Revenue, profit up for Austin’s American Campus

Apr 23, 2014
Austin American Statesman

Austin-based American Campus Communities Inc. on Tuesday reported first-quarter revenue and profit that topped Wall Street forecasts and earned positive reviews from analysts


American Campus, which says it is country’s largest student-housing provider, said revenue for the quarter ending March 31 rose 12.3 percent to $183.2 million, compared to $163.2 million in the same quarter in 2013. The average of analysts’ estimates had forecast revenues of $171.1 million, according to data compiled by Yahoo Finance


Company officials credited new-property acquisitions, the completion of some ongoing developments and a rise in rental rates for the current school year with driving the improved numbers. American Campus, which runs 200 student housing properties comprising more than 120,000 beds


In a release after the market closed, American Campus Communities CEO Bill Bayless said the firm’s ability to control expenses, particularly its spending on marketing efforts, helped soften the impact of higher utility costs due to the harsh winter weather during the start of the year


That firm grip on expenses helped produce a 29 percent jump in first-quarter net income, which increased to $28.9 million (27 cents a share) from $22.4 million (20 cents a share) in the first quarter of last year, the company said. It said the funds from its operations equated to 66 cents a share, up from 64 cents a share in the first quarter of 2013. On average, analysts expected 64 cents a share on that measure, according to Yahoo Finance


“We believe we are poised to deliver strong internal growth moving into 2015 and beyond,” Bayless said in the company’s earning release


Several new developments in the works are also helping boost confidence along Wall Street


American Campus started construction on a 642-bed, $41.3 million, off-campus development for Auburn University. It also was awarded a third-party development project on the campus of Northern Arizona University and was selected by Butler University in Indiana to begin planning an on-campus student housing master plan


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