-2
 -- December 1988 3-for-2
 -- July 1985 3-for-2
 -- March 1981 3-for-1
 At the same time of the stock split in May of 1992, WRIT increased its indicated annual dividend rate for the 22nd consecutive year to 84 cents per share (after the split).
 WRIT Debt, as a Percentage of Assets Reduced
 From 87 Percent to 1 Percent
 While this 25-year record has been compounding, WRIT has steadily paid down its debt from 87 percent of its assets to 1 percent. When the trust was a new, poor organization, it needed to borrow in order to purchase real estate investments. However, even then the trust utilized only long-term debt with fixed interest rates, thereby avoiding the leverage horrors of the early 1970s' recession. The chart below demonstrates the constant reduction of debt for 25 years.
 Debt, as a Percentage of Assets
 Dec. 31, 1966 87 pct.
 Dec. 31, 1971 61 pct.
 Dec. 31, 1976 47 pct.
 Dec. 31, 1981 37 pct.
 Dec. 31, 1986 17 pct.
 Dec. 31, 1991 8 pct.
 June 30, 1992 1 pct.
 Can Equity Grow Both Conservatively and Quickly?
 The moral of this story is that long-term solid growth is enhanced by conservatism, not by debt or risk. The trust's 25-year policy of buying only prime properties in great locations, never marginal properties, and paying off the debt may be an anathema in America in our generation. Frank Kahn, president of WRIT, who is risk adverse, frequently asks, "Why isn't everyone conservative?"
 Annual Shareholder Meeting is Corporate Democracy
 and Financial Seminar, With Overtones of a Revival Meeting
 On June 25 WRIT's unique annual shareholder meeting convened at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington with 350 enthusiastic shareholders. In the last two years, WRIT has outgrown the Chinese Room and now the East Room. The mood of the group this year suggests moving the meeting next year to a revival meeting tent.
 The first half of the meeting was a lecture on conservatism by Kahn, president of the trustees, who has also been lecturing on this subject for 40 consecutive years at the Wharton School. In the question and answer period, the revival meeting spirit brought forth encouragement and testimonials of several shareholders who have put children through college on small initial investments in WRIT many years ago, etc.
 WRIT, founded in 1960, is a self-administered equity real estate investment trust investing in income-producing properties in the greater Washington area. The trust owns a well diversified portfolio consisting of nine shopping centers, eight office buildings, five high-rise apartment buildings and nine business centers.
 -0- 7/23/92
 /CONTACT: Howard Cochran, vice president-finance, Washington Real Estate Investment Trust, 301-652-4300/
 (WRE) CO: Washington Real Estate Investment Trust ST: Maryland, Virginia IN: FIN SU:


TW -- DC020 -- 2687 07/23/92 15:50 EDT
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Date:Jul 23, 1992
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