Realty Income Corporation, The Monthly Dividend Company®, is a Maryland corporation organized to operate as an equity real estate investment trust, or REIT. Our primary business objective is to generate dependable monthly cash distributions from a consistent and predictable level of funds from operations, or FFO, per share. Our monthly distributions are supported by the cash flow from our portfolio of retail properties leased to regional and national retail chains. We have in-house acquisition, leasing, legal, credit research, real estate research, portfolio management and capital markets expertise. Over the past 40 years, Realty Income and its predecessors have been acquiring and owning freestanding retail properties that generate rental revenue under long-term lease agreements (primarily 15 to 20 years).
In addition, we seek to increase distributions to common stockholders and FFO per share through both active portfolio management and the acquisition of additional properties. Our portfolio management focus includes:
● Contractual rent increases on existing leases;
● Rent increases at the termination of existing leases, when market conditions permit; and
● The active management of our property portfolio, including re-leasing vacant properties and selectively selling properties, thereby mitigating our exposure to certain tenants and markets.
In acquiring additional properties, we adhere to a focused strategy of primarily acquiring properties that are:
●Freestanding, single-tenant, retail locations;
●Leased to regional and national retail chains; and
●Leased under long-term, net-lease agreements.
At December 31, 2009, we owned a diversified portfolio:
●Of 2,339 retail properties;
●With an occupancy rate of 96.8%, or 2,264 properties occupied and only 75 properties available for lease;
●Leased to 118 different retail chains doing business in 30 separate retail industries;
●Located in 49 states;
●With over 19.1 million square feet of leasable space; and
●With an average leasable retail space per property of approximately 8,200 square feet.
Of the 2,339 properties in the portfolio, 2,328, or 99.5%, are single-tenant, retail properties and the remaining 11 are multi-tenant, distribution and office properties. At December 31, 2009, of the 2,328 single-tenant properties, 2,254 were leased with a weighted average remaining lease term (excluding extension options) of approximately 11.2 years.
In addition, at December 31, 2009, our wholly-owned taxable REIT subsidiary, Crest Net Lease, Inc. ("Crest"), had an inventory of three properties valued at $3.8 million, which are classified as held for sale. Crest was created to buy and sell properties, primarily to individual investors who are involved in tax-deferred exchanges under Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the "Code"). In addition to the three properties, Crest also holds notes receivable on properties previously sold of $22.2 million at
December 31, 2009.
We typically acquire retail store properties under long-term leases with retail chain store operators. These transactions generally provide capital to owners of retail real estate and retail chains for expansion or other corporate purposes. Our acquisition and investment activities are concentrated in well-defined target markets and generally focus on retail chains providing goods and services that satisfy basic consumer needs.
Our net-lease agreements generally:
●Are for initial terms of 15 to 20 years;
●Require the tenant to pay minimum monthly rent and property operating expenses (taxes, insurance and maintenance); and
●Provide for future rent increases based on increases in the consumer price index (typically subject to ceilings), fixed increases, or additional rent calculated as a percentage of the tenants’ gross sales above a specified level.
We commenced operations as a REIT on August 15, 1994 through the merger of 25 public and private real estate limited partnerships. Each of the partnerships was formed between 1970 and 1989 for the purpose of acquiring and managing long-term, net-leased properties.
The seven senior officers of Realty Income owned 1.1% of our outstanding common stock with a market value of $28.9 million at February 8, 2010. The directors and seven senior officers of Realty Income, as a group, owned 1.3% of our outstanding common stock with a market value of $35.6 million at February 8, 2010.
Our common stock is listed on The New York Stock Exchange ("NYSE") under the ticker symbol "O" with a cusip number of 756109-104. Our central index key number is 726728.
Our Class D cumulative redeemable preferred stock is listed on the NYSE under the ticker symbol "OprD" with a cusip number of 756109-609.
Our Class E cumulative redeemable preferred stock is listed on the NYSE under the ticker symbol "OprE" with a cusip number of 756109-708.
In February 2010, we had 72 employees as compared to 69 employees in February 2009.
We maintain an Internet website at www.realtyincome.com. On our website we make available, free of charge, copies of our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, Form 3s, Form 4s, Form 5s, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports, as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file these reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC.
BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY AND STRATEGY
Historically, we have met our long-term capital needs through the issuance of common stock, preferred stock and long-term unsecured notes and bonds. Over the long term, we believe that common stock should be the majority of our capital structure. However, we may issue additional preferred stock or debt securities from time to time. We may issue common stock when we believe that our share price is at a level that allows for the proceeds of any offering to be accretively invested into additional properties. In addition, we may issue common stock to permanently finance properties that were financed by our credit facility or debt securities. However, we cannot assure you that we will have access to the capital markets at times and at terms that are acceptable to us.
We believe that owning an actively managed, diversified portfolio of retail properties under long-term, net leases produces consistent and predictable income. Net leases typically require the tenant to be responsible for monthly rent and property operating expenses including property taxes, insurance and maintenance. In addition, tenants are typically responsible for future rent increases based on increases in the consumer price index (typically subject to ceilings), fixed increases or additional rent calculated as a percentage of the tenants' gross sales above a specified level. We believe that a portfolio of properties under long-term leases, coupled with the tenant's responsibility for property expenses, generally produces a more predictable income stream than many other types of real estate portfolios, while continuing to offer the potential for growth in rental income.
When identifying new properties for acquisition, our focus is generally on providing capital to retail chain owners and operators by acquiring, then leasing back, retail store locations. We categorize retail tenants as: 1) venture market, 2) middle market, and 3) upper market. Venture companies typically offer a new retail concept in one geographic region of the country and operate between five and 50 retail locations. Middle market retail chains typically have 50 to 500 retail locations, operations in more than one geographic region, have been successful through one or more economic cycles, and have a proven, replicable concept. The upper market retail chains typically consist of companies with 500 or more locations, operating nationally, in a proven, mature retail concept. Upper market retail chains generally have strong operating histories and access to several sources of capital.
We generally provide sale-leaseback financing to less than investment grade retail chains. We typically acquire and lease back properties to regional and national retail chains and believe that within this market we can achieve an attractive risk-adjusted return on the financing we provide to retailers. Since 1970, our overall weighted average occupancy rate at the end of each year has been 98.3%, and our occupancy rate at the end of each year has never been below 96%.
We seek to invest in industries in which several, well-organized, regional and national retail chains are capturing market share through service, quality control, economies of scale, advertising and the selection of prime retail locations. We execute our acquisition strategy by acting as a source of capital to regional and national retail chain store owners and operators, doing business in a variety of industries, by acquiring and leasing back retail store locations. We undertake thorough research and analysis to identify what we consider to be appropriate industries, tenants and property locations for investment. Our research expertise is fundamental to uncovering net-lease opportunities in markets where our real estate financing program adds value.
Portfolio Management Strategy
The active management of the property portfolio is an essential component of our long-term strategy. We continually monitor our portfolio for any changes that could affect the performance of the industries, tenants and locations in which we have invested. We also regularly analyze our portfolio with a view toward optimizing its returns and enhancing its credit quality. Our executives review industry research, tenant research, property due diligence and significant portfolio management activities.