Highwoods Properties reported late Tuesday first-quarter earnings that beat the estimates of Wall Street analysts by a penny.
The Raleigh real estate investment trust's funds from operations, a profitability measure for REITs, was 72 cents per share, including a $763,000 gain the company received from a land sale. That was just above the 71 cents that was the consensus of Wall Street analysts who cover the company.
Highwoods’ office occupancy rose to 91.9 percent in the first quarter, compared with 89.2 percent during the same period a year ago.
The company raised its full-year FFO guidance for 2015 from between $2.95 to $3.06 per share to between $2.97 to $3.07 per share.
Highwoods is the largest office landlord in the Triangle, with 5 million square feet. The company leased 1.3 million square feet of space across its markets during the quarter with an average lease term of 8.3 years. The net effective rents of those leases was $14.69 per square foot, a 13 percent increase over last year’s weighted average for its leases.
Highwoods also completed two new development projects in the Triangle that totaled $89 million in investment: The GlenLake V office building at the company’s GlenLake office park in Raleigh and the first of two office buildings planned for a new MetLife campus in Cary.
The GlenLake building is now 53 percent leased, while MetLife is leasing 100 percent of both the Cary buildings Highwoods is building for the insurer.
Highwoods still has $440 million in new development project in its pipeline. Those projects encompass 1.4 million square feet of space that is 88 percent preleased.
Highwoods reported earnings after the markets closed Tuesday. Earlier, the company’s stock closed at $44.97, down 14 cents. The shares are up 1.5 percent this year.