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Alexandria (ARE) Prices Public Offering of 6M Common Shares


Alexandria Real Estate Equities ARE recently priced its public offering of 6,000,000 shares of common stock at $123.50 per share. This share offering is related to a forward-sale deal signed by the company with Bank of America, N.A., JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., London Branch and Citibank, N.A.

The underwriters have been granted a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 900,000 common shares. The offering, subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close on or around Jan 8, 2018.

Per the forward-sale agreement, the forward purchasers will borrow and sell 6,000,000 shares of common stock (or 6,900,000 shares if the underwriters fully exercise their options) to the underwriters. The company is expected to settle the agreement through delivery of shares on or before Apr 8, 2019. Alexandria will receive cash proceeds amounting to the forward sale price after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions.

Issuing common stock through a forward-sale agreement offers certain benefits to the issuer and hence is a strategic fit for the company. While the company can set the price of the offering, the deal offers flexibility to delay the share issuance and receive the net proceeds, until a funding requirement has occurred.

The company does not expect to receive any proceeds from the share offering, initially. Nonetheless, upon settlement of the agreement, the net proceeds will be used as growth capital and to fund Alexandria’s development pipeline. Specifically, funds will be invested in the pending near-term acquisitions and for the construction of its highly-leased projects.

Thereafter, the remaining proceeds will be held for general working expenses as well as corporate purposes. This may include shrinking unsecured senior debt obligations assumed by the company, if any.

Notably, sale of common share through this arrangement offer financial flexibility to the company as well as enables it to pursue its growth plans. These efforts will enhance the company’s portfolio and boost occupancy levels, when development projects are delivered.

Encouragingly, over the past year, shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have outperformed the industry. While the stock has rallied 14.4%, the industry has recorded growth of 2% during this period.

Better-ranked stocks in the REIT space include Lamar Advertising Company LAMR, Outfront Media OUT and Easterly Government Properties DEA. All three carry a Zacks Rank of 2 (Buy). You can seethe complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Lamar’s funds from operations (FFO) per share estimates for 2017 remained unchanged at $4.96 over the past month. Its share price has increased 5.9% in three months’ time.

Outfront Media’s FFO per share estimates for the current year has remained unchanged at $1.98 in a month’s time. Over the past three months, the stock has declined 5.4%.

Easterly Government Properties’ Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2017 FFO has remained unchanged at $1.27 in a month’s time. Also, its shares have gained 0.7% in three months’ time.

Note: All EPS numbers presented in this write up represent funds from operations (“FFO”) per share. FFO, a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs, is obtained after adding depreciation and amortization and other non-cash expenses to net income.

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