David Nunes, president and CEO of Rayonier (NYSE: RYN), joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight video interview at REITWeek 2016: NAREIT’s Investor Forum at the Waldorf Astoria New York.
Rayonier owns, leases or manages approximately 2.7 million acres of working timber forests in the United States and New Zealand.
Nunes explained that Rayonier’s upgrade of its Pacific Northwest portfolio came about because of an existing imbalance in timber age classes, which produced a lower harvest. The upgrade involved Rayonier teaming up with a timber investment management organization to buy Menasha Forest Products Corp. The acquisition substantially boosted the share of older timber in the portfolio. At the same time, Rayonier divested 55,000 acres in Washington.
As a result of the changes, next year’s harvest is projected to increase to 1.3 million tons from 1 million tons, Nunes noted. The company will also be able to fully fund its dividend next year, he added.
Nunes also commented on pricing conditions in its Pacific Northwest and Southeastern markets and Rayonier’s decision to increase its stake in a New Zealand joint venture. Nunes pointed out that New Zealand provides important diversification benefits for the portfolio. Additionally, it allows access into a subset of China’s market and markets in South Korea and India.