QUARTERLY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the quarterly period ended June 30, 2019
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from to
Commission file number: 001-11312
COUSINS PROPERTIES INCORPORATED
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
3344 Peachtree Road NE
(Address of principal executive offices)
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, $1 par value per share
New York Stock Exchange
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes☑ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes☑ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer”, “smaller reporting company”, and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer
Smaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).
Yes ☐ No ☑
Indicate the number of shares outstanding of each of the issuer’s classes of common stock, as of the latest practicable date.
Certain matters contained in this report are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the federal securities laws and are subject to uncertainties and risks, as itemized in Item 1A included in the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018, in the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended March 31, 2019, and as itemized herein. These forward-looking statements include information about possible or assumed future results of the business and our financial condition, liquidity, results of operations, plans, and objectives. They also include, among other things, statements regarding subjects that are forward-looking by their nature, such as:
2019 guidance and underlying assumptions;
business and financial strategy;
future debt financings;
future acquisitions and dispositions of operating assets;
future acquisitions and dispositions of land, including ground leases;
future development and redevelopment opportunities, including fee development opportunities;
future issuances and repurchases of common stock;
projected capital expenditures;
market and industry trends;
entry into new markets;
future changes in interest rates;
the benefits of the merger with TIER REIT, Inc. ("TIER"), including all future financial and operating results, plans, objectives, expectations, and intentions;
benefits of the transactions with TIER to tenants, employees, stockholders, and other constituents of the combined company;
integrating TIER with us; and
all statements that address operating performance, events, or developments that we expect or anticipate will occur in the future — including statements relating to creating value for stockholders.
Any forward-looking statements are based upon management's beliefs, assumptions, and expectations of our future performance, taking into account information that is currently available. These beliefs, assumptions, and expectations may change as a result of possible events or factors, not all of which are known. If a change occurs, our business, financial condition, liquidity, and results of operations may vary materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements. Actual results may vary from forward-looking statements due to, but not limited to, the following:
the availability and terms of capital;
the ability to refinance or repay indebtedness as it matures;
the failure of purchase, sale, or other contracts to ultimately close;
the failure to achieve anticipated benefits from acquisitions, investments, or dispositions;
the potential dilutive effect of common stock or operating partnership unit issuances;
the availability of buyers and pricing with respect to the disposition of assets;
changes in national and local economic conditions, the real estate industry, and the commercial real estate markets in which we operate (including supply and demand changes), particularly in Atlanta, Charlotte, Austin, Phoenix, Tampa, and Dallas where we have high concentrations of our lease revenue;
changes to our strategy with regard to land and other non-core holdings that require impairment losses to be recognized;
leasing risks, including the ability to obtain new tenants or renew expiring tenants, the ability to lease newly developed and/or recently acquired space, the failure of a tenant to occupy leased space, and the risk of declining leasing rates;
changes in the needs of our tenants brought about by the desire for co-working arrangements, trends toward utilizing less office space per employee, and the effect of telecommuting;
any adverse change in the financial condition of one or more of our major tenants;
volatility in interest rates and insurance rates;
competition from other developers or investors;
the risks associated with real estate developments (such as zoning approval, receipt of required permits, construction delays, cost overruns, and leasing risk);
cyber security breaches;
changes in senior management and the loss of key personnel;
the potential liability for uninsured losses, condemnation, or environmental issues;
the potential liability for a failure to meet regulatory requirements;
the financial condition and liquidity of, or disputes with, joint venture partners;
any failure to comply with debt covenants under credit agreements;
any failure to continue to qualify for taxation as a real estate investment trust and meet regulatory requirements;
potential changes to state, local, or federal regulations applicable to our business;
material changes in the rates or the ability to pay dividends on common shares or other securities;
potential changes to the tax laws impacting REITs and real estate in general;
the ability to successfully integrate our operations and employees in connection with the merger with TIER;
the ability to realize anticipated benefits and synergies of the merger with TIER;
the amount of the costs, fees, expenses, and charges related to the merger with TIER; and
those additional risks and factors discussed in reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) by the Company and TIER, and those additional risks and factors discussed in reports filed with the SEC by the Company.
The words “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “estimates,” “plans,” “may,” “intend,” “will,” or similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Although we believe that our plans, intentions, and expectations reflected in any forward-looking statements are reasonable, we can give no assurance that such plans, intentions, or expectations will be achieved. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of future events, new information, or otherwise, except as required under U.S. federal securities laws.
NOTES TO CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
June 30, 2019
1. DESCRIPTION OF BUSINESS AND BASIS OF PRESENTATION
Description of Business
Cousins Properties Incorporated (“Cousins”), a Georgia corporation, is a publicly traded (NYSE: CUZ), self-administered, and self-managed real estate investment trust (“REIT”). Cousins conducts substantially all of its operations through Cousins Properties LP ("CPLP"). Cousins owns approximately 99% of CPLP and consolidates CPLP. Cousins TRS Services LLC ("CTRS"), which is wholly owned by CPLP, is a taxable entity which owns and manages its own real estate portfolio and performs certain real estate related services for other parties. Cousins, CPLP, CTRS, and their subsidiaries are hereinafter referred to collectively as "the Company."
The Company develops, acquires, leases, manages, and owns Class A office and mixed-use properties in Sun Belt markets with a focus on Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, Arizona, and Florida. Cousins has elected to be taxed as a REIT and intends to, among other things, distribute 100% of its net taxable income to stockholders, thereby eliminating any liability for federal income taxes under current law. Therefore, the results included herein do not include a federal income tax provision for Cousins.
Basis of Presentation
The condensed consolidated financial statements are unaudited and were prepared by the Company in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”) for interim financial information and in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). In the opinion of management, these financial statements reflect all adjustments necessary (which adjustments are of a normal and recurring nature) for the fair presentation of the Company's financial position as of June 30, 2019 and the results of operations for the three and six months endedJune 30, 2019 and 2018. The results of operations for the three and six months endedJune 30, 2019 are not necessarily indicative of results expected for the full year. Certain information and footnote disclosures normally included in financial statements prepared in accordance with GAAP have been condensed or omitted pursuant to the rules and regulations of the SEC. These condensed consolidated financial statements should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto included in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018. The accounting policies employed are substantially the same as those shown in note 2 to the consolidated financial statements included therein.
For the three and six months endedJune 30, 2019 and 2018, there were no items of other comprehensive income. Therefore, no presentation of comprehensive income is required. Additionally, certain subtotals within the condensed consolidated statements of operations for the three and six months ended June 30, 2018 were removed to conform to the current period presentation.
On June 14, 2019, the Company restated and amended its articles of incorporation to effect a reverse stock split of the issued and outstanding shares of its common and preferred stock pursuant to which (1) each four shares of the Company's issued and outstanding common stock were combined into one share of the Company's common or preferred stock, respectively, and (2) the authorized number of the Company's common stock was proportionally reduced to 175 million shares. Fractional shares of common stock resulting from the reverse stock split were settled in cash. Fractional shares of preferred stock resulting from the reverse stock split were redeemed without payout. Immediately thereafter, the Company further amended its articles of incorporation to increase the number of authorized shares of its common stock from 175 million to 300 million shares. All shares of common stock, stock options, restricted stock units, and per share information presented in the consolidated financial statements have been adjusted to reflect the reverse stock split on a retroactive basis for all periods presented.
The Company reclassified lease termination fees from other revenues to rental property revenues on the consolidated statements of operations as a result of the adoption of Accounting Standards Update ("ASU") 2016-02, "Leases," ("ASC 842"). The prior period amounts were reclassified to conform to the current period presentation.
The Company evaluates all partnerships, joint ventures, and other arrangements with variable interests to determine if the entity or arrangement qualifies as a variable interest entity ("VIE"), as defined in the Financial Accounting Standard Board's ("FASB") Accounting Standards Codification ("ASC"). If the entity or arrangement qualifies as a VIE and the Company is determined to be the primary beneficiary, the Company is required to consolidate the assets, liabilities, and results of operations of the VIE.
In the first quarter of 2019, the Company transferred the right to acquire a building to a special purpose entity to facilitate a potential Section 1031 exchange under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and the special purpose entity acquired the building. To realize the tax deferral available under Section 1031, the Company must complete the exchange and relinquish title to the to-be-exchanged building within 180 days of the purchase date. The Company has determined that this special purpose entity is a VIE, and the Company
is the primary beneficiary. Therefore, the Company consolidates this entity. As of June 30, 2019, this VIE had total assets of $92.3 million, no significant liabilities, and no significant cash flows.
Recently Issued Accounting Standards
On January 1, 2019, the Company adopted ASC 842, which amended the previous standard for lease accounting by requiring lessees to record most leases on their balance sheets and making targeted changes to lessor accounting and reporting. The new standard requires lessees to record a right-of-use asset and a lease liability for leases and classify such leases as either finance or operating leases based on the principle of whether the lease is effectively a financed purchase of the leased asset by the lessee. The classification of the leases determines whether the lease expense is recognized based on an effective interest method (finance leases) or on a straight-line basis over the term of the lease (operating leases). The new standard also revised the treatment of indirect leasing costs and permits the capitalization and amortization of direct leasing costs only. For the three and six months endedJune 30, 2018, the Company capitalized $796,000 and $2.0 million of indirect leasing costs, respectively.
The Company adopted the following optional practical expedients provided in ASC 842:
•no reassessment of any expired or existing contracts to determine if they contain a lease;
•no requirement to write-off any unamortized, previously capitalized, initial direct costs for existing leases;
•no recognition of right-of-use assets for leases with at term of one year or less;
no requirement to separately classify and disclose non-lease components of revenue in lease contracts from the related lease components provided certain conditions are met; and,
no requirement to reassess the classification of existing leases as finance leases versus operating leases.
For those leases where the Company is lessee, specifically ground leases, the adoption of ASC 842 required the Company to record a right-of-use asset and a lease liability on the consolidated balance sheet. The Company recorded right-of-use assets and lease liabilities in the amount of $56.3 million upon the adoption of ASC 842. In calculating the right of use asset and lease liability the Company used a weighted average discount rate of 4.49%, which represented the Company's incremental borrowing rate related to the ground lease assets as of January 1, 2019. Ground leases executed before the adoption of ASC 842 are accounted for as operating leases and did not result in a materially different ground lease expense. However, most ground leases executed after the adoption of ASC 842 are expected to be accounted for as finance leases, which will result in ground lease expense being recorded using the effective interest method instead of the straight-line method over the term of the lease, resulting in higher ground lease expense in the earlier years of a ground lease when compared to the straight line method. The Company used the "modified retrospective" method upon adoption of ASC 842, which permitted application of the new standard on the adoption date as opposed to the earliest comparative period presented in its financial statements. For additional disclosures, see note 4 "Leases."
On January 1, 2018, the Company adopted, ASU 2017-05, “Other Income - Gains and Losses from the Derecognition of Nonfinancial Assets (Subtopic 610-20): Clarifying the Scope of Asset Derecognition Guidance and Accounting for Partial Sales of Nonfinancial Assets” (“ASU 2017-05"). As a result of the adoption of ASU 2017-05, the Company recorded a cumulative effect from change in accounting principle, which credited distributions in excess of cumulative net income by $22.3 million. This cumulative effect adjustment resulted from the 2013 transfer of a wholly-owned property to an entity in which it had a noncontrolling interest.
2. MERGER WITH TIER REIT, INC.
On June 14, 2019, pursuant to the Agreement and Plan of Merger dated March 25, 2019 (the “Merger Agreement”), by and among the Company and TIER REIT, Inc. (“TIER”), TIER merged with and into a subsidiary of the Company (the “Merger”) with this subsidiary continuing as the surviving corporation of the Merger. In accordance with the terms and conditions of the Merger Agreement, each share of TIER common stock issued and outstanding immediately prior to the Merger, was converted into 2.98 newly issued shares of the Company’s common stock with fractional shares being settled in cash. In the Merger, former TIER common stockholders received approximately 166 million shares of common stock of the Company. As discussed in note 1 to the consolidated financial statements, immediately following the Merger, the Company completed a 1-for-4 reverse stock split.
The Merger has been accounted for as a business combination with the Company as the accounting acquirer, which requires, among other things, that the assets acquired and liabilities assumed be recognized at their acquisition date fair value. The total value of the transaction is based on the closing stock price of the Company's common stock on June 13, 2019, the day immediately prior to the closing of the Merger. Based on the shares issued in the transaction, the total fair value of the assets acquired and liabilities assumed in the Merger was $1.6 billion. During the three and six months endedJune 30, 2019, the Company incurred $49.8 million in expenses related to the Merger.
Management engaged a third party valuation specialist to assist with valuing the real estate assets acquired and liabilities assumed in the Merger. The third party used cash flow analyses as well as an income approach and a cost approach to determine the fair value of
real estate asset acquired. Based on additional information that may become available, subsequent adjustments may be made to the purchase price allocation within the allocation period, which typically does not exceed one year.
The purchase price was allocated as follows (in thousands):
Real estate assets
Real estate assets held for sale
Cash and cash equivalents
Notes and other receivables
Investment in unconsolidated joint ventures
Accounts payable and accrued expenses
Nonredeemable noncontrolling interest
Total purchase price
The Merger accounted for $9.7 million of rental property revenue as reported in the condensed consolidated statements of operations for the six months ended June 30, 2019. The following unaudited supplemental pro forma information is based upon the Company's historical consolidated statements of operations, adjusted as if the Merger had occurred on January 1, 2018. The supplemental pro forma information is not necessarily indicative of future results, or of actual results, that would have been achieved had the Merger been consummated at the beginning of the period.
Three months ended June 30,
Six months ended June 30,
(unaudited, in thousands)
Net income (loss)
Net income (loss) available to common stockholders
2019 supplemental pro forma earnings were adjusted to exclude $49.8 million of transaction costs incurred in the second quarter of 2019. Supplemental pro forma earnings for the six months ended June 30, 2018 were adjusted to include this change.
3. TRANSACTIONS WITH NORFOLK SOUTHERN RAILWAY COMPANY
On March 1, 2019, the Company entered into a series of agreements and executed related transactions with Norfolk Southern Railway Company (“NS”) as follows:
Sold land to NS for $52.5 million.
Executed a Development Agreement with NS whereby the Company will receive fees totaling $5 million in consideration for development services for NS’s corporate headquarters that is being constructed on the land sold to NS.
Executed a Consulting Agreement with NS whereby the Company will receive fees totaling $32 million in consideration for consulting services for NS’s corporate headquarters. The Development Agreement and Consulting Agreement are collectively referred to below as the “Fee Agreements.”
Purchased a building from NS (“1200 Peachtree”) for $82 million subject to a three-year market rate lease with NS that covers the entire building.
The Company sold the land to NS for $5.0 million above its carrying amount, which included $37.0 million of land purchased in 2018, $6.5 million of land purchased in 2019, and $4.0 million of site preparation work. The Company purchased 1200 Peachtree from NS for an amount it determined to be $10.3 million below the building’s fair value.
In accordance with ASC 606, the Company determined that all contracts and transactions associated with NS, with the exception of the aforementioned lease which will be accounted for in accordance with ASC 842, should be combined for accounting purposes given the fact that they were all executed simultaneously for the single commercial purpose of delivering and constructing a corporate headquarters for NS, and the contracts are interdependent and would not have been entered into separately. Further, the Company concluded that the Fee Agreements have a single performance obligation to provide services to NS for a new corporate headquarters as the services being provided to NS are highly interdependent. The transaction price for the Fee Agreements was determined to be comprised of both cash and non-cash consideration associated with this arrangement. The cash consideration represents the amounts to be received under the Fee Agreements as well as the excess of the sales price of the land over the fair value of the land. The non-cash consideration represents the $10.3 million excess of the fair value of 1200 Peachtree over the amount the Company paid. The gross transaction price for the Fee Agreements was $52.3 million.
In accordance with ASC 606, the Company determined that control of the services to be provided under the Fee Agreements is being transferred over time and, thus, the Company must recognize the transaction price in revenue as it satisfies the performance obligation. The Company determined that the inputs method of measuring progress of satisfying the performance obligation was the most appropriate method of recognizing revenue for the Fee Agreements. Therefore, the Company began recognizing revenue in the quarter ended March 31, 2019, and will recognize future revenue under the Fee Agreements based upon the time spent by the Company’s employees in providing these services as compared to the total estimated time required to satisfy the performance obligation. During the three and six months endedJune 30, 2019, the Company recognized $5.0 million and $11.6 million, respectively, in fee income in its statements of operations related to the Fee Agreements.
The following table summarizes the allocations of the estimated fair value of the assets and liabilities of the 1200 Peachtree discussed above (in thousands):
Land and improvements
Total assets acquired
At June 30, 2019, the Company had five properties subject to operating ground leases with a weighted average remaining term of 72 years and two finance ground leases with a weighted average remaining term of five years. At June 30, 2019, the Company had right-of-use assets of $69.8 million included in operating properties, projects under development, or land on the condensed consolidated balance sheets and a lease liability of $70.2 million included in other liabilities on the condensed consolidated balance sheets. The weighted average discount rate on these ground leases at June 30, 2019 was 4.60%.
Rental payments on these ground leases are adjusted periodically based on either the Consumer Price Index, changes in developed square feet on the underlying leased asset, or on a pre-determined schedule. The monthly payments on a pre-determined schedule are recognized on a straight-line basis over the terms of the respective leases while payments resulting from changes in the Consumer Price Index or future development are not estimated as part of our measurement of straight-line rental expense.
For the three and six months endedJune 30, 2019, the Company recognized operating ground lease expense of $845,000 and $1.7 million, respectively, of which no amounts represented variable lease expenses, and recognized interest expense related to finance ground leases of $115,000 and $231,000, respectively. For the three and six months endedJune 30, 2019, the Company paid $567,000 and $960,000, respectively, in cash related to operating ground leases and made no cash payments related to financing ground leases. At June 30, 2019 and December 31, 2018, respectively, the future minimum payments to be made by consolidated entities for ground leases are as follows (in thousands):