Equity Residential reported FFO declines for the fourth quarter and full year 2016, largely because of property sales during the year, and said same-store revenue growth will continue to weaken in 2017.
For the fourth quarter, FFO available to common shares and units totaled $305.2 million, or 80 cents per share, compared to $351.6 million, or 92 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Normalized FFO came to $303.4 million, or 79 cents per share, compared to $353.9 million, or 93 cents per share, a year earlier.
For the full year 2016, FFO totaled $1.12 billion, or $2.94 per share, compared to $1.33 billion, or $3.48 per share, in 2015. Normalized FFO totaled $1.18 billion, or $3.09 per share, compared to $1.32 billion, or $3.46 per share, a year earlier.
The S&P Capital IQ consensus FFO-per-share estimates for the fourth quarter and full year 2016 were 79 cents and $3.08, respectively.
In a statement, President and CEO David Neithercut cited the company's track record of what he called successful capital allocation, including the sale of 98 properties containing 29,440 apartment units in 2016, and the return to shareholders of roughly $4.0 billion in the form of a special dividend.
"From an operating perspective, same store revenue growth which began to slow in 2016 will continue to weaken in 2017 due to new apartment supply and slowing growth in higher paying jobs," Neithercut said, adding that long-term demographic trends favor the company's portfolio.
Same-store NOI grew by 1.9% year over year in the fourth quarter and by 3.9% for the full year 2016.
For the first quarter, the company said it expects FFO per share in the range of 68 cents to 72 cents and normalized FFO per share in the range of 71 cents to 75 cents. For the full year, the company expects FFO per share in the range of $3.01 to $3.11 and normalized FFO per share in the range of $3.05 to $3.15.
The S&P Capital IQ consensus FFO-per-share estimates for the first quarter and full year 2017 are 76 cents and $3.17, respectively.