TEXT-Fitch rates Kimco Realty class J preferred shares 'BBB-'
July 19 - Fitch Ratings assigns a credit rating of 'BBB-' to the $225 million of 5.50% Class J cumulative redeemable preferred stock issued by Kimco Realty Corporation (NYSE: KIM). The net proceeds will be used to redeem the $175 million of 6.65% Class F preferred stock and for general corporate purposes. Fitch currently rates Kimco Realty Corporation as follows: Kimco Realty Corporation --Issuer Default Rating (IDR) 'BBB+'; --Unsecured revolving credit facilities 'BBB+'; --Senior unsecured term loan 'BBB+'; --Senior unsecured notes 'BBB+'; --Preferred stock 'BBB-'. The Rating Outlook is Stable. The ratings are based on Kimco's solid track record as a leading owner of community and neighborhood shopping centers, the company's large and diversified pool of retail proprieties, its experienced leasing and management team and its high quality, diversified tenant mix with a well laddered lease expiration schedule. The ratings also factor in the company's demonstrated track record of accessing a wide variety of capital sources. Kimco owns and operates a large and diversified portfolio of consolidated and unconsolidated interests in 930 properties aggregating 136.2 million square feet of gross leaseable area (GLA), located in 44 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Brazil and Peru. The company's portfolio is well diversified with the largest tenant accounting for only 4% of annualized base rent (ABR) and the top 10 tenants collectively accounting for less than 22% of ABR. Leverage, as measured by net debt to recurring operating EBITDA plus Fitch's estimate of recurring cash distributions from unconsolidated joint ventures, decreased slightly to 5.5 times (x) at March 31, 2012 from 5.9x at Dec. 31, 2011 and 5.7x at Dec. 31, 2010 and remains appropriate for the rating. The company remains focused on continuing to strengthen its balance sheet through the disposition of non-strategic retail assets and the curtailment of significant development activity. Kimco's fixed charge coverage is solid for the 'BBB+' IDR rating level. Fixed charge coverage was 2.1x for the trailing 12 months (TTM) ended March 31, 2012, consistent with the 2.1x for 2010. Pro forma for the issuance, fixed charge coverage will weaken slightly as the company incurs additional preferred dividends but will ultimately improve as net proceeds are invested and given the spread between the Class J and Class F preferred stock. Fixed charge coverage is defined as recurring operating EBITDA plus Fitch's estimate of recurring cash distributions from unconsolidated joint ventures less recurring capital expenditures and non-cash straight line rental income divided by interest incurred and preferred stock dividends. Kimco has demonstrated a long track record of accessing a wide variety of capital sources, including secured and unsecured debt, common and preferred equity and joint venture capital. Year-to-date, Kimco has issued $625 million of preferred stock and a $400 million unsecured term loan. Kimco's liquidity position is adequate at 1.3x under the base scenario pro forma for the issuance which assumes no access to external capital through the end of 2013. Under a scenario where Kimco is able to refinance 80% of its secured debt, the liquidity coverage ratio rises to 2.1x. Kimco's demonstrated access to the mortgage, debt, preferred stock and common equity markets mitigates mitigate refinance risk. The two-notch differential between Kimco's IDR and its preferred stock rating is consistent with Fitch's criteria for corporate entities with an IDR of 'BBB+'. Based on Fitch's criteria report, 'Treatment and Notching of Hybrids in Nonfinancial Corporate and REIT Credit Analysis,' dated Dec. 15, 2011, this preferred stock is deeply subordinated and has loss absorption elements that would likely result in poor recoveries in the event of a corporate default. The following factors may have a positive impact on Kimco's ratings and/or Outlook: --Fixed charge coverage sustaining above 2.5x (2.1x for the TTM ended March 31, 2012); --Net debt to recurring operating EBITDA sustaining below 5.0x (leverage was 5.5x as of March 31, 2012); --Reducing the risk profile of the balance sheet through sales of non-strategic retail properties and non-retail assets. The following factors may have a negative impact on Kimco's ratings and/or Outlook: --Fixed charge coverage sustaining below 2.0x; --Net debt to recurring operating EBITDA sustaining above 6.5x; --Increased exposure to non-retail assets or increased joint venture debt guarantees. Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'. The ratings above were unsolicited and have been provided by Fitch as a service to investors. Applicable Criteria and Related Research: --'Recovery Ratings and Notching Criteria for Equity REITs' (May 3, 2012); --'Criteria for Rating U.S. Equity REITs and REOCs' (Feb. 27, 2012); --'Treatment and Notching of Hybrids in Nonfinancial Corporate and REIT Credit Analysis' (Dec. 15, 2011); --'Corporate Rating Methodology' (Aug. 12, 2011). Applicable Criteria and Related Research: Recovery Ratings and Notching Criteria for Equity REITs Criteria for Rating U.S. Equity REITs and REOCs Treatment and Notching of Hybrids in Nonfinancial Corporate and REIT Credit Analysis Corporate Rating Methodology
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