National Retail Properties “Very Happy” with its Convenience Store Portfolio

Jay Whitehurst, CEO of National Retail Properties (NYSE: NNN), participated in a video interview at Nareit’s REITworld: 2018 Annual Conference in San Francisco.

Whitehurst said National Retail has a broadly diversified portfolio that includes many different lines of trade, including convenience stores. “We own over 600 convenience stores [and] lease to dozens of tenants in around 30 states,” he said. “It’s a very safe, secure, broadly spread out group of small properties.”

Whitehurst said National Retail’s convenience store tenants include large operators like 7-Eleven, Sunoco, and Circle K, and that the company is “very happy with that type of real estate.”

“Those are well-located corners with good access, and good signage, and good visibility. That leads to a high occupancy rate over time with those kinds of properties,” he said, adding that convenience store concentration is about 18 percent of the company’s current portfolio.

Regarding how National Retail has positioned itself to execute its strategy in a rising interest rate environment, Whitehurst said the company has focused on maintaining a low leverage balance sheet. “Our debt right now is almost completely fixed-rate long-term debt on our balance sheet,” he said.

Whitehurst added that National Retail’s guidance for 2018 is for $600 million to $700 million of acquisitions and that the company expects to be on target for that.

“Our guidance for next year is at about the same level of acquisitions,” he said.