Whitestone Provides Third Quarter 2020 Business Update Related to COVID-19

Q3-2020 Rental Collections of 90%

Houston, Texas, UNITED STATES

HOUSTON, Oct. 06, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Whitestone REIT (NYSE: WSR) (“Whitestone” or the “Company”), a leading owner and operator of open-air, e-commerce resistant, lifestyle community-centered retail properties located in the largest, fastest-growing and most affluent Texas and Arizona markets in the Sunbelt, provides a business update regarding operations and third quarter rental collections.

  • All 53 properties are open and operating;

  • 52 of 53 properties, representing 99.3% of revenues, are located in the business-friendly states of Texas and Arizona;

  • 97% of our tenants are open and operating based on annualized base rent (ABR); 90% of total Third Quarter 2020 billed recurring rents have been collected, up from 81% reporting in the Second Quarter 2020; and

  • Approximately 3% of our billed recurring rents in Q3-2020 have been deferred through the entry into rent deferral agreements with tenants.

Chairman and CEO Jim Mastandrea commented: “Whitestone’s industry leading collections in strategically-chosen, high growth markets continue to outperform the industry. Our team’s reaction and their commitment to working with our tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic is a testament of Whitestone’s character and philosophy. The team’s dedication and the strength of our rental collections continue to substantiate the proven investment quality of retail real estate assets that focus on entrepreneurial tenants serving the lifestyle needs of the local neighborhood consumer.”

Mastandrea continued: “By contrast, national retail tenants selling primarily soft and hard goods have announced store closures that reached a record high of over 10,000 stores in the first half of 2020 with 29 national retailers filing bankruptcy so far this year(1), while Whitestone experienced only 10 tenants out of our total 1,386 tenants, or less than 0.5% of our ABR as of Sept. 30th 2020, that closed due to bankruptcy filings.”

Mastandrea added: “When the pandemic was declared in March 2020, it created a dynamic that caused the US economy to essentially drop off a cliff. When it did, we worked closely with our tenant base to help them stabilize and begin the recovery process, thus protecting Whitestone’s net cash flow. Through these steps, we have a well-covered dividend, with an annual yield of approximately 7%, that is paid monthly.”

Mastandrea concluded: “We believe this attractive yield, coupled with the significant COVID-induced discount to our NAV that our share price is currently trading at, presents an exceptionally unique value opportunity to the astute investor.”

About Whitestone REIT
Whitestone is a community-centered shopping center REIT that acquires, owns, manages, develops and redevelops high-quality neighborhood centers primarily in the largest, fastest-growing and most affluent markets in the Sunbelt. Whitestone seeks to create Communities That Thrive through Creating Local Connections between consumers in the surrounding communities and a well-crafted mix of national, regional, and local tenants that provide daily necessities, needed services, entertainment, and experiences. Whitestone is a monthly dividend paying stock and has consistently paid dividends for over 15 years. Whitestone’s strong balanced and managed capital structure provides stability and flexibility for growth and positions Whitestone to perform well through economic cycles. For additional information, please visit www.whitestonereit.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements contained in this press release constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”) and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). The Company intends for all such forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe-harbor provisions for forward-looking statements contained in Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Exchange Act, as applicable. Such information is subject to certain risks and uncertainties, as well as known and unknown risks, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or anticipated. Therefore, such statements are not intended to be a guarantee of our performance in future periods. Such forward-looking statements include statements about our earnings guidance, future liquidity, performance growth and expectations and other matters and can generally be identified by the Company’s use of forward-looking terminology, such as “may,” “will,” “plan,” “expect,” “intend,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “goals” or similar words or phrases that are predictions of future events or trends and which do not relate solely to historical matters.

The following are additional factors that could cause the Company's actual results and its expectations to differ materially from those described in the Company's forward-looking statements: the Company's ability to meet its long-term goals, its assumptions regarding its earnings guidance, including its ability to execute effectively its acquisition and disposition strategy, to continue to execute its development pipeline on schedule and at the expected costs, and its ability to grow its NOI as expected, which could be impacted by a number of factors, including, among other things, its ability to continue to renew leases or re-let space on attractive terms and to otherwise address its leasing rollover; its ability to successfully identify, finance and consummate suitable acquisitions, and the impact of such acquisitions, including financing developments, capitalization rates and internal rates of return; the Company’s ability to reduce or otherwise effectively manage its general and administrative expenses; the Company’s ability to fund from cash flows or otherwise distributions to its shareholders at current rates or at all; current adverse market and economic conditions; lease terminations or lease defaults; the impact of competition on the Company's efforts to renew existing leases; changes in the economies and other conditions of the specific markets in which the Company operates; economic, legislative and regulatory changes, including the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017; the success of the Company's real estate strategies and investment objectives; the Company's ability to continue to qualify as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended; and other factors detailed in the Company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10- Q and other documents the Company files with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time.

     (1) Source: Wall Street Journal, 9/30/2020

Contact Whitestone REIT:
Kevin Reed
Director of Investor Relations
(713) 435-2219