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Kimco's Puerto Rico assets back in business, execs say

Kimco Realty Corp.'s shopping centers in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico are performing again, with most tenants' businesses back up and running, the real estate investment trust's management said.

"They all have power again," CFO Glenn Cohen said of the company's seven properties on the island, on a Feb. 15 earnings call. "There's a lot of heavy traffic at the assets, and we're ... 94.7% occupied today. The properties are actually starting to perform well again."

CEO Conor Flynn pointed to an increase in demand in Puerto Rico, which he attributed to the company's efficiency and access to capital at the property level. Retailer tenants have left the properties of landlords with fewer resources, he said.

"There's a lot of retailers that have come to us that have not been able to rebuild, or [they] have a landlord that's not well capitalized to get back open and operating. So we've eventually gotten some increased demand from retailers looking to come to our centers," Flynn said.

The company's same-property net operating income took a 120-basis-point hit in the 2017 fourth quarter and a 30-basis-point hit in the full-year calculation as a result of business disrupted by Hurricane Maria. Beginning in 2018, Kimco will exclude its Puerto Rico assets from its net operating income calculation.

Cohen estimated that the company will receive "a couple of million dollars" in insurance proceeds in 2018 from the damage, which should help bridge the roughly $2.5 million to $3.0 million year-over-year decline in net operating income.

Kimco's seven properties in Puerto Rico comprise roughly 2.2 million square feet, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data.