Jay Whitehurst, president and CEO of National Retail Properties, Inc. (NYSE: NNN), joined REIT.com for a video interview at REITWeek 2017: NAREIT’s Investor Forum at the New York Hilton Midtown.
Whitehurst assumed the role of CEO in April. His predecessor, Craig Macnab, held the CEO position since 2004.
Whitehurst pointed out that the portfolio’s occupancy rate stands at about 99 percent today - above the long-term occupancy rate of 98 percent.
National Retail owns 2,500 single-tenant, broadly diversified retail properties across the United States, Whitehurst noted. The properties are small, with an average value of about $2.8 million, he added.
Whitehurst described the company’s portfolio as “extremely healthy” due to its focus on customer services and experiences.
Meanwhile, Whitehurst noted that the company has set an acquisition guidance for 2017 of $500 million to $600 million. As of the end of April, National Retail had bought $250 million of assets, “so we’re off to a very good start for this year,” he said.
The company is also on track to dispose of about $100 million in assets this year, Whitehurst said.
Whitehurst stressed that the company’s main goal is to generate repetitive, consistent multi-year funds from operations (FFO) per share growth of around 5 percent.
“We’re very comfortable we can do it this year. We’re very comfortable we can do it next year,” Whitehurst said.
“If we continue to do that on a multi-year basis, we will beat the REIT averages over the long term and deliver above-average returns while taking below-average risks,” Whitehurst said.