FFO Gains Fueled by External Growth, Says National Retail CEO

Craig Macnab, CEO of National Retail Properties, Inc. (NYSE: NNN), joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight video interview at REITWorld 2015: NAREIT’s Annual Convention for All Things REIT at the Wynn Las Vegas.

As of the third quarter of 2015, National Retail’s funds from operations (FFO) were 8.5 percent higher than the year before. Macnab said the gains resulted from maintaining a portfolio that’s about 99 percent occupied.

However, with portfolio rents growing by about 1.5 percent per annum, external growth is the main driver of FFO gains, according to Macnab.  In 2014, the company bought a little more than $600 million of real estate. “This year, we are getting all of the rent from that,” he said.

National Retail purchased more than $560 million in 2015; Macnab said he expects 2016 to be “another good year” for acquisitions.

As for the net lease acquisitions market in 2016, Macnab noted that the “feeding frenzy” seen earlier in 2015 appears to have calmed. As a result, “our pipeline is good, and pricing is going to be a little more rational. I think the environment is good for all of us who are still in the game,” he said.

Turning to the broader economic outlook, Macnab observed that the “rising tide is probably not going to lift the boat the way it has the last couple of years.”