News Column

People storing things boosts Sovran's profits

May 1, 2014

By David Robinson, The Buffalo News, N.Y.



May 01--Sovran Self Storage's units are filling up, allowing the Williamsville-based company to charge higher rents at its Uncle Bob's self storage sites. That's been good for the company's earnings.

Sovran's first-quarter earnings jumped by 14 percent, buoyed by a 6 percent increase in rents and occupancy levels that strengthened to 89.4 percent at stores that have been open for at least a year, up from 86 percent a year ago.

"We had a strong first quarter," said David Rogers, Sovran's chief executive officer, who noted that the company had fewer customers move out of their units during the first three months of this year than during the same period in previous years. "This enabled us to maintain high occupancies throughout the slow leasing season and it set us up well for the busy months to come."

Sovran executives also said they expect the company's earnings to rise even faster than they initially projected this year, predicting that the company's funds from operations this year will rise to between $4.25 and $4.29 per share, up about 15 percent from $3.72 per share last year and about 6 cents per share more than the firm's guidance in late February.

During the first quarter, Sovran's funds from operations rose to $28.7 million, or 88 cents per share, from $25.3 million, or 82 cents per share, a year ago. Excluding expenses associated with acquisitions, which reduced Sovran's earnings by $2.8 million during the latest quarter and by $500,000 a year ago, the company's funds from operations rose to 98 cents per share from 84 cents a year earlier, which was stronger than the company's guidance of 95 cents.

Sovran's shared closed at $75.90 on Wednesday.

email: drobinson@buffnews.com

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Source: Buffalo News (NY)