CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. (NYSE:CBL) announced results for the fourth quarter and year ended Dec. 31, 2013, including a $2.4 million net loss.
“Two of our major priorities for 2013 were improving the performance of our portfolio and strengthening our balance sheet,” said Stephen Lebovitz, president and CEO of CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. “In the fourth quarter, we saw progress in both of these areas with over 2.1 million square feet of leases signed - including double-digit new lease spreads and solid renewal increases, the opening of our lifestyle shops expansion at Cross Creek Mall (Fayetteville, NC), successful execution of our $450 million debut unsecured notes offering, and FFO growth in line with expectations. While remaining at historically high levels, occupancy did not increase incrementally as much as we had hoped and NOI growth was below what we had anticipated for the quarter. This near-term disappointment aside, the underlying strength of our portfolio and our demonstrated ability to source attractive growth opportunities provided the foundation for a 6.5% increase in our common dividend.
“The multi-year plan to transition CBL’s portfolio to a higher growth profile is our top priority in 2014. Redevelopments at our more productive assets and new outlet center developments will once again be a major focus for us after an active year in 2013. Our leasing efforts are concentrated on upgrading our tenant mix as we build on 650,000 square feet of big box and junior anchor space opened during the past year and the 450,000 square feet already executed for 2014. The pruning of our portfolio, which began in earnest last September with the sale of three malls and their associated centers, will continue this year, which will enable our higher performing malls to have a greater impact on overall results. Our investment grade balance sheet also gives us the flexibility to execute these strategies with significant availability on our unsecured lines of credit, a growing unencumbered asset pool and access to attractive sources of capital.”
Net loss attributable to common shareholders for the fourth quarter of 2013 was $2.4 million, or a loss of $0.01 per diluted share, compared with net income of $52.4 million, or $0.33 per diluted share for the fourth quarter of 2012.
Net income attributable to common shareholders for 2013 was $40.3 million, or $0.24 per diluted share, compared with net income of $84.1 million, or $0.54 per diluted share for 2012. During the fourth quarter 2013, the Company recorded an impairment charge of $47.2 million related to Madison Square in Huntsville, AL, to write the depreciated book value of the asset down to current fair value. The impairment charge impacted net income in the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2013.
In November 2013, CBL’s Board of Directors declared a 6.5% increase in the quarterly cash dividend for the Company’s Common Stock to $0.245 per share for the quarter ending December 31, 2013. The increased quarterly dividend represents an annualized dividend rate of $0.98 per share compared with the previous annualized dividend rate of $0.92 per share. The dividend was payable on January 15, 2014, to shareholders of record as of December 30, 2013.