The Prologis, Inc. (NYSE:PLD) earnings train rolled on in the third quarter seemingly impervious to the economic and geopolitical uncertainty around it.
The world’s largest logistics real estate owner, developer and operator reported October 15 that core funds from operations came in at 97 cents per diluted share, up from 72 cents per share in the year-earlier quarter. The 2019 results exceeded analysts’ average estimates by 4 cents a share, according to Barchart. The results included 18 cents a share of “net promote income” generated by Prologis’ “strategic capital” venture program; it raised a record $1.6 billion in capital for open-ended projects. The 2018 quarter did not have any such income.
The company also boosted full-year core funds guidance to a range of $3.30 to $3.32 a share from $3.26 to $3.30 a share. The consensus estimate had been $3.28 a share. The company will share 2020 guidance at an investor day early next month.
Net earnings per diluted share rose to 71 cents a share compared to 60 cents, the San Francisco-based company said. Revenue of $712 million was up 16.5% year-on-year, though it missed estimates by $3.72 million, according to website Seeking Alpha.
Occupancy rates dipped to 96.5% from 97.5% in the year-earlier period as Prologis emphasized higher rent flows over occupancy, it said. Rents jumped considerably year-on-year, led by the U.S. market, which company executives said remains strong.
With a portfolio of nearly 800 million square feet in 19 countries, Prologis is a proxy of the health of the global industrial real estate market, particularly the portion of the industrial market focusing on logistics. Fundamentals in the United States, Europe and Japan are healthy, company executives said on the analyst call. Rent growth in continental Europe is the strongest it’s been in a decade, executives said.
Rental rates continue to outperform, and the company has seen no fallout from the various trade disputes, executives said. The same trade-related uncertainty that adversely affects the outlook for some of its transport and logistics customers works to Prologis’ benefit because the lack of clarity often requires businesses to hold additional stock to protect against any changes in the landscape, such as higher tariffs, said Hamad R. Moghadam, Prologis’ CEO.
Executives on the call said there is nothing to indicate a near-term reversal in any of the trends affecting their markets.
Prologis continues to benefit from the growth in e-commerce fulfillment as companies seek industrial locations that are closer to their customers to offset supply chain costs such as labor and transportation. Demand is solid across property types of all sizes, company executives said. Smaller-size properties more suited for e-commerce fulfillment have the best potential for rent growth, company executives said. Those comments dovetail with recent industry projections of strong demand for the smaller buildings that will not resemble the traditional industrial warehouses.
At mid-afternoon, the price of Prologis’ shares had hit a 52-week high of $88.81 a share, up $2.55 a share.
(Editor’s note: Prologis is an investor in FreightWaves)