SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from to
Commission file number 001-32417
Education Realty Trust, Inc.
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)
(State or Other Jurisdiction of
Incorporation or Organization)
999 South Shady Grove Road, Suite 600
(Address of Principal Executive Offices)
Registrant’s Telephone Number, Including Area Code (901) 259-2500
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of Each Class
Name Of Each Exchange On Which Registered
Common Stock, $0.01 par value per share
New York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes x No o
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Act. Yes o No x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes x No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes x No o
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§ 229.405) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
Large accelerated filer x
Accelerated filer o
Non-accelerated filer o
(Do not check if a smaller reporting company)
Smaller reporting company o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes o No x
As of June 29, 2012, the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second quarter, the aggregate market value of the registrant’s common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $1 billion, based on the closing sales price of $11.08 per share as reported on the New York Stock Exchange. (For purposes of this calculation all of the registrant’s directors and executive officers are deemed affiliates of the registrant.)
As of February 22, 2013, the registrant had 113,871,318 shares of common stock outstanding.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
To the extent stated herein, the Registrant incorporates by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, or Annual Report, portions of its Definitive Proxy Statement on Schedule 14A for the 2013 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be filed subsequently with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Our disclosure and analysis in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and the documents that are or will be incorporated by reference herein contain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act. Forward-looking statements provide our current expectations or forecasts of future events and are not statements of historical fact. These forward-looking statements include information about possible or assumed future events, including, among other things, discussion and analysis of our future financial condition, results of operations and funds from operations, our strategic plans and objectives, cost management, occupancy and leasing rates and trends, liquidity and ability to refinance our indebtedness as it matures, anticipated capital expenditures (and access to capital) required to complete projects, amounts of anticipated cash distributions to our stockholders in the future and other matters. Words such as “anticipates,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “seeks,” “estimates” and variations of these words and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond our control, are difficult to predict and/or could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or forecast in the forward-looking statements.
Forward-looking statements involve inherent uncertainty and may ultimately prove to be incorrect or false. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Except as otherwise may be required by law, we undertake no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect changed assumptions, the occurrence of unanticipated events or actual operating results. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including, but not limited to:
risks and uncertainties related to the current recession, the national and local economies, and the real estate industry in general and in our specific markets (including university enrollment conditions and admission policies, and our relationship with these universities);
volatility in the capital markets;
rising interest and insurance rates;
competition from university-owned or other private collegiate housing and our inability to obtain new tenants on favorable terms, or at all, upon the expiration of existing leases;
availability and terms of capital and financing, both to fund our operations and to refinance our indebtedness as it matures;
legislative or regulatory changes, including changes to laws governing collegiate housing, construction and real estate investment trusts;
our possible failure to qualify as a real estate investment trust and the risk of changes in laws affecting real estate investment trusts;
our dependence upon key personnel whose continued service is not guaranteed;
our ability to identify, hire and retain highly qualified executives in the future;
availability of appropriate acquisition and development targets;
failure to integrate acquisitions successfully;
the financial condition and liquidity of, or disputes with, our joint venture and development partners;
impact of ad valorem, property and income taxes;
changes in generally accepted accounting principles;
construction delays, increasing construction costs or construction costs that exceed estimates;
potential liability for uninsured losses and environmental liabilities;
the potential need to fund improvements or other capital expenditures out of operating cash flow.
This list of risks and uncertainties, however, is only a summary of some of the most important factors and is not intended to be exhaustive. You should carefully review the risks described under “Item 1A. — Risk Factors” below. New factors may also emerge from time to time that could materially and adversely affect us.
EDUCATION REALTY TRUST, INC. FISCAL 2012 FORM 10-K
Item 1. Business.
Education Realty Trust, Inc., or we, us, our, EdR or the Trust, is a self-managed and self-advised real estate investment trust, or REIT, incorporated in the state of Maryland in July 2004 to develop, acquire, own and manage collegiate housing communities located near university campuses. We were formed to continue and expand upon the collegiate housing business of Allen & O’Hara, Inc., a company with over 40 years of experience as an owner, manager and developer of collegiate housing. We selectively develop collegiate housing communities for our own account and also provide third-party development consulting services on collegiate housing development projects for universities and other third parties. As of December 31, 2012, we owned 43 collegiate housing communities located in 22 states containing 25,003 beds in 8,494 apartment units on or near 38 university campuses. As of December 31, 2012, we provided third-party management services for 23 collegiate housing communities located in 10 states containing 12,060 beds in 4,068 apartment units on or near 20 university campuses.
All of our assets are held by, and we conduct substantially all of our activities through, Education Realty Operating Partnership, LP, our Operating Partnership, and its wholly-owned subsidiaries, EDR Management Inc., or our Management Company, and EDR Development LLC, or our Development Company. The majority of our operating expenses are borne by our Operating Partnership, our Management Company, our Development Company or our communities as the case may be.
We are the sole general partner of our Operating Partnership. As a result, our Board of Directors effectively directs all of our Operating Partnership’s affairs. We own 99.2% of the outstanding partnership units of our Operating Partnership, and 0.8% of the partnership units are held by the former owners of our initial properties and assets, including members of our management team and board of directors ("Board").
University Towers Operating Partnership, LP, or the University Towers Partnership, which is our affiliate, holds, owns and operates our University Towers property located in Raleigh, North Carolina. We own 72.7% of the units in the University Towers Partnership, and the remaining 27.3% of the units in the University Towers Partnership are held by the former owners of our initial properties and assets, including a member of our Board.
REIT Status and Taxable REIT Subsidiaries
We have elected to be taxed as a REIT for federal income tax purposes. With the exception of income from our taxable REIT subsidiaries, or our TRSs, income earned by the REIT is generally not subject to income taxes. In order to qualify as a REIT, a specified percentage of our gross income generally must be derived from real property sources, which would exclude our income from providing development and management services to third parties as well as our income from certain services afforded to our tenants. In order to avoid realizing such income in a manner that would adversely affect our ability to qualify as a REIT, we provide some services through our Management Company and our Development Company, with our Management Company being treated as a TRS. Our Management Company is wholly owned and controlled by our Operating Partnership, and our Management Company wholly owns our Development Company. Our Development Company is a disregarded entity for federal income tax purposes and all assets owned and income earned by our Development Company are deemed to be owned and earned by our Management Company.
Business and Growth Strategy
Our primary business objective is to achieve sustainable long-term growth in cash flow per share in order to maximize long-term stockholder value. We intend to achieve this objective by (i) acquiring collegiate housing communities nationwide that meet our focused investment criteria, (ii) selectively developing properties for our own account , (iii) building our third-party business of management services and development consulting services and (iv) maximizing net operating income from the operation of our owned properties through proactive and goal-oriented property management strategies.
Our business has three reportable segments that are identified by their distinct customer base and services provided: collegiate housing leasing, development consulting services and management services. For a discussion of revenues, profit and loss and total assets by segment see “Item 7 — Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and Note 11, “Segments” to our accompanying consolidated financial statements.
Acquisition and Development Strategy
We seek to acquire high-quality, well-located communities with modern floor plans and amenities. Our ideal acquisition targets generally are located in markets that have stable or increasing collegiate populations and high barriers to entry. We also seek to acquire investments in collegiate housing communities that possess sound market fundamentals but are under-performing and would benefit from re-positioning, renovation and/or improved property management. We consider the following property and market factors to identify potential property acquisitions:
university and campus reputation;
competitive admissions criteria;
limited number of on-campus beds and limited plans for expansion;
distance of property from campus;
significant out-of-state enrollment;
past operating performance;
potential for improved management;
ownership and capital structure;
presence of desired amenities;
maintenance and condition of the property;
access to a university-sponsored or public transportation line depending on location; and
Conversely, subject to appropriate market conditions, we may dispose of certain non-strategic collegiate housing communities. We continually assess all of our communities, the markets in which they are located and the colleges and universities they serve, to determine if any dispositions are necessary or appropriate.
We develop collegiate housing communities for our ownership, and we plan to increase self-development activity going forward. The On-Campus Equity Plan, or The ONE PlanSM, is our private equity program for universities, which allows universities to use the EdR's equity and financial stability to develop and revitalize campus housing while preserving their credit capacity for other campus projects. The ONE PlanSM offers one service provider and one equity source to universities seeking to modernize on-campus housing to meet the needs of today’s students. EdR has completed the development of 2 wholly-owned collegiate housing communities located on the campus of Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York. The Trust owns and manages the communities under a long-term ground lease from Syracuse University. EdR is also currently developing a high-rise apartment community on university land at the University of Texas at Austin campus under The ONE PlanSM. EdR will own and manage the community under a long-term ground lease from the University of Texas. In December 2011, we were selected by the University of Kentucky (UK) to develop, own and manage a multi-phase project aimed at revitalizing UK’s on-campus housing which could potentially include the revitalization and replacement of UK's entire campus housing portfolio and expansion of such to over 9,000 beds within five to seven years utilizing the ONE PlanSM. Construction on Central Hall, the first building in the multi-phase project, is progressing as planned. In the fourth quarter of 2012, EdR received approval from the UK board of trustees and began construction on Phase II of the project, which will include four communities with 2,317 beds. We believe the Trust will continue to enter into more partnerships under The ONE PlanSM due to our years of success in the collegiate housing business. The ONE PlanSM allows us to provide the perfect opportunity to universities to develop new housing and boost enrollment with a plan tailored to specific needs while simultaneously preserving the university’s credit capacity.
In total, we currently have eleven active owned developments delivering in 2013 and 2014. This includes wholly-owned developments at the University of Connecticut and University of Colorado.
Starting in 2011, we began entering into joint venture agreements to develop, own and manage properties near the University of Alabama, which opened in August 2012; and Arizona State University and University of Mississippi, which are both expected to open in the summer of 2013. We have the majority ownership interest in each property. In some cases, we hold a minority ownership interest in properties and earn a fee for the management of the properties. In December 2012 the Trust invested in a collegiate housing development with GEM Realty Capital to jointly develop and own new off-campus collegiate housing. The trust is a 50% owner and will manage the community once the development is completed. This strategy enables us to source and take advantage of opportunities not otherwise available and to accretively diversify our portfolio by expanding into geographic markets where we are not currently present with lower capital requirements than if we acquired the properties on our own. We expect to continue pursuing joint venture arrangements in the future.
We seek to maximize net operating income of the collegiate housing communities that we own and manage through the following operational strategies.
Controlling costs. We seek to maximize property-level profitability through the use of cost control systems and our focused on-site management personnel. Some of our specific cost control initiatives include:
establishing internal controls and procedures for consistent cost control throughout our communities;
operating with flat property-level management structures, minimizing multiple layers of management; and
negotiating service-level pricing arrangements with national and regional vendors and requiring corporate-level approval of service agreements for each community.
Maintain and develop strategic relationships. We believe that establishing and maintaining relationships with universities and developers, owners and brokers of collegiate housing properties is important to the ongoing success of our business. We believe that these relationships will continue to provide us with referrals that enhance our leasing efforts, opportunities for additional acquisitions of collegiate housing communities and contracts for third-party services.
Proactive marketing practices. We have developed and implemented proactive marketing practices to enhance the visibility of our collegiate housing communities and to optimize our revenue. We study our competitors, our residents and university policies affecting enrollment and housing. Based on our findings at each property, we formulate a marketing and sales plan for each academic leasing period. This plan is closely monitored and adjusted, if necessary, throughout the leasing period using our PILOT leasing management system. We intend to continue to market our properties to students, parents and universities by emphasizing collegiate-oriented living areas, state-of-the-art technology and infrastructure, a wide variety of amenities and services and close proximity to university campuses.
Develop and retain personnel. We staff each collegiate housing community that we own or manage with a full-service on-site property management team. Each of our property management teams includes community assistants who plan activities and interact with residents, enhancing their college experiences. We have developed programs and procedures to train each team of on-site employees and to provide them with corporate-based support for each essential operating function. To retain employees, we have developed an incentive-based compensation structure that is available to all of our on-site personnel.
Third-Party Services Strategy
In addition to developing communities for our ownership and managing our owned collegiate housing communities, we seek to provide development and management consulting services for universities and other third-party owners who rely upon the private sector for assistance in developing and managing their collegiate housing properties. We perform third-party services in order to enhance our reputation with universities and to benefit our primary goal of owning high-quality collegiate housing communities. We perform third-party services for collegiate housing communities serving some of the nation’s most prominent systems of higher education, including the University of North Carolina, the California State University System and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. In order to comply with the rules applicable to our status as a REIT, we provide our third-party services through our Development Company and our Management Company. Unlike the income earned from our properties under the REIT, the income earned by our Development Company and our Management Company is subject to regular federal income tax and state and local income taxes where applicable.
Third-party development consulting services
We provide third-party development consulting services primarily to universities seeking to modernize their on-campus collegiate housing communities but also to other third-party investors. We typically are notified that we have been awarded development consulting services projects on the basis of a competitive award process and thereafter begin work on the project. In the case of tax exempt bond-financed projects, definitive contracts are not executed until bond closing. Our development consulting services typically include the following:
market analysis and evaluation of housing needs and options;
cooperation with university in architectural design;
negotiation of ground lease, development agreement, construction contract, architectural contract and bond documents;
oversight of architectural design process;
coordination of governmental and university plan approvals;
oversight of construction process;
design of layout, purchase and installation of furniture;
pre-opening marketing to potential residents; and
obtaining final approvals of construction.
By providing these services, we are able to observe emerging trends in collegiate housing development and market acceptance of unit and community amenities. Our development consulting services also provide us with opportunities to obtain additional third-party property management contracts. Of the 22 clients we have provided development-consulting services to since 2000, we currently offer third-party management services under contracts with 13 of those clients while the 9 remaining clients alternatively elected to manage the communities in-house under their existing infrastructure. In 2012, our fees from third-party development consulting services represented 0.8% of our revenues, excluding operating expense reimbursements.
Since 2000, we have provided third-party development consulting services to clients for projects totaling over $1.3 billion in value. We are currently providing third-party development services pursuant to signed definitive contracts with projects under construction at Mansfield University of Pennsylvania, Clarion University of Pennsylvania and West Chester University of Pennsylvania. The aggregate project cost of these three projects is estimated to be approximately $152.4 million.
Third-party management services
We provide third-party management services for collegiate housing communities owned by educational institutions, charitable foundations and others. Our management services typically cover all aspects of operations, including residence life and student development, marketing, leasing administration, strategic relationships, information systems and accounting services. These services are comparable to the services that we provide for our owned properties. We typically provide these services pursuant to multi-year management agreements. These agreements usually have an initial term of two to five years with renewal options of like terms. We believe that providing these services allows us to leverage our existing management expertise and infrastructure. For the year ended December 31, 2012, our fees from third-party management services represented 2.5% of our revenue, excluding operating expense reimbursements.
The following table presents certain summary information regarding the collegiate housing communities that we managed for other owners as of December 31, 2012:
# of Beds
# of Units
University Park – Calhoun Street Apartments
University of Cincinnati
Clarion University of Pennsylvania
Salisbury University (Maryland)
Bettie Johnson Hall
University of Louisville
Herman & Heddy Kurz Hall
University of Louisville
Billy Minardi Hall
University of Louisville
University of Louisville
California State University — San Marcos
Arlington Park Apartments
University of Northern Colorado
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania
University of Colorado — Denver
Upper Eastside Lofts
Sacramento State University
Georgia Tech and Georgia State
University of Michigan
Vulcan Village I
California University of Pennsylvania
Vulcan Village II
California University of Pennsylvania
University Village (1)
University of North Carolina — Greensboro
University of California — Berkeley
California State University — San Marcos
Finger Lakes Community College
929 N. Wolfe Street
Johns Hopkins University
Totals (for both on- and off-campus)
EdR holds a noncontrolling interest in the community pursuant to its joint venture arrangements.
We staff each of our owned and managed collegiate housing communities with a full-service property management team. We typically staff each property with one community manager, a marketing/leasing manager, a resident services manager, a maintenance supervisor, one on-site resident community assistant for each 50-85 residents and general office and maintenance staff. Each property management team markets, leases and manages the community with a focus on maximizing its profitability. In addition, each property management team is trained to provide social and developmental opportunities for residents, enhancing the residents’ college experiences as well as the desirability of our communities.
We have developed policies and procedures to carefully select and develop each team of on-site employees and to provide each team with corporate-based support for each essential operating area, including lease administration, sales/marketing,
community and university relations, student life administration, maintenance, loss prevention, accounting, human resources/benefits administration and information systems. The corporate level personnel responsible for each of these areas support each community manager’s leadership role and are available as a resource to the community managers around the clock.
Residence Life and Student Development
Our Vice President of Client Relations designs and directs our residence life program. Our programs are developed at the corporate level and implemented at each community by our community assistants, together with our other on-site personnel. We provide educational, social and recreational activities designed to help students achieve academic goals, promote respect and harmony throughout the community and help bridge interaction with the respective university. Examples of our residence life and student development programs include:
community-building and social activities geared to university-related events, holidays, public safety and education;
study and attention skills counseling;
career development, resume writing and employment search skill training;
sponsorship of intramural sport teams, academic clubs and alumni-based activities;
parent and resident appreciation events;
community service activities including recycling, blood drives, food drives and student volunteer committees;
lectures focused on social issues, including effective communication, multi-cultural awareness and substance abuse;
university outreach activities; and
voter registration, enrollment and education.
The community assistants perform key roles in the administrative functioning of the community and interface with residents through constructive programs, activities and listening to resident interests and concerns. Our on-site leadership selects residents to serve as community assistants who meet criteria established by our Vice President of Client Relations.
We begin our annual marketing campaign by thoroughly segmenting the student population attending each of the primary universities where our collegiate housing communities are located, and compiling market surveys of comparable collegiate apartment properties. With this information, we formulate a marketing/sales strategy that consists of a renewal campaign for current residents and a broader campaign directed at the eligible student population. We assess university regulations regarding housing requirements to avoid targeting segments of the market in which students are not eligible to live off-campus.
We typically begin our renewal campaign in October of each year. Signage, social networking, direct mailings to the students and their parents, appreciation parties and staff selling incentives are key elements of the renewal campaign. The community assistant team plays a key role in communicating the renewal message throughout its assigned property area. We use a database of current resident demographic data to direct sales information to primary feeder high schools, particularly where new freshmen are eligible to live off-campus. Other database criteria include gender, high school location, prior apartment community, academic class standing, field of study and activity preferences.
We appeal to the greater university population through theme-based newspaper advertising campaigns, open house activities, housing fairs conducted by the university, web-based advertising and social networking media. Our professional leasing and marketing staff targets certain university-sponsored on-campus events to distribute handouts displaying our logo and offering incentives to visit our sales center. Wherever possible, our collegiate housing communities appear on university websites in listings of off-campus housing options, together with banner advertising where available.
Our standard lease begins in mid August and runs for approximately 11.5 months, ending July 31 or early August to coincide with the university’s fall academic term. The primary exception to our standard lease term is our University Towers and University Village on Colvin communities, which we generally rent on nine-month academic year leases. Our standard lease is an agreement between the student and parental guarantor, and the specific collegiate housing community. All leases are for a bed in a private or shared bedroom, with rights to share common areas within the unit and throughout the community. This “individual lease” is a strong selling attraction as it limits a student’s liability to the rental for one bedroom instead of burdening the student with shared liability for the entire unit rental amount.
We lease our units by floor plan type using PILOT, our property leasing/marketing system, to maximize full leasing of entire units, avoiding spotty vacancies particularly in the four-bedroom units. We offer roommate-matching services to facilitate full occupancy. We develop waiting lists and monitor popular floor plans that fill to capacity early in the leasing season. If any fully
vacant units remain available after the beginning of any academic semester, we seek to lease such units on a temporary basis to university-related visitors and our tenants’ parents and family members, or keep them available for future leasing to students.
Unlike conventional apartment communities that have monthly move-outs and renewals, our collegiate housing community occupancies remain relatively stable throughout the academic year, but must be entirely re-leased at the beginning of each academic year. Because of the nature of leasing to students, we are highly dependent upon the success of our marketing and leasing efforts during the annual leasing season, generally October through August. Our leasing staff undergo intensive annual professional training to maximize the success of our leasing efforts.
We typically require rent to be paid in 12 equal installments throughout the lease term, with the first installment due on July 15. Residents of University Towers and residence halls that we manage for third parties typically pay their annual rent in two installments on July 1 and December 1. We replace contracted residents who fail to pay the first installment with people on our waiting list or from walk-in traffic while the market is still active with students seeking housing at the commencement of the academic year.
We assign high priority to establishing and nurturing relationships with the administration of each of the primary universities where our collegiate housing communities are located. Our corporate staff establishes this network, and on-site management then sustains it with follow-up by corporate staff during routine visits to the community. As a result of our strategic relationships, universities often refer their students to our properties, thus enhancing our leasing effort throughout the year. These networks create goodwill for our collegiate housing communities throughout the university administration, including departments of admissions, student affairs, public safety, athletics and international affairs.
Most universities promote off-campus housing alternatives to their student population. It is our intention to be among the most preferred off-campus residences and for universities to include our communities in listings and literature provided to students. We seek to obtain student mailing lists used by universities and to be featured in web-based collegiate housing listings wherever permitted by the institution and incorporate these initiatives into our marketing efforts. Our community managers make scheduled personal visits to academic departments at the universities to further our community exposure at this level.
In addition to our university relationships, our management team has developed long-standing relationships with developers, owners and brokers of collegiate housing properties that allow us to identify and capitalize on acquisition opportunities. As a result, we have generated an internal database of contacts that we use to identify and evaluate acquisition candidates. As it is our intention to develop a diverse portfolio of collegiate housing communities, we also develop strategic relationships with equity investors in order to pursue acquisitions through joint venture arrangements.
Competition from universities
We typically compete for student tenants with the owners of on-campus collegiate housing, which is generally owned by educational institutions or charitable foundations. Educational institutions generally do not have to pay real estate taxes and borrow funds at lower interest rates, while we and other private sector operators pay full real estate tax rates and have higher borrowing costs. The competitive advantages of on-campus collegiate housing also include its physical proximity to the university campus and captive student body. Moreover, many universities have policies requiring students to live in their on-campus facilities during their freshman year.
On-campus housing is limited, however, and most universities are able to house only a small percentage of their students. As a result, educational institutions depend upon, and may serve as referral sources for, private providers of off-campus housing. In addition, off-campus housing facilities tend to offer more relaxed rules and regulations than on-campus properties and therefore tend to be more appealing to students. Off-campus collegiate housing offers freedom from restrictions, such as quiet hours or gender visitation limitations, and is especially appealing to upperclassmen who are transitioning towards independence.
Competition from private owners
We compete with several regional and national owner-operators of off-campus collegiate housing, including two publicly-traded competitors, American Campus Communities, Inc. (ACC) and Campus Crest Communities, Inc. (CCG). We also compete with privately held developers and other real estate firms and in a number of markets with smaller local owner-operators. Currently, the industry is fragmented with no participant holding a dominant market share. We believe that a number of other large national companies with substantial financial resources may be potential entrants into the collegiate housing business. The entry of one or more of these companies could increase competition for residents and for the acquisition, management and development of collegiate housing properties.
As a current or prior owner, manager and developer of real estate, we are subject to various federal, state and local environmental laws, regulations and ordinances and also could be liable to third parties resulting from environmental contamination or noncompliance at our properties. Environmental laws often impose liability without regard to whether the owner or operator knew of, or was responsible for, the presence of the contaminants, and the costs of any required investigation or cleanup of these substances can be substantial. The liability is generally not limited under such laws and could exceed the property’s value and the aggregate assets of the liable party. The presence of contamination or the failure to remediate contamination at our properties also may expose us to third-party liability for personal injury or property damage, or adversely affect our ability to sell, lease or develop the real property or to borrow using the real property as collateral. These and other risks related to environmental matters are described in more detail in “Item 1A. — Risk Factors” below.
As of December 31, 2012, we had approximately 1,222 employees, including:
1,112 on-site employees, including 441 community assistants;
27 people in our property management services department;
8 people in our development consulting services and construction departments; and
75 executive, corporate administration and financial personnel.
EdR files periodic and current reports, proxy statements and other information with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC. All filings made by EdR with the SEC may be copied and read at the SEC’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20549. Information on the operation of the Public Reference Room may be obtained by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330. The SEC also maintains an Internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC as EdR does. The website address of the SEC is http://www.sec.gov.
Additionally, copies of our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and any amendments to the aforementioned filings, are available on EdR’s website, www.EdRTrust.com, free of charge as soon as reasonably practicable after EdR electronically files such reports or amendments with, or furnishes them to, the SEC. The filings can be found in the SEC filings section of our website. EdR’s website also contains its Corporate Governance Guidelines, Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and the charters of the committees of the Board of Directors. These items can be found in the Corporate Governance section of the Investor Relations section of our website. Reference to EdR’s website does not constitute incorporation by reference of the information contained on the website and should not be considered part of this Annual Report. All of the aforementioned materials may also be obtained free of charge by contacting the Investor Relations Department at Education Realty Trust, Inc., 999 South Shady Grove Road, Suite 600, Memphis, Tennessee 38120.
Item 1A. Risk Factors
Risks Related to Our Properties, Our Business and the Real Estate Industry
Our performance and the value of our real estate assets are subject to risks associated with real estate assets and with the real estate industry.
Our performance and ability to make distributions to our stockholders depends on our ability to generate cash revenues in excess of expenses, scheduled debt service obligations and capital expenditure requirements. Events and conditions generally applicable to owners and operators of real property that are beyond our control may decrease cash available for distribution and the value of our properties.
These events include:
local oversupply of collegiate housing units, increased competition or reduction in demand for collegiate housing;
inability to collect rent from tenants;
the need for capital expenditures at our communities;
vacancies or our inability to lease beds on favorable terms;
inability to finance property development and acquisitions on favorable terms;
increased operating costs, including insurance premiums, utilities and real estate taxes;
costs of complying with changes in governmental regulations;
the relative illiquidity of real estate investments;
changing student demographics;
decreases in student enrollment at particular colleges and universities;
changes in university policies related to admissions;
national, regional and local economic conditions; and
Our results of operations may be sensitive to changes in overall economic conditions that impact tenant leasing practices.
Our results of operations may be sensitive to changes in overall economic conditions that impact tenant leasing practices. A continuation of ongoing adverse economic conditions affecting disposable tenant income, such as employment levels, business conditions, interest rates, tax rates, fuel and energy costs and other matters, could reduce overall tenant leasing or cause tenants to shift their leasing practices. At this time, it is difficult to determine the breadth and duration of the economic and financial market problems and the many ways in which they may affect our tenants and our business in general. A general reduction in the level of tenant leasing could adversely affect our growth and profitability.
We own, directly or indirectly, interests in collegiate housing communities located near major universities in the United States. Accordingly, we are dependent upon the levels of student enrollment and the admission policies of the respective universities, which attract a significant portion of our leasing base. As a result of the overall market quality deterioration, many students may be unable to obtain student loans on favorable terms. If student loans are not available or their costs are prohibitively high, enrollment numbers for universities may decrease. The demand for, occupancy rates at, rental income from and value of our properties would be adversely affected if student enrollment levels become stagnant or decrease in the current environment. Accordingly, a continuation or further worsening of these difficult financial and macroeconomic conditions could have a significant adverse effect on our cash flows, profitability and results of operations.
Our results of operations are subject to the following risks inherent in the collegiate housing industry: leasing cycles, concentrated lease-up period, seasonal cash flows and increased risk of student defaults during the summer months of 11.5 month leases.
We generally lease our properties under 11.5 month leases, but we may also lease for terms of nine months or less. Furthermore, all of our properties must be entirely re-leased each year, exposing us to increased leasing risk. We may not be able to relet the property on similar terms, if we are able to relet the property at all. The terms of renewal or re-lease (including the cost of required renovations and/or concessions to tenants) may be less favorable to us than the prior lease. If we are unable to relet all or a substantial portion of our properties, or if the rental rates upon such reletting are significantly lower than expected rates, our cash flow from operations and our ability to make distributions to stockholders and service indebtedness could be adversely affected.
In addition, we are subject to increased leasing risk on properties that we acquire that we have not previously managed due to our lack of experience leasing those properties and unfamiliarity with their leasing cycles. Collegiate housing communities are typically leased during a leasing season that begins in November and ends in August of each year. We are therefore highly dependent on the effectiveness of our marketing and leasing efforts and personnel during this season. Prior to the commencement of each new lease period, mostly during the first two weeks of August but also during September at some communities, we prepare the units for new incoming tenants. Other than revenue generated by in-place leases for returning tenants, we do not generally recognize lease revenue during this period referred to as “Turn” as we have no leases in place. In addition, during Turn, we incur significant expenses making our units ready for occupancy, which we recognize immediately. This lease Turn period results in seasonality in our operating results during the third quarter of each year. As a result, we may experience significantly reduced cash flows during the summer months at properties leased for terms shorter than twelve months.
In addition, students leasing under 11.5 month leases may be more likely to default on their rental payments during the summer months. Although we typically require a student’s parents to guarantee the student’s lease, we may have to spend considerable effort and expense in pursuing payment upon a defaulted lease, and our efforts may not be successful.
We rely on our relationships with universities, and changes in university personnel and/or policies could adversely affect our operating results.
In some cases, we rely on our relationships with universities for referrals of prospective tenants or for mailing lists of prospective tenants and their parents. The failure to maintain good relationships with personnel at these universities could therefore have a material adverse effect on us. If universities refuse to make their lists of prospective student-tenants and their parents available to us or increase the costs of these lists, the increased costs or failure to obtain such lists could also have a material adverse effect on us.
We may be adversely affected by a change in university admission policies. For example, if a university reduces the number of student admissions, the demand for our properties may be reduced and our occupancy rates may decline. In addition, universities may institute a policy that a certain class of students, such as freshmen, must live in a university-owned facility, which would also reduce the demand for our properties. While we may engage in marketing efforts to compensate for such policy changes, we may not be able to effect such marketing efforts prior to the commencement of the annual lease-up period or at all.
It is also important that the universities from which our communities draw tenants maintain good reputations and are able to attract the desired number of incoming students. Any degradation in a university’s reputation could inhibit its ability to attract students and reduce the demand for our communities.
We face significant competition from university-owned collegiate housing and from other private collegiate housing communities located within close proximity to universities.
Many students prefer on-campus housing to off-campus housing because of the closer physical proximity to campus and integration of on-campus facilities into the academic community. Universities can generally avoid real estate taxes and borrow funds at lower interest rates, while we and other private-sector operators pay full real estate tax rates and have higher borrowing costs. Consequently, universities often can offer more convenient and/or less expensive collegiate housing than we can, which can adversely affect our occupancy and rental rates.
We also compete with other national and regional owner-operators of off-campus collegiate housing in a number of markets as well as with smaller local owner-operators. There are a number of purpose-built collegiate housing properties that compete directly with us located near or in the same general vicinity of many of our collegiate housing communities. Such competing collegiate housing communities may be newer than our collegiate housing communities, located closer to campus, charge less rent, possess more attractive amenities, or offer more services, shorter lease terms or more flexible leases. The construction of competing properties or decreases in the general levels of rents for housing in competing properties could adversely affect our rental income.
We believe that a number of other large national companies may be potential entrants in the collegiate housing business. In some cases, these potential competitors possess substantially greater financial and marketing resources than we do. The entry of one or more of these companies could increase competition for student tenants and for the acquisition, development and management of other collegiate housing communities.
We may not be able to recover our costs for our development consulting services.
We typically are awarded development consulting services business on the basis of a competitive award process, but definitive contracts are typically not executed until the formal approval of the transaction by the institution’s governing body at the completion of the process. In the intervening period, we may incur significant predevelopment and other costs in the expectation that the development consulting services contract will be executed. These costs could range up to $2.0 million or more per project and typically include architects’ fees to design the property and contractors’ fees to price the construction. We typically seek to enter into a reimbursement agreement with the institution that requires the institution to provide a guarantee of our advances. However, we may not be successful in negotiating such an agreement. In addition, if an institution’s governing body does not ultimately approve our selection and the underlying terms of a pending development, we may not be able to recover these costs from the institution. In addition, when we are awarded development consulting business, we generally receive a significant percentage of our fees for development consulting services upon closing of the project financing, a portion of the fee over the construction period and the balance upon substantial completion of construction. As a result, the recognition and timing of revenues will, among other things differ from the timing of payments and be contingent upon the project owner’s successful structuring and closing of the project financing as well as the timing of construction.
Our contractual obligations arising under third-party development consulting agreements expose us to risks related to the total project cost and on-time completion of the project.
We typically enter into development agreements with universities and other third parties as “developer at risk.” At the same time, we enter into guaranteed maximum price contracts with a general contractor for the construction of the project. In our capacity as “developer at risk,” we usually guarantee that a project will be completed within a certain maximum cost. Any additional costs which are not the responsibility of the contractor, under their guaranteed maximum price contract, or the result of changes by the university or other third-party, would be our responsibility to fund. We also typically guarantee that a project will be completed and ready for occupancy by a date certain in order to meet housing needs for a particular school term. If completion of a project was delayed beyond such date certain, we would be exposed to claims for liquidated damages, which would usually include, but may not be limited to, the cost of housing prospective residents of the community until it was available for occupancy. Although we generally transfer such risks to the general contractor who is responsible for the construction activities of a development project, if we were to experience significant cost-overruns or were to become subject to such a claim or claims, our financial condition, results of operations and/or cash flows could be materially and adversely impacted.
We may not be able to recover internal development costs.
When developing collegiate housing communities for our ownership on university land, definitive contracts are not executed until the formal approval of the transaction by the institution’s governing body at the completion of the process. In the intervening period, we may incur significant predevelopment and other costs in the expectation that a ground lease will be executed. These costs could range up to $1.0 million or more and typically include architects’ fees to design the property and third party fees related to other predevelopment services. If an institution’s governing body does not ultimately approve the lease we will not be able to recover these predevelopment costs.
We may be unable to take advantage of certain disposition opportunities because of additional costs we have agreed to pay if we sell the University Towers collegiate housing community in a taxable transaction.
We issued University Towers Partnership units for our interest in University Towers. So long as the contributing owners of such property hold at least 25% of the University Towers Partnership units, we have agreed to maintain certain minimum amounts of debt on the property so as to avoid triggering gain to the contributing owners. If we fail to do this, we will owe to the contributing owners the amount of taxes that they incur. In each case, the amount of tax is computed assuming the highest federal and state rates. As a result, these agreements may preclude us from selling the restricted property at the optimal time.
Our growth will be dependent upon our ability to acquire and/or develop, lease, integrate and manage additional collegiate housing communities successfully.
We cannot assure you that we will be able to identify real estate investments, including joint ventures, that meet our investment criteria, that we will be successful in completing any acquisition we identify or that any acquisition we complete will produce a return on our investment.
Our future growth will be dependent upon our ability to successfully acquire new properties and enter into joint ventures on favorable terms, which may be adversely affected by the following significant risks:
we may be unable to acquire a desired property at all or at a desired purchase price because of competition from other purchasers of collegiate housing;
many of our future acquisitions are likely to be dependent on external financing, and we may be unable to finance an acquisition on favorable terms or at all;
we may be required to incur significant capital expenditures to improve or renovate acquired properties;
we may incur an increase in operating costs or may not have the proceeds available to implement renovations or improvements at existing properties which are necessary to attract and retain tenants;
we may be unable to quickly and efficiently integrate new acquisitions, particularly acquisitions of portfolios of properties, into our existing operations;
market conditions may result in higher than expected vacancy rates and lower than expected rental rates; and
we may acquire properties subject to liabilities but without any recourse, or with only limited recourse, to the sellers, or with liabilities that are unknown to us, such as liabilities for undisclosed environmental contamination, claims by tenants, vendors or other persons dealing with the former owners of the properties and claims for indemnification by members, directors, officers and others indemnified by the former owners of the properties.
As we acquire additional properties, we will be subject to risks associated with managing new properties, including lease-up and integration risks. Newly acquired properties may not perform as expected, and newly acquired properties may have characteristics or deficiencies unknown to us at the time of acquisition.
We may be unable to invest our capital resources on acceptable terms or at all.
Our ability to achieve our expected levels of financial performance will depend significantly upon our ability to invest efficiently our available capital resources in accretive transactions. Although we seek to maintain a pipeline of suitable investment opportunities, we cannot assure you that we will be able to identify any acquisition and/or development opportunities or other investments that meet our investment objectives or that any investment that we make will produce a positive return. Moreover, our investment pipeline is generally subject to numerous uncertainties and conditions that make it difficult to predict if or when any such potential transactions will be consummated. Accordingly, we may be unable to invest our available capital resources on acceptable terms within the time period that we anticipate, or at all, and these delays could result in additional dilution and may cause our financial results, including funds from operations, or FFO, per share, to fall short of analyst expectations. Moreover, we have significant flexibility in investing our capital resources, and we may use the resources in ways with which our stockholders may not agree or for purposes other than those that we originally contemplated.
Our ownership of properties through ground leases exposes us to the loss of such properties upon breach or termination of the ground leases.
We have acquired an interest in certain of our properties by acquiring a leasehold interest in the property on which the building is located (or under development), and we may acquire additional properties in the future through the purchase of interests in ground leases. As the lessee under a ground lease, we are exposed to the possibility of losing the property (or building we may be developing) upon termination of the ground lease or an earlier breach of the ground lease by us.
We have limited time to perform due diligence on many of our acquired properties, which could subject us to significant unexpected liabilities and under-performance of the acquired properties.
When we enter into an agreement to acquire a property, we often have limited time to complete our due diligence prior to acquiring the property. Because our internal resources are limited, we may rely on third parties to conduct a portion of our due diligence. To the extent these third parties or we underestimate or fail to identify risks and liabilities associated with the properties we acquire, we may incur unexpected liabilities, or the property may fail to perform in accordance with our projections. If, during the due diligence phase, we do not accurately assess the value of and liabilities associated with a particular property, we may pay a purchase price that exceeds the current fair value of the assets. As a result, material goodwill and other intangible assets would be recorded, which could result in significant charges to earnings in future periods. These charges, in addition to the financial impact of significant liabilities that we may assume, could materially and adversely impact our financial and operating results, as well as our ability to pay distributions.
Certain losses may not be covered by insurance or may be underinsured.
We carry insurance covering comprehensive liability, fire, earthquake, terrorism, business interruption, vandalism and malicious mischief, extended coverage perils, physical loss perils, commercial general liability, personal injury, workers’ compensation, business, automobile, errors and omissions, employee dishonesty, employment practices liability and rental loss with respect to all of the properties in our portfolio and the operation of our Management Company and Development Company. We also carry insurance covering flood (when the property is located in whole or in material part in a designated flood plain area) on some of our properties. We believe the policy specifications and insured limits are appropriate and adequate given the relative risk of loss, the cost of the coverage and industry practice. There are, however, certain types of losses (such as property damage from riots or wars, employment discrimination losses, punitive damage awards, or acts of God) that may be either uninsurable or not economically insurable. Some of our policies are subject to large deductibles or co-payments and policy limits that may not be sufficient to cover losses. In addition, we may discontinue earthquake, terrorism or other insurance on some or all of our properties in the future if the cost of premiums for these policies exceeds, in our judgment, the value of the coverage discounted for the risk of loss. If we experience a loss that is uninsured or that exceeds policy limits, we could lose the capital invested in the damaged properties as well as the anticipated future cash flows from those properties. In addition, if the damaged properties are subject to recourse indebtedness, we would continue to be liable for the indebtedness, even if these properties were irreparably damaged.
We could incur significant costs related to government regulation and private litigation over environmental matters.
Under various environmental laws, including the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, or CERCLA, a current or previous owner or operator of real property may be liable for contamination resulting from the release or threatened release of hazardous or toxic substances or petroleum at that property, and an entity that arranges for the disposal or treatment of a hazardous or toxic substance or petroleum at another property may be held jointly and severally liable for the cost to investigate and clean up such property or other affected property. Such parties are known as potentially responsible parties, or PRPs. Environmental laws often impose liability without regard to whether the owner or operator knew of, or was responsible for, the presence of the contaminants, and the costs of any required investigation or cleanup of these substances can be substantial. PRPs are liable to the government as well as to other PRPs who may have claims for contribution. The liability is generally not limited under such laws and could exceed the property’s value and the aggregate assets of the liable party. The presence of contamination or the failure to remediate contamination at our properties also may expose us to third-party liability for personal injury or property damage, or adversely affect our ability to sell, lease or develop the real property or to borrow using the real property as collateral. We do not carry environmental insurance on any of the properties in our portfolio.
Environmental laws also impose ongoing compliance requirements on owners and operators of real property. Environmental laws potentially affecting us address a wide variety of matters, including, but not limited to, asbestos-containing building materials, storage tanks, storm water and wastewater discharges, lead-based paint, wetlands and hazardous wastes. Failure to comply with these laws could result in fines and penalties and/or expose us to third-party liability. Some of our properties may have conditions that are subject to these requirements, and we could be liable for such fines or penalties and/or liable to third parties for those conditions.
We could be exposed to liability and remedial costs related to environmental matters.
Certain properties in our portfolio may contain, or may have contained, asbestos-containing building materials, or ACBMs. Environmental laws require that ACBMs be properly managed and maintained, and may impose fines and penalties on building owners and operators for failure to comply with these requirements. Also, certain properties may contain, or may have contained, or are adjacent to or near other properties that have contained or currently contain storage tanks for the storage of petroleum products or other hazardous or toxic substances. These operations create a potential for the release of petroleum products or other hazardous or toxic substances. Certain properties in our portfolio contain, or may have contained, elevated radon levels. Third parties may be permitted by law to seek recovery from owners or operators for property damage and/or personal injury associated with exposure to contaminants, including, but not limited to, petroleum products, hazardous or toxic substances and asbestos fibers. Also, some of the properties may contain regulated wetlands that can delay or impede development or require costs to be incurred to mitigate the impact of any disturbance. Absent appropriate permits, we can be held responsible for restoring wetlands and be required to pay fines and penalties.
Some of the properties in our portfolio may contain microbial matter such as mold and mildew. In addition, if any property in our portfolio is not properly connected to a water or sewer system, or if the integrity of such systems are breached, or if water intrusion into our buildings otherwise occurs, microbial matter or other contamination can develop. When excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials, mold growth may occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or is not addressed over a period of time. Some molds may produce airborne toxins or irritants. If this were to occur, we could incur significant remedial costs and we may also be subject to material private damage claims and awards. Concern about indoor exposure to mold has been increasing, as exposure to mold may cause a variety of adverse health effects and symptoms, including allergic or other reactions. If we become subject to claims in this regard, it could materially and adversely affect us and our future insurability for such matters.
Independent environmental consultants conduct Phase I environmental site assessments on all of our acquisitions. Phase I environmental site assessments are intended to evaluate information regarding the environmental condition of the surveyed property and surrounding properties based generally on visual observations, interviews and certain publicly available databases. These assessments do not typically take into account all environmental issues including, but not limited to, testing of soil or groundwater or the possible presence of asbestos, lead-based paint, radon, wetlands or mold. The results of these assessments are addressed and could result in either a cancellation of the purchase, the requirement of the seller to remediate issues or additional costs on our part to remediate the issue.
None of the previous site assessments revealed any past or present environmental liability that we believe would be material to us. However, the assessments may have failed to reveal all environmental conditions, liabilities or compliance concerns.
Material environmental conditions, liabilities or compliance concerns may have arisen after the assessments were conducted or may arise in the future; and future laws, ordinances or regulations may impose material additional environmental liability. We cannot assure you that costs of future environmental compliance will not affect our ability to make distributions or that such costs or other remedial measures will not be material to us.
We may incur significant costs complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act and similar laws.
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, or the ADA, all public accommodations must meet federal requirements related to access and use by disabled persons. Additional federal, state and local laws also may require modifications to our properties, or restrict our ability to renovate our properties. For example, the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, or FHAA, requires apartment properties first occupied after March 13, 1990 to be accessible to the handicapped. We have not conducted an audit or investigation of all of our properties to determine our compliance with present ADA requirements. Noncompliance with the ADA or FHAA could result in the imposition of fines or an award for damages to private litigants and also could result in an order to correct any non-complying feature. We cannot predict the ultimate amount of the cost of compliance with the ADA, FHAA or other legislation. If we incur substantial costs to comply with the ADA, FHAA or any other legislation, we could be materially and adversely affected.
Reporting of on-campus crime statistics required of universities may negatively impact our communities.
Federal and state laws require universities to publish and distribute reports of on-campus crime statistics, which may result in negative publicity and media coverage associated with crimes occurring in the vicinity of, or on the premises of, our on-campus communities. Reports of crime or other negative publicity regarding the safety of the students residing on, or near, our communities may have an adverse effect on both our on-campus and off-campus communities.
Joint venture investments could be adversely affected by our lack of sole decision-making authority, our reliance on co-venturers’ financial condition and disputes between our co-venturers and us.
We have co-invested and anticipate that we will continue to co-invest with third parties through partnerships, joint ventures or other entities, acquiring noncontrolling interests in or sharing responsibility for managing the affairs of a property, partnership, joint venture or other entity. In such event, we do not have sole decision-making authority regarding the property, partnership, joint venture or other entity. Investments in partnerships, joint ventures or other entities may, under certain circumstances, involve risks not present were a third party not involved, including the possibility that partners or co-venturers may become bankrupt or fail to fund their share of required capital contributions. Partners or co-venturers also may have economic or other business interests or goals that are inconsistent with our business interests or goals and may be in a position to take actions contrary to our preferences, policies or objectives. Such investments also will have the potential risk of our reaching impasses with our partners or co-venturers on key decisions, such as a sale, because neither we nor the partner or co-venturer would have full control over the partnership or joint venture. Disputes between us and our partners or co-venturers may result in litigation or arbitration that would increase our expenses and prevent our management team from focusing its time and effort exclusively
on our business. In addition, we may in some circumstances be liable for the actions of our third-party partners or co-venturers.
Illiquidity of real estate investments could significantly impede our ability to respond to adverse changes in the performance of our properties.
Because real estate investments are relatively illiquid, our ability to promptly sell one or more properties in our portfolio in response to changing economic, financial and investment conditions is limited. The real estate market is affected by many factors, such as general economic conditions, availability of financing, interest rates and other factors, including supply and demand, that are beyond our control. We cannot predict whether we will be able to sell any property for the price or on the terms set by us or whether any price or other terms offered by a prospective purchaser would be acceptable to us. We also cannot predict the length of time needed to find a willing purchaser and to close the sale of a property.
We may be required to expend funds to correct defects or to make improvements before a property can be sold. We cannot ensure that we will have funds available to correct those defects or to make those improvements. In acquiring a property, we may agree to transfer restrictions that materially restrict us from selling that property for a period of time or impose other restrictions, such as a limitation on the amount of debt that can be placed or repaid on that property. These transfer restrictions would impede our ability to sell a property even if we deem it necessary or appropriate.
Risks Associated with Our Indebtedness and Financing
We depend heavily on the availability of debt and equity capital to fund our business.
In order to maintain our qualification as a REIT, we are required under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code, to distribute annually at least 90% of our REIT taxable income, determined without regard to the deduction for dividends paid and excluding any net capital gain. To the extent that we satisfy this distribution requirement but distribute less than 100% of our net taxable income, including any net capital gains, we will be subject to federal corporate income tax on our undistributed taxable income. In addition, we will be subject to a 4% nondeductible excise tax if the actual amount that we pay out to our stockholders in a calendar year is less than a minimum amount specified under federal tax laws. Because of these distribution requirements, REITs are largely unable to fund capital expenditures, such as acquisitions, renovations, development and property upgrades from operating cash flow. Consequently, we will be largely dependent on the public equity and debt capital markets and private lenders to provide capital to fund our growth and other capital expenditures. We may not be able to obtain this financing on favorable terms or at all. Our access to equity and debt capital depends, in part, on:
general market conditions;
our current debt levels and the number of properties subject to encumbrances;
our current performance and the market’s perception of our growth potential;
our cash flow and cash distributions; and
the market price per share of our common stock.
If we cannot obtain capital from third-party sources, we may not be able to acquire properties when strategic opportunities exist, satisfy our debt service obligations or make cash distributions to our stockholders, including those necessary to maintain our qualification as a REIT.
Current market conditions could affect our ability to refinance existing indebtedness or obtain additional financing on acceptable terms and may have other adverse effects on us.
The United States credit markets have in the recent past experienced significant dislocations and liquidity disruptions, including the bankruptcy, insolvency or restructuring of certain financial institutions. In addition, recent U.S. budget deficit concerns, together with signs of deteriorating sovereign debt conditions in Europe, have increased the possibility of additional credit-rating downgrades and economic slowdowns.These circumstances have impacted liquidity in the debt markets, making financing terms for certain borrowers less attractive, and in certain cases have resulted in the unavailability of certain types of debt financing. Although we believe that our Master Secured Credit Facility and Fourth Amended Revolver (each defined below) are sufficient for our current operations, any reductions in our available borrowing capacity, or our inability to renew or replace these facilities when required or when business conditions warrant, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Furthermore, if prevailing interest rates or other factors at the time of refinancing result in higher interest rates upon refinancing, then the interest expense relating to that refinanced indebtedness would increase. Higher interest rates on newly incurred debt may negatively impact us as well. If interest rates increase, our interest costs and overall costs of capital will increase, which could adversely affect our transaction and development activity, financial condition, results of operations, cash flow, the market price of our stock, our ability to pay principal and interest on
our debt and our ability to pay dividends to our stockholders.
If we are unable to secure additional financing or refinancing on favorable terms or our operating cash flow is insufficient, we may not be able to satisfy our outstanding financial obligations under our mortgage and construction debt. Furthermore, if financing is not available when needed, or is available on unfavorable terms, we may be unable to take advantage of business opportunities or respond to competitive pressures, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. A prolonged downturn in the credit markets may cause us to seek alternative sources of potentially less attractive financing. Such sources may not then be available and may require us to adjust our business plan accordingly or significantly cutback or curtail operations and development plans. In addition, these factors may make it more difficult for us to sell properties or may adversely affect the price we receive for properties that we do sell as prospective buyers may experience increased costs of debt financing or difficulties in obtaining debt financing.
In addition, we mortgage some of our properties to secure payment of indebtedness. In 2013, $33.4 million, or 8.4%, of our mortgage and construction debt reaches maturity. If we are unable to service the debt, including in the event we are not successful in refinancing our debt upon maturity, then the properties securing the mortgages could be foreclosed upon or
transferred to the mortgagee, or we might be forced to dispose of some of our properties on disadvantageous terms, with a consequent loss of income and asset value. A foreclosure of a mortgaged property could also cause cross defaults under the Master Secured Credit Facility. A foreclosure or disadvantageous disposal on one or more of our properties could adversely affect our financial condition, results of operations, cash flow and ability to pay dividends on, and the market price of, our stock.
Our use of debt financing reduces cash available for distribution and may expose us to the risk of default under our debt obligations.
Our charter and bylaws impose no limitation on the amount of debt we may incur. Our debt service obligations expose us to the risk of default and reduce (or eliminate) cash resources that are available to operate our business. The Fourth Amended Revolver contains customary affirmative and negative covenants and provides for potential availability of $500 million upon satisfaction of certain conditions. The amount available to us and our ability to borrow from time to time under this facility is subject to certain conditions which includes borrowing base calculations that limit availability based upon the underlying value of the property asset value (as defined in the agreement) and the satisfaction of specified financial and other covenants, which include, without limitation, limiting distributions to our stockholders. If the income generated by our properties and other assets fails to cover our debt service, we would be forced to reduce or eliminate distributions to our stockholders and may experience losses. Our level of debt and the operating limitations imposed on us by our debt agreements could have significant adverse consequences, including the following:
we may be unable to borrow additional funds as needed or on favorable terms;
we may be unable to refinance our indebtedness at maturity or the refinancing terms may be less favorable than the terms of our original indebtedness;
we may be forced to dispose of one or more of our properties, possibly on disadvantageous terms;
we may default on our payment or other obligations as a result of insufficient cash flow or otherwise, and the lenders or mortgagees may foreclose on our properties that secure their loans and receive an assignment of rents and leases;
a default under the Master Secured Credit Facility or the Fourth Amended Revolver may preclude further availability of credit from other sources; and
foreclosures could create taxable income without accompanying cash proceeds, a circumstance that could hinder our ability to meet the REIT distribution requirements.
A change in U.S. government policy with regard to Fannie Mae could materially impact our financial condition.
In 2009 the U. S. Treasury removed the $200 billion cap on the amount of financial aid available for Fannie Mae and extended its conservatorship of Fannie Mae through 2012. The Treasury also capped Fannie Mae’s retained mortgage portfolio limitation at $900 billion and required that this portfolio be reduced on a phased basis beginning in 2010. Through expansion of its off-balance sheet lending products, we believe that Fannie Mae’s balance sheet limitations will not restrict its support of lending to the collegiate housing industry and to us in particular. Should loan availability be reduced, it could impact the value of collegiate housing assets and impair the value of our properties, and we would seek alternative sources of funding. We anticipate that additional capital may be available only at a higher cost and have less attractive terms, if available at all.
A change in the value of our assets could cause us to experience a cash shortfall, be in default of our loan covenants, lose management control or incur a charge for the impairment of assets.
We borrow on a secured basis under the Master Secured Credit Facility. A significant reduction in value of the assets secured as collateral could require us to post additional collateral or pay down the balance of the facility. While we believe that we have significant excess collateral and capacity, future asset values are uncertain. If we were unable to meet a request to add collateral to the facility, this inability would have a material adverse affect on our liquidity and our ability to comply with our loan covenants. We may determine that the value of an individual asset, or group of assets, was irrevocably impaired, and that we need to record a charge to write-down the value of the asset to reflect its current estimated value based on its intended use.
Our collegiate housing communities have previously been, and in the future may be, subject to impairment charges, which could adversely affect our results of operations.
We are required to periodically evaluate our properties for impairment indicators. A property’s value is considered impaired if management’s estimate of the aggregate future cash flows (undiscounted and without interest charges) to be generated by the property, based on its intended use, is less than the carrying value of the property. These estimates of cash flows are based on factors such as expected future operating income, trends and prospects, as well as the effects of interest and capitalization rates, demand and occupancy, competition and other factors. Ongoing adverse market and economic conditions and market volatility make it difficult to value our collegiate housing communities. These factors may result in uncertainty in valuation estimates and instability in the estimated value of our collegiate housing communities which, in turn, could result in a substantial decrease in the value of the communities and significant impairment charges.
We continually assess our collegiate housing communities to determine if any dispositions are necessary or appropriate. No assurance can be given that we will be able to recover the current carrying amount of our collegiate housing communities in the future. Our failure to do so would require us to recognize additional impairment charges for the period in which we reached that conclusion, which could materially and adversely affect us and our results of operations.
Variable rate debt is subject to interest rate risk.
We have mortgage and construction debt with varying interest rates dependent upon London InterBank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) plus an applicable margin. In addition, our Third Amended Revolver bore, and our Fourth Amended Revolver bears, interest at a variable rate on all amounts drawn under the facility. As of December 31, 2012, we had a total of $204.4 million outstanding in variable rate debt, or approximately 43%, of our total debt. We may incur additional variable rate debt in the future. Increases in interest rates on variable rate debt would increase our interest expense, unless we make arrangements that hedge the risk of rising interest rates, which would adversely affect net income and cash available for payment of our debt obligations and distributions to stockholders.
We may incur losses on interest rate hedging arrangements.
Periodically, we have entered into agreements to reduce the risks associated with changes in interest rates, and we may continue to do so in the future. Although these agreements may partially protect against rising interest rates, they may also reduce the benefits to us if interest rates decline. If a hedging arrangement is not indexed to the same rate as the indebtedness which is hedged, we may be exposed to losses to the extent which the rate governing the indebtedness and the rate governing the hedging arrangement change independently of each other. Additionally, nonperformance by the other party to the hedging arrangement may subject us to increased credit risks.
Broad market fluctuations could negatively impact the market price of our common stock.
As with other publicly traded equity securities, the value of our common stock depends on various market conditions, which may change from time to time. The stock market has recently experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations that have affected the market price of many companies in industries similar or related to ours and that are outside of management’s control. These broad market fluctuations could adversely impact the market price of our common stock. Accordingly, the market price of our common stock could change in ways that may or may not be related to our business, our industry or our operating performance and financial condition. Furthermore, our operating results and prospects may not meet the expectations of public market analysts and investors or may not be comparable to companies within our industry and with comparable market capitalizations. Any of these factors could lead to a material decline in the market price of our common stock.
Additional issuances of equity securities may be dilutive to stockholders.
The interests of our stockholders could be diluted if we issue additional equity securities to finance future developments or acquisitions or to repay indebtedness. Our Board of Directors may authorize the issuance of additional equity securities without stockholder approval. Our ability to execute our business strategy depends upon our access to an appropriate blend of debt financing, including revolving credit facilities and other forms of secured and unsecured debt, and equity financing, including the issuance of common equity.
We may reduce the amount of dividends declared on our common stock.
In order for EdR to continue to qualify as a REIT, we are required to distribute annual dividends generally equal to a minimum of 90% of our REIT taxable income, computed without regard to the dividends paid deduction and our net capital gains. However, in the event of material deterioration in business conditions or tightening in the credit markets, among other factors, our Board of Directors may decide to reduce the amount of our dividend while ensuring compliance with the requirements of the Code related to REIT qualification.
Risks Related to Our Organization and Structure
To maintain our REIT status, we may be forced to limit the activities of our Management Company and Development Company.
To maintain our status as a REIT, no more than 25% of the value of our total assets may consist of the securities of one or more taxable REIT subsidiaries, such as our Management Company and our Development Company. Some of our activities, such as our third-party management, development consulting and food services, must be conducted through our Management Company and Development Company for us to maintain our REIT qualification. In addition, certain non-customary services such as cleaning, transportation, security and, in some cases, parking, must be provided by one of our taxable REIT subsidiaries or an independent contractor. If the revenues from such activities create a risk that the value of our Management Company and other TRSs, based on revenues or otherwise, approaches the 25% threshold, we will be forced to curtail such activities or take other steps to remain under the 25% threshold. Because the 25% threshold is based on value, it is possible that the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, could successfully contend that the value of our Management Company and other TRSs exceed the 25% threshold even if our Management Company and other TRSs accounts for less than 25% of our consolidated revenues, income or cash flow, in which case our status as a REIT could be jeopardized.
Our charter contains restrictions on the ownership and transfer of our stock.
Our charter provides that, subject to certain exceptions, no person or entity may beneficially own, or be deemed to own by virtue of the applicable constructive ownership provisions of the Code, more than 9.8% (by value, by number of shares or by voting power, whichever is more restrictive) of the outstanding shares of our common stock or more than 9.8% (by value, by number of shares or by voting power, whichever is more restrictive) of the outstanding shares of our capital stock, including both common and preferred stock. We refer to these restrictions collectively as the “ownership limit.” Generally, if a beneficial owner of our shares exceeds the ownership limit, such owner will be effectively divested of all ownership rights with respect to shares exceeding the limit and may suffer a loss on such investment.
The constructive ownership rules under the Code are complex and may cause stock owned actually or constructively by a group of related individuals and/or entities to be owned constructively by one individual or entity. As a result, the acquisition of less than 9.8% of our stock (or the acquisition of an interest in an entity that owns, actually or constructively, our stock) by an individual or entity, could, nevertheless cause that individual or entity, or another individual or entity, to own constructively in excess of 9.8% of our outstanding common stock and thereby subject certain shares to the ramifications of exceeding the ownership limit. Our charter, however, permits exceptions to be made to this limitation if our Board of Directors determines that such exceptions will not jeopardize our tax status as a REIT. This ownership limit could delay, defer or prevent a change of control or other transaction that might otherwise result in a premium price for our common stock or otherwise be in the best interest of our stockholders.
Certain ownership limitations and anti-takeover provisions of our charter and bylaws may inhibit a change of our control.
Certain provisions contained in our charter and bylaws and the Maryland General Corporation Law may discourage a third party from making a tender offer or acquisition proposal to us, or could delay, defer or prevent a change in control or the removal of existing management. These provisions also may delay or prevent our stockholders from receiving a premium for their shares of common stock over then-prevailing market prices. These provisions include:
the REIT ownership limit described above;
authorization of the issuance of our preferred shares with powers, preferences or rights to be determined by our Board of Directors;
the right of our Board of Directors, without a stockholder vote, to increase our authorized shares and classify or reclassify unissued shares; and
advance notice requirements for stockholder nomination of directors and for other proposals to be presented at stockholder meetings.
The Maryland business statutes also impose potential restrictions on a change of control of EdR.
Various Maryland laws may have the effect of discouraging offers to acquire us, even if the acquisition would be advantageous to our stockholders. Our bylaws exempt us from some of those laws, such as the control share acquisition provisions, but our Board of Directors can change our bylaws at any time to make these provisions applicable to us.
We have the right to change some of our policies that may be important to our stockholders without stockholder consent.
Our major policies, including our policies with respect to investments, leverage, financing, growth, debt and capitalization, are determined by our Board of Directors or those committees or officers to whom our Board of Directors has delegated that authority. Our Board of Directors also establishes the amount of any distributions that we make to our stockholders. Our Board of Directors may amend or revise the foregoing policies, our distribution payment amounts and other policies from time to time without a stockholder vote. Accordingly, our stockholders may not have control over changes in our policies.
The ability of our Board of Directors to revoke our REIT election without stockholder approval may cause adverse consequences to our stockholders.
Our charter provides that our Board of Directors may revoke or otherwise terminate our REIT election, without the approval of our stockholders, if it determines that it is no longer in our best interests to continue to qualify as a REIT. If we cease to qualify as a REIT, we would become subject to federal income tax on our taxable income and would no longer be required to distribute most of our taxable income to our stockholders, which may have adverse consequences on the total return to our stockholders.
Our rights and the rights of our stockholders to take action against our directors and officers are limited.
Maryland law provides that a director or officer has no liability in that capacity if he or she performs his or her duties in good faith, in a manner he or she reasonably believes to be advisable and in our best interests and with the care that an ordinarily prudent person in a like position would use under similar circumstances. In addition, our charter eliminates our directors’ and officers’ liability to us and our stockholders for money damages except for liability resulting from actual receipt of an improper benefit in money, property or services or active and deliberate dishonesty established by a final judgment and that is material to the cause of action. Our bylaws require us to indemnify directors and officers for liability resulting from actions taken by them in those capacitates to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law. As a result, our stockholders and we may have more limited rights against our directors and officers than might otherwise exist under common law. In addition, we may be obligated to fund the defense costs incurred by our directors and officers.
Our success depends upon key personnel whose continued service is not guaranteed.
We depend upon the services of our key personnel, particularly Randy Churchey, President and Chief Executive Officer, Randall H. Brown, our Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Thomas Trubiana, our Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer, and Christine Richards, our Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Churchey’s considerable experience as a senior executive officer of publicly traded real estate companies, including REITs, prior service to EdR as a member of the Board of Directors and familiarity with our operational and organizational structure are critical to the oversight and implementation of our strategic initiatives and the evaluation of our operational performance. In addition, Mr. Brown possesses detailed knowledge of and experience with our financial and ancillary support operations that are critical to our operations and financial reporting obligations as a public company. Mr. Trubiana has been in the collegiate housing business for over 30 years, and has developed a network of contacts and a reputation that attracts business and investment opportunities and assists us in negotiations with universities, lenders and industry personnel. Ms. Richards possesses detailed knowledge of our property operations that is critical to the oversight of our communities’ performance and has considerable experience in the collegiate housing industry. We will continue to need to attract and retain qualified additional senior executive officers as we grow our business. The loss of the services of any of our senior executive officers, or our inability to recruit and retain qualified personnel could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial results.
Any weaknesses identified in our system of internal controls by us and our independent registered public accounting firm pursuant to Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 could have an adverse effect on our business.
Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 requires that public companies evaluate and report on their systems of internal control over financial reporting. In addition, our independent registered public accounting firm must report on management’s evaluation of those controls. In future periods, we may identify deficiencies in our system of internal controls over financial reporting that may require remediation. There can be no assurances that any such future deficiencies identified may not be material weaknesses that would be required to be reported in future periods.
Federal Income Tax Risks
Failure to qualify as a REIT would have significant adverse consequences to us and the value of our stock.
We intend to continue to be organized and to operate in a manner that will allow us to qualify as a REIT under the Code. We have not requested and do not plan to request a ruling from the IRS that we qualify as a REIT. If we lose our REIT status, we will face serious tax consequences that could substantially reduce the funds available for distribution to our stockholders for each year that we fail to qualify as a REIT because:
we would not be allowed a deduction for distributions to stockholders in computing our taxable income and, therefore, such amounts would be subject to federal income tax at regular corporate rates;
we also could be subject to the federal alternative minimum tax and possibly increased state and local taxes; and
unless we are entitled to relief under applicable statutory provisions, we could not elect to be taxed as a REIT for four taxable years following the year during which we were disqualified.
In addition, if we fail to qualify as a REIT, we will not be required to make distributions to stockholders. As a result of all these factors, our failure to qualify as a REIT could impair our ability to expand our business and raise capital and would adversely affect the value of our common stock.
Qualification as a REIT involves the application of highly technical and complex Code provisions for which there are only limited judicial and administrative interpretations. The complexity of these provisions and of the applicable Treasury Regulations that have been promulgated under the Code is greater in the case of a REIT that, like us, holds its assets through partnerships and limited liability companies. The determination of various factual matters and circumstances not entirely within our control may affect our ability to qualify as a REIT. In order to qualify as a REIT, we must satisfy a number of requirements, including requirements regarding the diversification of our assets and the sources of our gross income composition of our assets and two “gross income tests.” To satisfy the sources of gross income requirements, we must derive (a) at least 75% of our gross income in any year from qualified sources, such as “rents from real property,” mortgage interest, distributions from other REITs and gains from sale of such assets, and (b) at least 95% of our gross income from sources meeting the 75% gross income test above, and other passive investment sources, such as other interest and dividends and gains from sales of securities. Also, we must make distributions to stockholders aggregating annually at least 90% of our REIT taxable income, determined without regard to the deduction for dividends paid and excluding any net capital gains. In order to meet these requirements, we may be required to forgo investments we might otherwise make. Thus, compliance with the REIT requirements may hinder our performance. In addition, new legislation, regulations, administrative interpretations or court decisions may adversely affect our
investors, our ability to qualify as a REIT for federal income tax purposes or the desirability of an investment in a REIT relative to other investments.
We may be subject to federal and state income taxes that would harm our financial condition.
Even if we maintain our status as a REIT, we may become subject to federal and state income taxes. For example, if we recognize a gain from a sale of dealer property or inventory or if our Management Company enters into agreements with us or our tenants on a basis that is determined to be other than an arm’s length, that gain or income will be subject to a 100% penalty tax. If we believe that a sale of a property might be treated as a prohibited transaction, we will attempt to structure a sale through a taxable REIT subsidiary, in which case the gain from the sale would be subject to corporate income tax but not the 100% prohibited transaction tax. We cannot assure you, however, that the IRS would not assert successfully that sales of properties that we make directly, rather than through a taxable REIT subsidiary, were sales of dealer property or inventory, in which case the 100% penalty tax will apply. In addition, we may not be able to make sufficient distributions to avoid corporate income tax and/or the 4% excise tax on undistributded income. We may also be subject to state and local taxes on our income or property, either directly or at the level of our Operating Partnership or the University Towers Partnership or at a level of the other entities through which we indirectly own our properties that would aversely affect our operating results.
An investment in our common stock has various tax risks, including the treatment of distributions in excess of earnings and the inability to apply “passive losses” against distributions.
Distributions in excess of current and accumulated earnings and profits, to the extent that they exceed the adjusted basis of an investor’s common stock, will be treated as long-term capital gain (or short-term capital gain if the shares have been held for less than one year). Any gain or loss realized upon a taxable disposition of shares by a stockholder who is not a dealer in securities will be treated as a long-term capital gain or loss if the shares have been held for more than one year and otherwise will be treated as short-term capital gain or loss. Distributions that we properly designate as capital gain distributions (to the extent that they do not exceed our actual net capital gain for the taxable year) will be treated as taxable to stockholders as gains from the sale or disposition of a capital asset held for greater than one year. Distributions we make and gain arising from the sale or exchange by a stockholder of shares of our stock will not be treated as passive income, meaning stockholders generally will not be able to apply any “passive losses” against such income or gain.
Future distributions may include a significant portion as a return of capital.
Our distributions have historically exceeded, and may continue to exceed, the amount of our net income as a REIT. Any distributions in excess of a stockholder’s share of our current and accumulated earnings and profits will be treated as a return of capital to the extent of the stockholder’s basis in our stock, and the stockholder’s basis in our stock will be reduced by such amount. To the extent distributions exceed both the stockholder’s share of our current and accumulated earnings and profits and the stockholder’s basis in our stock, the stockholder will recognize capital gain, assuming the stock is held as a capital asset. If distributions by us result in a reduction of a stockholder’s adjusted basis in its stock, subsequent sales by such stockholder of its stock potentially will result in recognition of an increased capital gain or reduced capital loss due to the reduction in such stockholder’s adjusted basis in its stock.
The tax imposed on REITs engaging in “prohibited transactions” may limit our ability to engage in transactions which would be treated as sales for federal income tax purposes.
A REIT’s net income from prohibited transactions is subject to a 100% penalty tax. In general, prohibited transactions are sales or other dispositions of property, other than foreclosure property held in inventory primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business. Although we do not intend to hold any properties that would be characterized as inventory held for sale to customers in the ordinary course of our business, subject to certain statutory safe harbors, such characterization is a factual determination and no guarantee can be given that the IRS would agree with our characterization of our properties or that we will always be able to make use of the available safe harbors.
If our Operating Partnership fails to maintain its status as a partnership for federal income tax purposes, its income may be subject to corporate-level income taxation.
We intend for our Operating Partnership to maintain its status as a partnership for federal income tax purposes; however, if the IRS were to successfully challenge the status of our Operating Partnership as a partnership, our Operating Partnership would be taxable as a corporation. In such event, this would reduce the amount of distributions that our Operating Partnership could make to us. This could also result in our losing REIT status and becoming subject to a corporate-level income tax. This would substantially reduce our cash available to pay distributions to our stockholders. In addition, if any of the entities through which
our Operating Partnership owns its properties, in whole or in part, loses its characterization as a partnership for federal income tax purposes, it would be subject to taxation as a corporation, thereby reducing distributions to our Operating Partnership. Such a re-characterization of an underlying property owner could also threaten our ability to maintain REIT status.
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.
Item 2. Properties.
As of December 31, 2012, our owned portfolio consisted of 43 communities located in 22 states containing 25,003 beds in 8,494 apartment units located near 38 universities.
The majority of our owned portfolio are modern apartments that consist of collegiate housing units with fully-furnished private bedrooms and one or more bathrooms centered around a common area consisting of a fully-furnished living room, fully-equipped eat-in kitchen and washers/dryers. University Towers is a high-rise residence hall that has a cafeteria on the premises and no individual kitchens in the units. We provide food services through our Management Company to residents of University Towers. Our collegiate housing communities typically contain a swimming pool, recreational facilities and common areas, and each bedroom has individual locks, high-speed Internet access and cable television connections.
Our owned collegiate housing communities typically have the following characteristics:
median distance to campus of 0.2 miles;
median age of approximately 9 years;
designed specifically for students with modern unit plans and amenities; and
supported by our long-standing Community Assistant program and other student-oriented activities and services that enhance the college experience.
The following table provides certain summary information about our owned communities as of December 31, 2012, which are included in the collegiate housing leasing segment discussed in Note 11, “Segments” to our accompanying consolidated financial statements. All communities are owned in fee with the exception of University Village on Colvin, GrandMarc at the Corner and GrandMarc at Westberry Place, which are operated pursuant to ground leases.
December 31, 2012
Primary University Served
Owned and Operated
The District on 5th
University of Arizona
Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan
Kent State University
The Reserve at Athens
University of Georgia
Florida State University
The Suites at Overton Park
Texas Tech University
The Centre at Overton Park
Texas Tech University
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, North Carolina
The Pointe at South Florida
University of South Florida
Commons at Knoxville
University of Tennessee
Florida State University
The Reserve on Perkins
Oklahoma State University
The Pointe at Western
Western Michigan University
College Station at W. Lafayette
West Lafayette, Indiana
Commons on Kinnear
The Ohio State University
Pennsylvania State University
State College, Pennsylvania
The Reserve at Columbia
University of Missouri
University of Central Florida
The Reserve on West 31st
University of Kansas
University of Mississippi
University of South Carolina
Cayce, South Carolina
University of Florida
East Carolina University
Greenville, North Carolina
Middle Tennessee State University
December 31, 2012
Primary University Served
The Reserve on South College
The Avenue at Southern
Georgia Southern University
The Reserve at Saluki Pointe
Southern Illinois University
University Village on Colvin
Syracuse, New York
The Oaks on the Square
University of Connecticut
State University of West Georgia
Southeast Missouri State
Cape Girardeau, Missouri
State University of West Georgia
GrandMarc at the Corner
University of Virginia
University of Virginia
Syracuse, New York
University of Virginia
University of Alabama
University of California at Berkeley
University of Colorado
University Village Towers
University of California at Riverside
University of Notre Dame
South Bend, Indiana
GrandMarc at Westberry Place
Texas Christian University
Ft. Worth, Texas
The Reserve on Stinson
University of Oklahoma
Total owned properties
Average of the physical month-end occupancy rates.
Monthly revenue per available bed for 2012 is equal to total revenue, including tenant concessions, for the year ended December 31, 2012 divided by the sum of the total beds (including staff and model beds) at the property each month. For properties acquired during the year, monthly revenue per available bed equals total revenue for the period subsequent to acquisition through December 31, 2012 divided by the sum of the total beds (including staff and model beds) at the property each month while owned.
Revenues and revenue per available bed for University Towers excludes revenue from food service operations.
The first phase of The Reserve at Saluki Pointe, which included 528 beds, was completed in August 2008. The second phase, which included 240 beds, was completed in August 2009.
Represents average year for all properties in our wholly-owned portfolio.
Mortgage and Construction Indebtedness
The following table contains summary information concerning the mortgage and construction debt encumbering our owned communities as of December 31, 2012:
The Avenue at Southern/The Reserve at Columbia/ The Commons at Knoxville/College Grove
The Reserve at Athens
The Reserve at Perkins
The Suites at Overton Park
The Centre at Overton Park
College Station at W. Lafayette/The Pointe at Penn State/The Reserve at Star Pass
University Village Apartments on Colvin
Carrollton Crossing/The Commons on Kinnear
River Pointe/Cape Trails/The Reserve on South College
The Oaks on the Square
GrandMarc at Westberry Place
Total debt /weighted average rate
Total net of unamortized premium
Less current portion
Total long-term debt, net of current portion
(1) Represents construction debt that is interest only through the maturity date. See Note 10 to the accompanying consolidated financial statements for additional information regarding the extension periods related to construction debt.
The weighted average interest rate of the mortgage and construction indebtedness was 4.86% as of December 31, 2012. Each of these mortgages is a non-recourse obligation subject to customary exceptions. These loans generally do not allow prepayment prior to maturity. However, prepayment is allowed in certain cases subject to prepayment penalties. Each of the construction loans have a 100% repayment guarantee with the exception of Campus West and The Retreat, which have a 50% and 25% repayment guarantee, respectively, during construction. Once construction is complete, the repayment guarantee is 50% for both Oaks on the Square and ASU Phoenix, 25% for Campus West and 10% for The Retreat. The construction loans can be prepaid without penalty.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings.
In the normal course of business, we are subject to claims, lawsuits and legal proceedings. While it is not possible to ascertain the ultimate outcome of such matters, in management’s opinion, the liabilities, if any, in excess of amounts provided or covered by insurance, are not expected to have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations or liquidity.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.
Item 5. Market For Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.
Our common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “EDR.” There were approximately 522 holders of record of the 113,871,318 shares outstanding on February 22, 2013. On the same day, our common stock closed at $11.19. The following table provides information on the high and low sales prices for our common stock on the NYSE and the dividends declared for 2011 and 2012:
Since our initial quarter as a publicly-traded REIT, we have made regular quarterly distributions to our stockholders. We intend to continue to declare quarterly distributions. However, we cannot provide any assurance as to the amount or timing of future distributions. For a description of restrictions on EdR regarding the payment of distributions, see “Item 7 — Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Liquidity and Capital Resources — Revolving Credit Facility and Other Indebtedness,” “Item 7 — Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Distributions” and Note 10, “Debt,” to our accompanying consolidated financial statements.
To the extent that we make distributions in excess of our earnings and profits, as computed for federal income tax purposes, these distributions will represent a return of capital, rather than a dividend, for federal income tax purposes. Distributions that are treated as a return of capital for federal income tax purposes will reduce the stockholder’s basis in its shares (but not below zero) and therefore can result in the stockholder having a higher gain upon a subsequent sale of such shares. Return of capital distributions in excess of a stockholder’s basis generally will be treated as gain from the sale of such shares for federal income tax purposes.
Amended and Restated Dividend Reinvestment and Direct Stock Purchase Plan
In September 2012, the Trust adopted the Amended and Restated Dividend Reinvestment and Direct Stock Purchase Plan, or DRSPP, which offers the following:
automatic reinvestment of some or all of the cash distributions paid on common stock, shares of other classes of stock that we might issue in the future and units of limited partnership interest;
an opportunity to make an initial purchase of our common stock and to acquire additional shares over time; and
safekeeping of shares and accounting for distributions received and reinvested at no cost.
Shares of common stock purchased under the DRSPP will be either issued by EdR or acquired directly from third parties in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions. Subject to certain conditions and at our sole discretion, the discount from market prices, if any, on all shares of common stock purchased directly from us will range from 0% to 5%.
We will determine the source of shares available through the DRSPP based on market conditions, relative transaction costs and our need for additional capital. To the extent the DRSPP acquires shares of common stock directly from EdR, we will receive additional capital for general corporate purposes.
During the three months ended December 31, 2012, in connection with the DRSPP, we directed the plan administrator to purchase 668 shares of our common stock for $6,587 in the aggregate in the open market pursuant to the dividend reinvestment component of the DRSPP with respect to our dividend for the fourth quarter of 2012. We also directed the plan administrator to purchase 742 shares of our common stock for $7,600 in the aggregate in the open market for investors pursuant to the direct stock purchase component of the DRSPP. The following chart summarizes these purchases of our common stock for the three months ended December 31, 2012.
Paid per Share
of Shares Purchased
as Part of Publicly
Dollar Value) of
Shares that May
October 1 – 31, 2012
November 1 – 30, 2012
December 1 – 31, 2012
All shares of common stock were purchased in the open market pursuant to the terms of our DRSPP. Our Board of Directors authorized the issuance or purchase of 4,000,000 shares of common stock under the DRSPP.
COMPARISON OF 60 MONTH CUMULATIVE TOTAL RETURN*
Among Education Realty Trust, Inc., The S&P 500 Index
And The MSCI US REIT Index
The following graph compares the cumulative total return of our common stock to the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, or the S&P 500, and to the Morgan Stanley Capital International U.S. REIT Index, or the MSCI US REIT Index.
$100 invested on 12/31/07 in stock or in index, including reinvestment of dividends. Fiscal year ended December 31.
Education Realty Trust, Inc.
MSCI US REIT
We cannot assure you that our share performance will continue into the future with the same or similar trends depicted in the graph above. We will not make or endorse any predictions as to future share performance.
The performance comparisons noted in the graph shall not be deemed incorporated by reference by any general statement incorporating by reference this Annual Report on Form 10-K into any filing under the Securities Act or under the Exchange Act, except to the extent that we specifically incorporate this graph by reference, and shall not otherwise be deemed filed under the Securities Act and/or Exchange Act.
Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities
Item 6. Selected Financial Data.
The following table sets forth selected financial and operating data on a consolidated historical basis for EdR.
The following information presented below does not provide all of the information contained in our financial statements, including the related notes. You should read the information below in conjunction with the historical consolidated financial statements and related notes and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS DATA
Year Ended December 31,
(In thousands, except per share data)
Collegiate housing leasing revenue
Other leasing revenue
Third-party development services
Third-party management services
Operating expense reimbursements
Collegiate housing leasing operations
General and administrative
Depreciation and amortization
Ground lease expense
Loss on impairment
Reimbursable operating expenses
Total operating expenses
Income (loss) from continuing operations before equity in earnings (losses) of unconsolidated entities, income taxes and discontinued operations
Equity in earnings (losses) of unconsolidated entities
Income (loss) before income taxes and discontinued operations
Income tax expense (benefit)
Income (loss) from continuing operations
Income (loss) from operations of discontinued operations
Gain on sale of collegiate housing property
Income (loss) from discontinued operations
Net income (loss)
Less: Net income (loss) attributable to the noncontrolling interests
Net income (loss) attributable to Education Realty Trust, Inc.
Earnings per share information:
Income (loss) per share – basic and diluted
Net income (loss) per share
Weighted average common shares outstanding – basic and diluted
Distributions per common share
Amounts attributable to Education Realty Trust, Inc. – common stockholders:
Income (loss) from continuing operations, net of tax
Income (loss) from discontinued operations, net of tax
Net income (loss)
BALANCE SHEET DATA
As of December 31,
Collegiate housing properties, net
Other assets, net
Liabilities and equity:
Mortgage and construction notes payable
Redeemable noncontrolling interests
Total liabilities and equity
OTHER DATA (UNAUDITED)
As of December 31,
(In thousands, except per share data and selected property information)
Funds from operations (FFO)(1):
Net income (loss) attributable to Education Realty Trust, Inc.
Gain on sale of collegiate housing property
Loss on sale of collegiate housing assets
Collegiate housing property depreciation and amortization of lease intangibles
Equity portion of real estate depreciation and amortization on equity investees
Equity portion of loss on sale of collegiate housing property on equity investee
Funds from operations available to all share and unitholders
Other adjustments to FFO:
Development cost write-off, net of tax benefit
Ground lease straightline
Reorganization/severance costs, net of tax