UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549


FORM 10-K

FOR ANNUAL AND TRANSITION REPORTS PURSUANT TO SECTIONS 13 OR 15(d) OF THE
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

(Mark One)

x

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2005

OR

o

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from                        to                       

Commission File No. 1-15371


iSTAR FINANCIAL INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

Maryland

95-6881527

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

(I.R.S. Employer
Identification Number)

1114 Avenue of the Americas, 27th Floor
New York, NY

10036

(Address of principal executive offices)

(Zip code)

 

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (212) 930-9400


Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of each class: Name of Exchange on which registered:

Name of Exchange on which registered:

Common Stock, $0.001 par value

New York Stock Exchange

8.000% Series D Cumulative Redeemable

New York Stock Exchange

Preferred Stock, $0.001 par value

 

7.875% Series E Cumulative Redeemable

New York Stock Exchange

Preferred Stock, $0.001 par value

 

7.800% Series F Cumulative Redeemable
Preferred Stock, $0.001 par value

New York Stock Exchange

7.650% Series G Cumulative Redeemable
Preferred Stock, $0.001 par value

New York Stock Exchange

7.500% Series I Cumulative Redeemable
Preferred Stock, $0.001 par value

New York Stock Exchange

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes x   No o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (i) 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 (ii) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes x No o

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer or a non-accelerated filer (as defined in Exchange Act Rule 12-b-2).

Large accelerated filer x   a large accelerated filer, Accelerated filer or a non-accelerated filer o   Non-accelerated filer o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes x   No o

As of June 30, 2005 the aggregate market value of the common stock, $0.001 par value per share of iStar Financial Inc. (“Common Stock”), held by non-affiliates(1) of the registrant was approximately $4.3 billion, based upon the closing price of $41.59 on the New York Stock Exchange composite tape on such date.

As of February 28, 2006, there were 114,681,387 shares of Common Stock outstanding.

(1)                For purposes of this Annual Report only, includes all outstanding Common Stock other than Common Stock held directly by the registrant’s directors and executive officers.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

1.                    Portions of the registrant’s definitive proxy statement for the registrant’s 2006 Annual Meeting, to be filed within 120 days after the close of the registrant’s fiscal year, are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

 




TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Page

PART I

 

 

Item 1. Business

 

2

Item 1a. Risk Factors

 

15

Item 1b. Unresolved Staff Comments

 

25

Item 2. Properties

 

25

Item 3. Legal Proceedings

 

25

Item 4. Submission of Matters to a Vote of Security Holders

 

25

PART II

 

 

Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Equity and Related Share Matters

 

26

Item 6. Selected Financial Data

 

29

Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition
and Results of Operations

 

32

Item 7a. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk

 

52

Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplemental Data

 

55

Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements with Registered Public Accounting Firm
on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

 

116

Item 9A. Controls and Procedures

 

116

PART III

 

 

Item 10. Directors and Executive Officers of the Registrant

 

117

Item 11. Executive Compensation

 

117

Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management

 

117

Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions

 

117

Item 14. Principal Registered Public Accounting Firm Fees and Services

 

117

PART IV

 

 

Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules and Reports on Form 8-K

 

118

SIGNATURES

 

124

 




PART I

Item 1.                        Business

Explanatory Note for Purposes of the “Safe Harbor Provisions” of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended

This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, which involve certain risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements are included with respect to, among other things, iStar Financial Inc.’s (the “Company’s”) current business plan, business strategy and portfolio management. The Company’s actual results or outcomes may differ materially from those anticipated. Important factors that the Company believes might cause such differences are discussed in the cautionary statements presented under the caption “Risk Factors” in Item 1a of this Form 10-K or otherwise accompany the forward-looking statements contained in this Form 10-K. In assessing all forward-looking statements, readers are urged to read carefully all cautionary statements contained in this Form 10-K.

Overview

iStar Financial Inc. is the leading publicly traded finance company focused on the commercial real estate industry. The Company primarily provides custom tailored financing to high end private and corporate owners of real estate, including senior and mezzanine real estate debt, senior and mezzanine corporate capital, and corporate net lease financing. The Company, which is taxed as a real estate investment trust (“REIT”), seeks to deliver strong dividends and superior risk-adjusted returns on equity to shareholders by providing innovative and value added financing solutions to its customers.

Our two primary lines of business are lending and corporate tenant leasing. The lending business is primarily comprised of senior and subordinated loans that typically range in size from $20 million to $150 million and have maturities generally ranging from three to ten years. These loans may be either fixed rate (based on the U.S. Treasury rate plus a spread) or variable rate (based on LIBOR plus a spread) and are structured to meet the specific financing needs of the borrowers. We also provide senior and subordinated capital to corporations engaged in real estate or real estate related businesses. These financings may be either secured or unsecured, typically range in size from $20 million to $150 million and have maturities generally ranging from five to ten years. As part of the lending business, the Company also acquires whole loans and loan participations which present attractive risk-reward opportunities. Acquired loan positions typically range in size from $20 million to $100 million.

The Company’s corporate tenant leasing business provides capital to corporations and other owners who control facilities leased to single creditworthy customers. The Company’s net leased assets are generally mission critical headquarters or distribution facilities that are subject to long-term leases with public companies, many of which are rated corporate credits, and many of which provide for most expenses at the facility to be paid by the corporate customer on a triple net lease basis. Corporate tenant lease, or CTL, transactions have initial terms generally ranging from 15 to 20 years and typically range in size from $20 million to $150 million.

The Company began its business in 1993 through private investment funds formed to capitalize on inefficiencies in the real estate finance market. In March 1998, these funds contributed their assets to the Company’s predecessor in exchange for a controlling interest in that company. The Company later acquired its former external advisor in exchange for shares of the Company’s common stock (‘‘Common Stock’’) and converted its organizational form to a Maryland corporation. As part of the conversion to a Maryland corporation, the Company replaced its former dual class common share structure with a single class of Common Stock. The Company’s Common Stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on November 4, 1999. Prior to this date, the Company’s common stock was traded on the American Stock Exchange. Since that time, the Company has grown by originating new lending and leasing transactions, as

2




well as through corporate acquisitions, including the acquisition in 1999 of TriNet Corporate Realty Trust, Inc. (“TriNet”).

Investment Strategy

The Company’s investment strategy targets specific sectors of the real estate and corporate credit markets in which it believes it can deliver innovative, custom-tailored and flexible financial solutions to its customers, thereby differentiating its financial products from those offered by other capital providers.

The Company has implemented its investment strategy by:

·       Focusing on the origination of large, structured mortgage, corporate and lease financings where customers require flexible financial solutions and “one-call” responsiveness post-closing.

·       Avoiding commodity businesses in which there is significant direct competition from other providers of capital such as conduit lending and investment in commercial or residential mortgage-backed securities.

·       Developing direct relationships with borrowers and corporate customers as opposed to sourcing transactions solely through intermediaries.

·       Adding value beyond simply providing capital by offering borrowers and corporate customers specific lending expertise, flexibility, certainty of closing and a continuing relationship beyond the closing of a particular financing transaction.

·       Taking advantage of market anomalies in the real estate financing markets when the Company believes credit is mispriced by other providers of capital, such as the spread between lease yields and the yields on corporate customers’ underlying credit obligations.

The Company seeks to invest in a mix of portfolio financing transactions to create asset diversification and single-asset financings for properties with strong, long-term competitive market positions. The Company’s credit process focuses on:

·       Building diversification by asset type, property type, obligor, loan/lease maturity and geography.

·       Financing commercial real estate assets in major metropolitan markets.

·       Underwriting assets using conservative assumptions regarding collateral value and future property performance.

·       Focusing on replacement costs as the long-term determinant of real estate values.

·       Stress testing potential investments for adverse economic and real estate market conditions.

3




The Company seeks to maintain an investment portfolio which is diversified by asset type, underlying property type and geography. As of December 31, 2005, based on current gross carrying values, the Company’s total investment portfolio has the following characteristics:

GRAPHIC

GRAPHIC

GRAPHIC

4




Since the Company’s inception, substantially all of its investments have been in assets and with customers based in the United States and the Company has conducted its operations exclusively from the United States. In the first quarter of 2006, the Company opened a subsidiary in London, England which at the time had only one employee. The Company will use its London office to source investment opportunities abroad, primarily in Europe; however, the Company does not expect that non-U.S. investments will represent a material portion of its assets over the next 12 months.

The Company’s Underwriting Process

The Company discusses and analyzes investment opportunities during regular weekly meetings which are attended by all of its investment professionals, as well as representatives from its legal, risk management and capital markets areas. The Company has developed a process for screening potential investments called the Six Point Methodologysm. Through this process the Company evaluates an investment opportunity prior to beginning its formal due diligence process by: (1) evaluating the source of the opportunity; (2) evaluating the quality of the collateral or corporate credit, as well as its market or industry dynamics; (3) evaluating the equity or corporate sponsor; (4) determining whether it can implement an appropriate legal and financial structure for the transaction given its risk profile; (5) performing an alternative investment test; and (6) evaluating the liquidity of the investment and its ability to match fund the asset.

The Company has an intensive underwriting process in place for all potential investments. This process provides for comprehensive feedback and review by all disciplines within the Company, including investments, credit, risk management, legal/structuring and capital markets. Participation is encouraged from all professionals throughout the entire origination process, from the initial consideration of the opportunity, through the Six Point Methodologysm and into the preparation and distribution of a comprehensive memorandum for the Company’s internal and/or Board of Directors investment committees.

Commitments of less than $10.0 million can be approved by the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Commitments between $10.0 million and $75.0 million require the unanimous consent of the Company’s internal investment committee, consisting of senior management representatives from each of the Company’s key disciplines. For commitments between $75.0 million and $150.0 million, the further approval of the investment committee of the Company’s board of directors’ (the “Board of Directors”) is also required. All commitments of $150.0 million or more must be approved by a majority vote of the Board of Directors. In addition, strategic investments such as a corporate merger or an acquisition of another business entity (other than a corporate net lease financing) or any other material transaction in an amount over $75.0 million involving the Company’s entry into a new line of business, must be approved by a majority vote of the Board of Directors.

Financing Strategy

The Company has access to a wide range of debt and equity capital resources to finance its investment and growth strategies. At December 31, 2005, the Company had over $2.4 billion of tangible book equity capital and a total market capitalization of approximately $10.4 billion. The Company believes that its size and track record are competitive advantages in obtaining attractive financing for its businesses.

The Company seeks to maximize risk-adjusted returns on equity and financial flexibility by accessing a variety of public and private debt and equity capital sources. While the Company believes that it is important to maintain diverse sources of funding, in 2003 it began to emphasize unsecured funding sources of debt, such as long-term unsecured corporate debt. The Company believes that unsecured debt is more cost-effective, flexible and efficient than secured debt. The Company’s current sources of debt capital include:

·       Long-term, unsecured corporate debt.

·       A combined $2.2 billion of capacity under its unsecured and secured revolving credit facilities at year end.

5




·       Subordinated debt in the form of trust preferred securities.

·       Individual mortgages secured by certain of the Company’s assets.

The Company’s business model is premised on significantly lower leverage than many other commercial finance companies. In this regard, the Company seeks to:

·       Maintain a prudent corporate leverage level based upon the Company’s mix of business and appropriate leverage levels for each of its primary business lines.

·       Maintain a large tangible equity base and conservative credit statistics.

·       Match fund assets and liabilities.

A more detailed discussion of the Company’s current capital resources is provided in Item 7—“Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Liquidity and Capital Resources.”

Hedging Strategy

The Company has variable-rate lending assets and variable-rate debt obligations. These assets and liabilities create a natural hedge against changes in variable interest rates. This means that, as interest rates increase, the Company earns more on its variable-rate lending assets and pays more on its variable-rate debt obligations and, conversely, as interest rates decrease, the Company earns less on its variable-rate lending assets and pays less on its variable-rate debt obligations. When the Company’s variable-rate debt obligations exceed its variable-rate lending assets, the Company utilizes derivative instruments to limit the impact of changing interest rates on its net income. The Company’s policy requires that we manage our fixed/floating rate exposure such that a 100 basis point move in short term interest rates would have no more than a 2.5% impact on our quarterly adjusted earnings. The Company does not use derivative instruments to hedge assets or for speculative purposes. The derivative instruments the Company uses are typically in the form of interest rate swaps and interest rate caps. Interest rate swaps effectively change variable-rate debt obligations to fixed-rate debt obligations. In addition, when appropriate the Company enters into interest rate swaps that convert fixed-rate debt to variable rate in order to mitigate the risk of changes in fair value of the fixed-rate debt obligations. Interest rate caps effectively limit the maximum interest rate on variable-rate debt obligations.

Developing an effective strategy for dealing with movements in interest rates is complex and no strategy can completely insulate the Company from risks associated with such fluctuations. There can be no assurance that the Company’s hedging activities will have the desired beneficial impact on its results of operations or financial condition.

During 2005, the Company entered into foreign currency hedges to mitigate the risk of loss due to currency fluctuations on its lending investments denominated in foreign currencies. The foreign currency exchange risk and the derivatives the Company uses to mitigate these risks are not significant to the Company’s financial statements.

The primary risks from the Company’s use of derivative instruments is the risk that a counterparty to a hedging arrangement could default on its obligation and the risk that the Company may have to pay certain costs, such as transaction fees or breakage costs, if a hedging arrangement is terminated by it. As a matter of policy, the Company enters into hedging arrangements with counterparties that are large, creditworthy financial institutions typically rated at least A/A2 by S&P and Moody’s Investors Service, respectively. The Company’s hedging strategy is monitored by its Audit Committee on behalf of its Board of Directors and may be changed by the Board of Directors without shareholder approval.

A more detailed discussion of the Company’s hedging policy is provided in Item 7—“Managements Discussion and Analysis of Financial Conditions and Results of Operations—Liquidity and Capital Resources.”

6




Business

Real Estate Lending

The Company primarily provides structured financing to high-end private and corporate owners of real estate, including senior and mezzanine real estate debt and senior and mezzanine corporate capital.

As of December 31, 2005, the Company’s loan portfolio is comprised of:

 

 

Current
Carrying
Value

 

%
of Total

 

 

 

(In thousands)

 

 

 

First mortgages

 

 

$

3,136,880

 

 

 

67

%

 

Junior first mortgages

 

 

407,053

 

 

 

9

%

 

Corporate loans/Other

 

 

1,164,858

 

 

 

25

%

 

Gross carrying value

 

 

$

4,708,791

 

 

 

100

%

 

Reserve for loan losses

 

 

(46,876

)

 

 

 

 

 

Total carrying value, net

 

 

$

4,661,915

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As more fully discussed in Note 3 to the Company’s Consolidated Financial Statements, the Company continually monitors borrower performance and completes a detailed, loan-by-loan formal credit review on a quarterly basis. After having originated or acquired over $16.9 billion of investment transactions over its twelve-year history through December 31, 2005, the Company and its private investment fund predecessors have experienced minimal actual losses on their lending investments.

Despite the Company’s historical track record of having minimal credit losses and loans on non-accrual status, the Company considers it prudent to reflect reserves for loan losses on a portfolio basis based upon the Company’s assessment of general market conditions, the Company’s internal risk management policies and credit risk rating system, industry loss experience, the Company’s assessment of the likelihood of delinquencies or defaults and the value of the collateral underlying its investments. Accordingly, since its first full quarter operating its current business as a public company (the quarter ended June 30, 1998), management has reflected quarterly provisions for loan losses in its operating results.

As of December 31, 2005, the Company’s loan portfolio has the following characteristics:

Investment Class

 

 

 

Collateral Types

 

# of
Loans
In Class

 

Current
Carrying
Value(1)

 

Current
Principal
Balance
Outstanding

 

Weighted
Average
Stated
Pay Rate(2)(3)

 

Weighted
Average First
Dollar
Current
Loan-to-
Value(4)

 

Weighted
Average Last
Dollar
Current
Loan-to-
Value(4)

 

 

 

(In thousands)

 

First Mortgages

 

Office/Residential/Retail/
Industrial, R&D/
Mixed Use/
Hotel/Entertainment,
Leisure/Other

 

 

112

 

 

$

3,136,880

 

 

$

3,174,179

 

 

 

8.79

%

 

 

1

%

 

 

64

%

 

Junior First Mortgages(5)

 

Office/Residential/Retail/
Industrial, R&D/Entertainment,
Leisure /Mixed
Use/Hotel/Other

 

 

19

 

 

407,053

 

 

413,873

 

 

 

9.81

%

 

 

44

%

 

 

65

%

 

Corporate Loans/Other

 

Office/Residential/Retail/
Industrial, R&D/
Mixed Use/
Hotel/Entertainment,
Leisure/Other

 

 

48

 

 

1,164,858

 

 

1,183,280

 

 

 

9.34

%

 

 

48

%

 

 

68

%

 

Total/Weighted Average

 

 

 

 

179

 

 

$

4,708,791

 

 

$

4,771,332

 

 

 

9.01

%

 

 

16

%

 

 

65

%

 

 

7




Explanatory Notes:


(1)        Where Current Carrying Value differs from Current Principal Balance Outstanding, the difference represents unamortized amount of acquired premiums, discounts or deferred loan fees.

(2)        All variable-rate loans assume a one-month LIBOR rate of 4.39% (the actual one-month LIBOR rate at December 31, 2005). As of December 31, 2005, two loans with a combined carrying value of $27.0 million have a stated accrual rate that exceeds the stated pay rate.

(3)        The Company’s GAAP yield is generally higher than stated pay rate due to amortization of loan fees and purchase discounts on certain loans.

(4)        Weighted average ratio of first and last dollar current loan carrying value to underlying collateral value using third-party appraisal or the Company’s internal valuation.

(5)        Junior first mortgages represent promissory notes secured by first mortgages which are junior to other promissory notes secured by the same first mortgage.

Summary of Interest Characteristics

As more fully discussed in Item 7—“Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Liquidity and Capital Resources” as well as in Item 7a—“Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk,” the Company utilizes certain interest rate risk management techniques, including both asset/liability matching and certain other hedging techniques, in order to mitigate the Company’s exposure to interest rate risks.

As of December 31, 2005, the Company’s loan portfolio has the following interest rate characteristics:

 

 

Current
Carrying
Value

 

%
of Total

 

 

 

(In thousands)

 

 

 

Fixed-rate loans

 

 

$

1,839,152

 

 

 

39

%

 

Variable-rate loans

 

 

2,869,639

 

 

 

61

%

 

Gross carrying value

 

 

$

4,708,791

 

 

 

100

%

 

 

Summary of Prepayment Terms

The Company is exposed to risks of prepayment on its loan assets, and generally seeks to protect itself from such risks by structuring its loans with prepayment restrictions and/or penalties.

As of December 31, 2005, the Company’s loan portfolio has the following call protection characteristics:

 

 

Current
Carrying
Value

 

%
of Total

 

 

 

(In thousands)

 

 

 

Fixed prepayment penalties or minimum whole-dollar profit

 

 

$

1,408,344

 

 

 

30

%

 

Substantial lock-out for original term(1)

 

 

1,166,664

 

 

 

25

%

 

Yield maintenance

 

 

176,253

 

 

 

4

%

 

Total loans with call protection

 

 

2,751,261

 

 

 

58

%

 

Currently open to prepayment with no penalty

 

 

1,957,530

 

 

 

42

%

 

Gross carrying value

 

 

$

4,708,791

 

 

 

100

%

 

 

Explanatory Note:


(1)        For the purpose of this table, the Company has assumed a substantial lock-out to mean at least three years.

8




Summary of Lending Business Maturities

As of December 31, 2005, the Company’s loan portfolio has the following maturity characteristics:

Year of Maturity

 

 

 

Number of
Transactions
Maturing

 

Current
Carrying
Value

 

%
of Total

 

 

 

 

 

 

(In thousands)

 

 

 

 

2006

 

 

25

 

 

$

878,241

 

 

19

%

 

2007

 

 

18

 

 

649,688

 

 

14

%

 

2008

 

 

33

 

 

976,441

 

 

21

%

 

2009

 

 

22

 

 

814,625

 

 

17

%

 

2010

 

 

13

 

 

335,769

 

 

7

%

 

2011

 

 

14

 

 

243,153

 

 

5

%

 

2012

 

 

6

 

 

108,785

 

 

2

%

 

2013

 

 

7

 

 

97,764

 

 

2

%

 

2014

 

 

7

 

 

141,200

 

 

3

%

 

2015

 

 

2

 

 

105,095

 

 

3

%

 

2016 and thereafter

 

 

32

 

 

358,030

 

 

8

%

 

Total

 

 

179

 

 

$

4,708,791

 

 

100

%

 

Weighted average maturity

 

 

 

 

 

3.8 years

 

 

 

 

 

 

Corporate Tenant Leasing

The Company pursues the origination of CTL transactions by structuring purchase/leasebacks and by acquiring facilities subject to existing long-term net leases. In a typical purchase/leaseback transaction, the Company purchases a corporation’s facility and leases it back to that corporation subject to a long-term net lease. This structure allows the corporate customer to reinvest the proceeds from the sale of its facilities into its core business, while the Company capitalizes on its structured financing expertise.

The Company’s net leased assets are generally mission-critical headquarters or distribution facilities that are subject to long-term leases with public companies, many of which are rated corporate credits and many of which provide for most expenses at the facility to be paid by the corporate customer on a triple net lease basis. CTL transactions have initial terms generally ranging from 15 to 20 years and typically range in size from $20 million to $150 million.

The Company generally intends to hold its CTL assets for long-term investment. However, subject to certain tax restrictions, the Company may dispose of an asset if it deems the disposition to be in the Company’s best interests and may either reinvest the disposition proceeds, use the proceeds to reduce debt, or distribute the proceeds to shareholders.

The Company typically seeks general-purpose real estate with residual values that represent a discount to current market values and replacement costs. Under a typical net lease agreement, the corporate customer agrees to pay a base monthly operating lease payment and all facility operating expenses (including taxes, maintenance and insurance).

The Company generally seeks corporate customers with the following characteristics:

·       Established companies with stable core businesses or market leaders in growing industries.

·       Investment-grade credit strength or appropriate credit enhancements if corporate credit strength is not sufficient on a stand-alone basis.

·       Commitment to the facility as a mission-critical asset to their on-going businesses.

9




As of December 31, 2005, the Company had 155 corporate customers operating in more than 20 major industry sectors, including automotive, finance, healthcare, recreation, technology and telecommunications. The majority of these customers represent well-recognized national and international companies, such as Federal Express, IBM, Nike, Nokia, Verizon and the U.S. Government.

As of December 31, 2005, the Company’s CTL portfolio has the following tenant credit characteristics:

 

 

Annualized In-Place
Operating
Lease Income(3)

 

% of In-Place
Operating
Lease
Income

 

 

 

(In thousands)

 

 

 

Investment grade(1)

 

 

$

115,338

 

 

 

33

%

 

Implied investment grade(2)

 

 

22,111

 

 

 

6

%

 

Non-investment grade

 

 

92,598

 

 

 

27

%

 

Unrated

 

 

115,411

 

 

 

33

%

 

Total

 

 

$

345,458

 

 

 

100

%

 

 

Explanatory Notes:


(1)             A customer’s credit rating is considered “Investment Grade” if the tenant or its guarantor has a published senior unsecured credit rating of Baa3/BBB- or above by one or more of the three national rating agencies.

(2)             A customer’s credit rating is considered “Implied Investment Grade” if it is 100% owned by an investment-grade parent or it has no published ratings, but has credit characteristics that the Company believes warrant an investment grade senior unsecured credit rating. Examples at December 31, 2005 include Hewlett-Packard Co. and Volkswagen of America, Inc.

(3)             Reflects annualized GAAP operating lease income for the leases in-place at December 31, 2005.

Risk Management Strategies.   The Company believes that diligent risk management of its CTL assets is an essential component of its long-term strategy. There are several ways to optimize the performance and maximize the value of CTL assets. The Company monitors its portfolio for changes that could affect the performance of the markets, credits and industries in which it has invested. As part of this monitoring, the Company’s risk management group reviews market, customer and industry data and frequently inspects its facilities. In addition, the Company attempts to develop strong relationships with its large corporate customers, which provide a source of information concerning the customers’ facilities needs. These relationships allow the Company to be proactive in obtaining early lease renewals and in conducting early marketing of assets where the customer has decided not to renew.

10




As of December 31, 2005, the Company owned 376 office and industrial, entertainment, medical and retail facilities principally subject to net leases to 154 customers, comprising 34.8 million square feet in 39 states. The Company also has a portfolio of 17 hotels under a long-term master lease with a single customer. Information regarding the Company’s CTL assets as of December 31, 2005 is set forth below:

SIC Code

 

# of
Leases

 

% of In-Place 
Operating Lease 
Income(1)

 

% of Total 
Revenue(2)

 

48

 

Communications

 

 

8

 

 

 

10.5

%

 

 

4.6

%

 

73

 

Business Services

 

 

16

 

 

 

10.1

%

 

 

4.4

%

 

79

 

Amusement and Recreation Services

 

 

4

 

 

 

9.7

%

 

 

4.2

%

 

70

 

Hotels, Rooming, Housing & Lodging

 

 

5

 

 

 

7.5

%

 

 

3.3

%

 

55

 

Automotive Dealers and Gasoline Service Stations

 

 

30

 

 

 

7.5

%

 

 

3.3

%

 

62

 

Security and Commodity Brokers

 

 

1

 

 

 

6.3

%

 

 

2.8

%

 

35

 

Industrial/Commercial Machinery, incl. Computers

 

 

14

 

 

 

6.2

%

 

 

2.7

%

 

37

 

Transportation Equipment

 

 

7

 

 

 

6.0

%

 

 

2.6

%

 

36

 

Electronic & Other Elec. Equipment

 

 

14

 

 

 

5.7

%

 

 

2.5

%

 

30

 

Rubber and Misc. Plastics Products

 

 

2

 

 

 

5.0

%

 

 

2.2

%

 

78

 

Motion Pictures

 

 

3

 

 

 

2.8

%

 

 

1.2

%

 

50

 

Wholesale Trade—Durable Goods

 

 

8

 

 

 

2.2

%

 

 

1.0

%

 

42

 

Motor Freight Transp. & Warehousing

 

 

3

 

 

 

2.0

%

 

 

0.9

%

 

80

 

Healthcare Services

 

 

17

 

 

 

2.0

%

 

 

0.9

%

 

64

 

Insurance Agents, Brokers & Service

 

 

3

 

 

 

1.9

%

 

 

0.8

%

 

63

 

Insurance Carriers

 

 

4

 

 

 

1.7

%

 

 

0.8

%

 

58

 

Eating and Drinking Places

 

 

14

 

 

 

1.7

%

 

 

0.8

%

 

91

 

Executive, Legislative and General Gov't.

 

 

3

 

 

 

1.6

%

 

 

0.7

%

 

87

 

Engineering, Accounting & Research Services

 

 

6

 

 

 

1.2

%

 

 

0.5

%

 

45

 

Airports, Flying Fields & Terminal Services

 

 

1

 

 

 

1.1

%

 

 

0.5

%

 

 

 

Various

 

 

20

 

 

 

7.3

%

 

 

3.1

%

 

 

 

Total

 

 

183

 

 

 

100.0

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Explanatory Notes:


(1)    Reflects annualized GAAP operating lease income for leases in place at December 31, 2005.

(2)    Reflects annualized GAAP operating lease income for leases in place at December 31, 2005 as a percentage of annualized total revenue for the quarter ended December 31, 2005.

11




As of December 31, 2005, lease expirations on the Company’s CTL assets, including facilities owned by the Company’s joint ventures, are as follows:

Year of Lease Expiration

 

 

 

Number of
Leases
Expiring

 

Annualized In-Place
Operating Lease
Income(1)

 

% of In-Place
Operating
Lease
Income

 

% of Total
Revenue(2)

 

 

 

(In thousands)

 

 

 

2006

 

 

14

 

 

 

$

20,879

 

 

 

6.0

%

 

 

2.6

%

 

2007

 

 

14

 

 

 

32,591

 

 

 

9.4

%

 

 

4.1

%

 

2008

 

 

5

 

 

 

9,644

 

 

 

2.8

%

 

 

1.2

%

 

2009

 

 

5

 

 

 

6,382

 

 

 

1.9

%

 

 

0.8

%

 

2010

 

 

13

 

 

 

13,443

 

 

 

3.9

%

 

 

1.7

%

 

2011

 

 

6

 

 

 

3,548

 

 

 

1.0

%

 

 

0.5

%

 

2012

 

 

14

 

 

 

21,291

 

 

 

6.2

%

 

 

2.7

%

 

2013

 

 

9

 

 

 

6,566

 

 

 

1.9

%

 

 

0.8

%

 

2014

 

 

27

 

 

 

21,710

 

 

 

6.3

%

 

 

2.7

%

 

2015

 

 

6

 

 

 

9,738

 

 

 

2.8

%

 

 

1.2

%

 

2016 and thereafter

 

 

70

 

 

 

199,666

 

 

 

57.8

%

 

 

25.2

%

 

Total

 

 

183

 

 

 

$

345,458

 

 

 

100.0

%

 

 

 

 

 

Weighted average
remaining lease term

 

 

 

 

 

 

11.0 years

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Explanatory Notes:


(1)             Reflects annualized GAAP operating lease income for leases in-place at December 31, 2005.

(2)             Reflects annualized GAAP operating lease income for leases in-place at December 31, 2005 as a percentage of annualized total revenue for the quarter ended December 31, 2005.

Policies with Respect to Other Activities

The Company’s investment, financing and conflicts of interests policies are managed under the ultimate supervision of the Company’s Board of Directors. The Board of Directors can amend, revise or eliminate these policies at any time without a vote of shareholders. At all times, the Company intends to make investments in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”) for the Company to qualify as a REIT.

Investment Restrictions or Limitations

The Company does not have any prescribed allocation among investments or product lines. Instead, the Company focuses on corporate and real estate credit underwriting to develop an in-depth analysis of the risk/reward ratios in determining the pricing and advisability of each particular transaction.

The Company believes that it is not, and intends to conduct its operations so as not to become, regulated as an investment company under the Investment Company Act. The Investment Company Act generally exempts entities that are “primarily engaged in purchasing or otherwise acquiring mortgages and other liens on and interests in real estate” (collectively, “Qualifying Interests”). The Company intends to rely on current interpretations of the Securities and Exchange Commission in an effort to qualify for this exemption. Based on these interpretations, the Company, among other things, must maintain at least 55% of its assets in Qualifying Interests and at least 25% of its assets in real estate-related assets (subject to reduction to the extent the Company invests more than 55% of its assets in Qualifying Interests). Generally, the Company’s senior mortgages, CTL assets and certain of its subordinated mortgages constitute Qualifying Interests. Subject to the limitations on ownership of certain types of assets and the

12




gross income tests imposed by the Code, the Company also may invest in the securities of other REITs, other entities engaged in real estate activities or other issuers, including for the purpose of exercising control over such entities.

Competition

The Company operates in a highly competitive market. See Item 1a Risk Factors: “We compete with a variety of financing sources for our customers,” for a discussion of how we may be affected by competition.

Regulation

The operations of the Company are subject, in certain instances, to supervision and regulation by state and federal governmental authorities and may be subject to various laws and judicial and administrative decisions imposing various requirements and restrictions, which, among other things: (1) regulate credit granting activities; (2) establish maximum interest rates, finance charges and other charges; (3) require disclosures to customers; (4) govern secured transactions; and (5) set collection, foreclosure, repossession and claims-handling procedures and other trade practices. Although most states do not regulate commercial finance, certain states impose limitations on interest rates and other charges and on certain collection practices and creditor remedies and require licensing of lenders and financiers and adequate disclosure of certain contract terms. The Company is also required to comply with certain provisions of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act that are applicable to commercial loans.

In the judgment of management, existing statutes and regulations have not had a material adverse effect on the business conducted by the Company. However, it is not possible to forecast the nature of future legislation, regulations, judicial decisions, orders or interpretations, nor their impact upon the future business, financial condition or results of operations or prospects of the Company.

The Company has elected and expects to continue to make an election to be taxed as a REIT under Section 856 through 860 of the Code. As a REIT, the Company must currently distribute, at a minimum, an amount equal to 90% of its taxable income. In addition, the Company must distribute 100% of its taxable income to avoid paying corporate federal income taxes. REITs are also subject to a number of organizational and operational requirements in order to elect and maintain REIT status. These requirements include specific share ownership tests and assets and gross income composition tests. If the Company fails to qualify as a REIT in any taxable year, the Company will be subject to federal income tax (including any applicable alternative minimum tax) on its taxable income at regular corporate tax rates. Even if the Company qualifies for taxation as a REIT, the Company may be subject to state and local income taxes and to federal income tax and excise tax on its undistributed income.

The American Jobs Creation Act

The American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 (the “Act”) was enacted on October 22, 2004. The Act modifies the manner in which the Company applies the gross income and asset test requirements under the Code. With respect to the asset tests, the Act expands the types of securities that qualify as “straight debt” for purposes of the 10% value limitation. The Act also clarifies that certain types of debt instruments, including loans to individuals or estates and securities of a REIT, are not “securities” for purposes of the 10% value limitation. With respect to the gross income tests, the Act provides that for the Company’s taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2005, except to the extent provided by Treasury regulations, its income from certain hedging transactions that are clearly identified as hedges under Section 1221 of the Code, including gain from the sale or disposition of such a transaction, will be excluded from gross income for purposes of the 95% gross income test, to the extent the transaction hedges any indebtedness incurred or to be incurred by the trust to acquire or carry real estate.

13




The Act also sets forth rules that permit a REIT to avoid disqualification for de minimis failures (as defined in the Act) to satisfy the 5% and 10% value limitations under the asset tests if the REIT either disposes of the assets within six months after the last day of the quarter in which the REIT identifies the failure (or such other time period prescribed by the Treasury), or otherwise meets the requirements of such asset tests by the end of such time period. In addition, if a REIT fails to meet any of the asset test requirements for a particular quarter, and the de minimis exception described above does not apply, the REIT may cure such failure if the failure was due to reasonable cause and not to willful neglect, the REIT identifies such failure to the IRS and disposes of the assets that caused the failure within six months after the last day of the quarter in which the identification occurred, and the REIT pays a tax with respect to the failure equal to the greater of: (i) $50,000; or (ii) an amount determined (pursuant to Treasury regulations) by multiplying the highest rate of tax for corporations under Section 11 of the Code, by the net income generated by the assets for the period beginning on the first date of the failure and ending on the date the REIT has disposed of the assets (or otherwise satisfies the requirements). In addition to the foregoing, the Act also provides that if a REIT fails to satisfy one or more requirements for REIT qualification, other than by reason of a failure to comply with the provisions of the reasonable cause exception to the gross income tests and the provisions described above with respect to failure to comply with the asset tests, the REIT may retain its REIT qualification if the failures are due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect, and if the REIT pays a penalty of $50,000 for each such failure. The provisions described in this paragraph will only apply to the Company’s taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2005.

Code of Conduct

The Company has adopted a code of business conduct for all of its employees and directors, including the Company’s chief executive officer, chief financial officer, other executive officers and personnel. A copy of the Company’s code of conduct is incorporated by reference in this Annual Report on Form 10-K as Exhibit 14.0 and is also available on the Company’s website at www.istarfinancial.com. The Company intends to post on its website material changes to, or waivers from, its code of conduct, if any, within two days of any such event. The Company’s code of conduct was originally adopted in February 2000 and was amended in October 2002 to reflect changes in the NYSE’s corporate governance guidelines. As of December 31, 2005, there were no waivers or further changes since adoption of the current code of conduct in October 2002.

Employees

As of February 28, 2006, the Company had 181 employees and believes its relationships with its employees to be good. The Company’s employees are not represented by a collective bargaining agreement.

Other

In addition to this Annual Report, the Company files quarterly and special reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC. All documents are filed with the SEC and are available free of charge on the Company’s corporate website, which is www.istarfinancial.com. Effective as of January 1, 2003, through the Company’s website, the Company makes available free of charge its annual proxy statement, Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those Reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, as soon as reasonably practicable after the Company electronically files such material with, or furnishes it to, the SEC. You may also read and copy any document filed at the public reference facilities at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 25049. Please call the SEC at (800) SEC-0330 for further information about the public reference facilities. These documents also may be accessed

14




through the SEC’s electronic data gathering, analysis and retrieval system (“EDGAR”) via electronic means, including the SEC’s homepage on the internet at www.sec.gov.

Item 1a.      Risk Factors

In addition to the other information in this document, you should consider carefully the following risk factors in evaluating an investment in our securities. Any of these risks or the occurrence of any one or more of the uncertainties described below could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and the performance of our business. For purposes of these risk factors, the terms “we,” “our” and “us” refer to the Company and its consolidated subsidiaries, unless the context indicates otherwise.

We Are Subject to Risks Relating to Our Lending Business.   

We may suffer a loss if the value of real property or other assets securing our loans deteriorates.

The majority of our loans are secured by real property and are fully or substantially non-recourse.  In the event of a default by a borrower on a non-recourse loan, we will only have recourse to the real estate-related assets (including escrowed funds and reserves) collateralizing the loan. For this purpose, we consider loans made to special purpose entities formed solely for the purpose of holding and financing particular assets to be non-recourse loans. We sometimes also make loan investments, often referred to as “mezzanine loans,” that are secured by equity interests in the borrowing entities. There can be no assurance that the value of the assets securing our loans will not deteriorate over time due to factors beyond our control, including acts or omissions by owners or managers of the assets.  Mezzanine loans are subject to the additional risk that other lenders may be directly secured by the real estate assets of the borrowing entity. As of December 31, 2005, 86.96% of our loans were non-recourse, based upon the gross carrying value of our loan assets.  Any losses we may suffer on such loans could have a material adverse affect on our financial performance, the prices of our securities and our ability to pay dividends

We may suffer a loss if a borrower or guarantor defaults on recourse obligations under our loans.

We sometimes obtain individual or corporate guarantees from borrowers or their affiliates, which guarantees are not secured.  In cases where guarantees are not fully or partially secured, we typically rely on financial covenants from borrowers and guarantors which are designed to require the borrower or guarantor to maintain certain levels of creditworthiness.  Where we do not have recourse to specific collateral pledged to satisfy such guarantees or recourse loans, we will only have recourse as an unsecured creditor to the general assets of the borrower or guarantor, some or all of which may be pledged to satisfy other lenders.  There can be no assurance that a borrower or guarantor will comply with its financial covenants, or that sufficient assets will be available to pay amounts owed to us under our loans and guarantees.  As a result of these factors, we may suffer losses which could have a material adverse affect on our financial performance, the market prices of our securities and our ability to pay dividends.

We may suffer a loss in the event of a default or bankruptcy of a borrower, particularly in cases where the borrower has incurred debt that is senior to our loan.

If a borrower defaults on our loan and the mortgaged real estate or other borrower assets collateralizing our loan are insufficient to satisfy our loan, we may suffer a loss of principal or interest.  In the event of a borrower bankruptcy, we may not have full recourse to the assets of the borrower, or the assets of the borrower may not be sufficient to satisfy our loan. In addition, certain of our loans are subordinate to other debt of the borrower.  If a borrower defaults on our loan or on debt senior to our loan, or in the event of a borrower bankruptcy, our loan will be satisfied only after the senior debt.  Bankruptcy and borrower litigation can significantly increase the time needed for us to acquire underlying collateral in the event of a default, during which time the collateral may decline in value. In addition, there are significant costs and delays associated with the foreclosure process.

15




Our reserves for losses may prove inadequate, which could have a material adverse effect on us.

We maintain and regularly evaluate financial reserves to protect against potential future losses.  While we have in many of our loans asset-specific credit protection, including cash reserve accounts, cash deposits and letters of credit which we require that our borrowers fund and/or post at the closing of a transaction in accounts in which we have a security interest, such protections may not be sufficient to protect against all losses. As of December 31, 2005, accumulated loan loss reserves and other asset-specific credit protection represented an aggregate of approximately 6% of the gross book value of our loans. We cannot be certain that our reserves will be adequate over time to protect against potential future losses because of unanticipated adverse changes in the economy or events adversely affecting specific assets, borrowers, industries in which our borrowers operate or markets in which our borrowers or their properties are located.  If our reserves for credit losses prove inadequate, we could suffer losses which could have a material adverse affect on our financial performance, the market prices of our securities and our ability to pay dividends.

We are subject to the risk that provisions of our loan agreements may be unenforceable.

Our rights and obligations with respect to our loans are governed by written loan agreements and related documentation. It is possible that a court could determine that one or more provisions of a loan agreement are unenforceable, such as a loan prepayment provision or the provisions governing our security interest in the underlying collateral.  If this were to happen with respect to a material asset or group of assets, our financial performance, the market prices of our securities and our ability to pay dividends could be materially adversely affected.

We are subject to the risks associated with loan participations and intercreditor arrangements, such as less than full control rights.

Some of our assets are participating interests in loans in which we share the rights, obligations and benefits of the loan with other participating lenders.   Some of our assets are interests in subordinated loans which are subject to intercreditor arrangements with senior lenders. Where debt senior to our loans exists, the presence of intercreditor arrangements may limit our ability to amend our loan documents, assign our loans, accept prepayments, exercise our remedies (through “standstill” periods) and control decisions made in bankruptcy proceedings relating to borrowers.  Similarly, a majority of the participating lenders, or the senior lenders, may be able to take actions to which we object but to which we will be bound. We may be adversely affected by such lack of full control.

Prepayments of our loans, particularly during periods of low interest rates, may reduce our recurring income and we also may not receive prepayment penalties.

Borrowers may seek to prepay our loans, particularly during periods when interest rates are low. If loans repay before their maturity, we may not be able to reinvest the proceeds quickly or we may be forced to reinvest the proceeds in lower-yielding assets.  Accordingly, prepayments of our assets may reduce the amount of our recurring income and could adversely affect our financial performance.  Many of our loans provide that the borrower must pay us a prepayment penalty if the loan is repaid before a specified date.  This is often referred to as a “lock-out period.”  While prepayment penalties provide us with financial compensation, they represent one-time payments as opposed to recurring income.  After the end of the lock-out period, the borrower may prepay the loan without penalty prior to its maturity.  As of December 31, 2005, 41.57% of our lending portfolio consisted of loans open to prepayment without penalty.

Increases in interest rates during the term of a loan may adversely impact a borrower’s ability to repay a loan at maturity or to prepay a loan.

If interest rates increase during the term of our loan, a borrower may not be able to obtain the necessary funds to repay our loan at maturity through refinancing.  Borrowers may also not be able to

16




obtain refinancing proceeds that would enable them to prepay our loans.   Increasing interest rates may hinder a borrower’s ability to refinance our loan because the borrower or the underlying property cannot satisfy the debt service coverage requirements necessary to obtain new financing or because the value of the property has decreased.  If a borrower is unable to repay our loan at maturity, we could suffer a loss.  If borrowers prepay fewer loans during periods of rising interest rates, we will not be able to reinvest prepayment proceeds in assets with higher interest rates.  As a result, our financial performance, the market prices of our securities and our ability to pay dividends could be materially adversely affected.

We Are Subject to Risks Relating to Our Corporate Tenant Lease Business.

We may experience losses if the creditworthiness of our tenants deteriorates and they are unable to meet their obligations under our leases.

We own the properties leased to the tenants of our CTL assets and we receive rents from the tenants during the terms of our leases.  A tenant’s ability to pay rent is determined by the creditworthiness of the tenant.  If a tenant’s credit deteriorates, the tenant may default on its obligations under our lease and the tenant may also become bankrupt.  The bankruptcy or insolvency or other failure to pay of our tenants is likely to adversely affect the income produced by our CTL assets. If a tenant defaults, we may experience delays and incur substantial costs in enforcing our rights as landlord. If a tenant files for bankruptcy, we may not be able to evict the tenant solely because of such bankruptcy or failure to pay. A court, however, may authorize a tenant to reject and terminate its lease with us. In such a case, our claim against the tenant for unpaid, future rent would be subject to a statutory cap that might be substantially less than the remaining rent owed under the lease. In addition, certain amounts paid to us within 90 days prior to the tenant’s bankruptcy filing could be required to be returned to the tenant’s bankruptcy estate. In any event, it is highly unlikely that a bankrupt or insolvent tenant would pay in full amounts it owes us under a lease. In other circumstances, where a tenant’s financial condition has become impaired, we may agree to partially or wholly terminate the lease in advance of the termination date in consideration for a lease termination fee that is likely less than the agreed rental amount. Without regard to the manner in which the lease termination occurs, we are likely to incur additional costs in the form of tenant improvements and leasing commissions in our efforts to lease the space to a new tenant. In any of the foregoing circumstances, our financial performance, the market prices of our securities and our ability to pay dividends could be materially adversely affected.   

We may be unable to renew leases or relet space on similar terms, or at all, as leases expire or are terminated, or may expend significant capital in our efforts to relet space

As of December 31, 2005, the percentage of our revenues (based on annualized GAAP operating lease income for leases in place at December 31, 2005, as a percentage of annualized total revenue for the quarter ended December 31, 2005) that are subject to expiring leases during each year from 2006 through 2010 is as follows:

2006

 

2.6

%

2007

 

4.1

%

2008

 

1.2

%

2009

 

0.8

%

2010

 

1.7

%

 

Lease expirations, lease defaults and lease terminations may result in reduced revenues if the lease payments received from replacement corporate tenants are less than the lease payments received from the expiring, defaulting or terminating corporate tenants.  Lease defaults by one or more significant corporate tenants, lease terminations by corporate tenants following events of casualty or takings by eminent domain, or the failure of corporate tenants under expiring leases to elect to renew their leases, could cause us to

17




experience long periods of vacancy with no revenue from a facility.  In addition, if we need to re-lease a corporate facility, we may need to make significant tenant improvements, including conversions of single tenant buildings to multi-tenant buildings.  The loss of revenue from expiring, defaulted or terminated leases, and the costs of capital improvements could materially adversely affect our financial performance, the market prices of our securities and our ability to pay dividends.

Our properties face significant competition which may impede our ability to retain tenants or re-let space when existing tenants vacate.

We face significant competition from other owners, operators and developers of office properties, many of which own properties similar to ours in the markets in which we operate. Such competition may affect our ability to attract and retain tenants and reduce the rents we are able to charge. These competing properties may have vacancy rates higher than our properties, which may result in their owners being willing to rent space at lower rental rates than we or in their owners providing greater tenant improvement allowances or other leasing concessions. This combination of circumstances could adversely affect our financial performance, the market prices of our securities and our ability to pay dividends.

Our ownership interests in corporate facilities are illiquid, hindering our ability to mitigate a loss.

Since our ownership interests in corporate facilities are illiquid, we may lack the necessary flexibility to vary our investment strategy promptly to respond to changes in market conditions.  This could have a material adverse effect on our financial performance, the market prices of our securities and our ability to pay dividends.

We Compete With a Variety of Financing Sources for our Customers.

Our markets are highly competitive. Our competitors include finance companies, other REITs, commercial banks and thrift institutions, investment banks and hedge funds. Competition from both traditional competitors and new market entrants has intensified in recent years due to a strong economy, growing marketplace liquidity and increasing recognition of the attractiveness of the commercial real estate finance markets. In addition, the rapid expansion of the securitization markets is dramatically reducing the difficulty in obtaining access to capital, which is the principal barrier to entry into these markets. This trend is further intensifying competition in certain market segments, including increasing competition from specialized securitization lenders which offer aggressive pricing terms. Our competitors seek to compete aggressively on the basis of transaction pricing, terms and structure and we may lose market share to the extent we are unwilling to match our competitors’ pricing, terms and structure in order to maintain interest margins and/or credit standards. To the extent that we match competitors’ pricing, terms or structure, we may experience decreased interest margins and/or increased risk of credit losses, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial performance, the market prices of our securities and our ability to pay dividends.

We Are Subject to Risks Relating to Our Asset Concentration.

As of December 31, 2005, the average size of our lending investments was $28.5 million and the average size of our CTL investments was $28.6 million.  Of our annualized revenues for the quarter ended December 31, 2005, 18.9% were derived from our five largest borrowers or corporate customers, collectively. No single loan or CTL investment represents more than 5.0% of our annualized revenues for the fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2005.  While our asset base is diversified by product line, asset type, obligor, property type and geographic location, it is possible that if we suffer losses on a portion of our larger assets, our financial performance, the market prices of our securities and our ability to pay dividends could be materially adversely affected.

18




Adverse Changes in General Economic Conditions Can Adversely Affect Our Business.

Our success is dependent upon the general economic conditions in the geographic areas in which a substantial number of our investments are located. Adverse changes in national economic conditions or in the economic conditions of the regions in which we conduct substantial business likely would have an adverse effect on real estate values and, accordingly, our financial performance, the market prices of our securities and our ability to pay dividends business.

In a recession or under other adverse economic conditions, non-earning assets and write-downs are likely to increase as debtors fail to meet their payment obligations. Although we maintain reserves for credit losses and an allowance for doubtful accounts in amounts that we believe are sufficient to provide adequate protection against potential write-downs in our portfolio, these amounts could prove to be insufficient.

A recession or downturn could contribute to a downgrading of our credit ratings. A ratings downgrade likely would increase our funding costs, and could decrease our net investment income, limit our access to the capital markets or result in a decision by the lenders under our existing bank credit facilities not to extend such credit facilities after their expiration.  Such results could have a material adverse effect on our financial performance, the market prices of our securities and our ability to pay dividends

An earthquake or terrorist act could adversely affect our business

Approximately 28% of the gross carrying value of our assets as of December 31, 2005, were located in the West and Northwest United States, which are high risk geographical areas for earthquakes. In addition, a significant number of properties collateralizing our loans are located in New York City and other major urban areas which have, in recent years, been high risk geographical areas for terrorism and threats of terrorism. Future earthquakes or acts of terrorism could adversely impact the demand for, and value of, our assets and could also directly impact the value of our assets through damage, destruction or loss, and could thereafter materially impact the availability or cost of insurance to protect against these events.  Any earthquake or terrorist attack, whether or not insured, could have a material adverse effect on our financial performance, the market prices of our securities and our ability to pay dividends.

Uninsured losses or losses in excess of our insurance coverage could adversely affect our financial condition and our cash flows

Although we believe our CTL assets and the properties collateralizing our loan assets are adequately covered by insurance, we cannot predict at this time if we or our borrowers will be able to obtain appropriate coverage at a reasonable cost in the future, or if we will be able to continue to pass along all of the costs of insurance to our tenants.  In response to the uncertainty in the insurance market following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 (“TRIA”) was enacted in November 2002, which established the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program to mandate that insurance carriers offer insurance covering physical damage from terrorist incidents certified by the U.S. government as foreign terrorist acts.  Under the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program, the federal government shares in the risk of loss associated with certain future terrorist acts.  The Terrorism Risk Insurance Program was scheduled to expire on December 31, 2005. However, on December 22, 2005, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Extension Act of 2005 (the “Extension Act”) was enacted, which extended the duration of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program until December 31, 2007, while expanding the private sector role and reducing the amount of coverage that the U.S. government is required to provide for insured losses under the program. While the underlying structure of TRIA was left intact, the Extension Act makes some adjustments, including increasing the current insurer deductible from 15% of direct earned premiums to 17.5% for 2006, and to 20% of such premiums in 2007. For losses in excess of the deductible, the federal government still reimburses 90% of the insurer’s loss in 2007. The federal share in the aggregate in any

19




program year may not exceed $100 billion (the insurers will not be liable for any amount that exceeds this cap). Under the Extension Act, losses incurred as a result of an act of terrorism are required to exceed $5.0 million before the program is triggered and compensation is paid under the program, but that amount increases to $50.0 million on April 1, 2006, and to $100.0 million in 2007.  As a result, unless we and our borrowers obtain separate coverage for events that do not meet that threshold (which coverage may not be required by the respective loan documents and may not otherwise be obtainable), such events would not be covered. In addition, the recently enacted legislation may subsequently result in increased premiums charged by insurance carriers for terrorism insurance.

We are highly dependent on information systems, and systems failures could significantly disrupt our business.

As a financial services firm, our business is highly dependent on communications and information systems. Any failure or interruption of our systems could cause delays or other problems in our activities, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial performance, the market prices of our securities and our ability to pay dividends.

We Face a Risk of Liability Under Environmental Laws.

Under various U.S. federal, state and local environmental laws, ordinances and regulations, a current or previous owner of real estate (including, in certain circumstances, a secured lender that succeeds to ownership or control of a property) may become liable for the costs of removal or remediation of certain hazardous or toxic substances at, on, under or in its property. Those laws typically impose cleanup responsibility and liability without regard to whether the owner or control party knew of or was responsible for the release or presence of such hazardous or toxic substances. The costs of investigation, remediation or removal of those substances may be substantial. The owner or control party of a site may be subject to common law claims by third parties based on damages and costs resulting from environmental contamination emanating from a site. Certain environmental laws also impose liability in connection with the handling of or exposure to asbestos-containing materials, pursuant to which third parties may seek recovery from owners of real properties for personal injuries associated with asbestos-containing materials. Absent succeeding to ownership or control of real property, a secured lender is not likely to be subject to any of these forms of environmental liability.  Additionally, under our CTL assets we require our tenants to undertake the obligation for environmental compliance and indemnify us from liability with respect thereto.  There can be no assurance that our tenants will have sufficient resources to satisfy their obligations to us.

Strategic Investments Involve Risks.

We have made and expect to continue to make strategic investments in complementary businesses. Strategic investments may involve the incurrence of additional debt and contingent liabilities. In addition, we may incur expenses from these investments, or they may require substantial investments of additional capital, before they begin generating anticipated returns. Strategic transactions involve risks, including:

·  Difficulties in assimilating the operations, products, technology, information systems and personnel of the acquired business.

·  Potentially dilutive issuances of equity securities and the incurrence of additional debt in connection with future acquisitions.

·  Diverting management’s attention from other business concerns.

·  Difficulties in maintaining uniform standards, controls, procedures and policies.

·  Entering markets in which we have limited prior experience.

20




·  Losing key employees or customers of the acquired business.

These factors could have a material adverse effect on our financial performance, the market prices of our securities and our ability to pay dividends.

Because We Must Distribute a Portion of Our Income, We Will Continue to Need Additional Debt and/or Equity Capital to Grow.

We generally must distribute at least 90% of our net taxable income to our stockholders to maintain our REIT status. As a result, those earnings will not be available to fund investment activities. We have historically funded our investments by borrowing from financial institutions and raising capital in the public and private capital markets. We expect to continue to fund our investments this way. If we fail to obtain funds from these sources, it could limit our ability to grow, which could have a material adverse effect on the value of our common stock. Our taxable income has historically been lower than the cash flow generated by our business activities, primarily because our taxable income is reduced by non-cash expenses, such as depreciation, depletion and amortization. As a result, our dividend payout ratio as a percentage of our adjusted earnings (see Item 7: “Adjusted Earnings”) has generally been lower than our payout ratio as a percentage of net taxable income.

Our Growth is Dependent on Leverage, Which May Create Other Risks.

Our success is dependent, in part, upon our ability to use of leverage on our balance sheet. Our ability to obtain the leverage necessary for execution of our business plan will ultimately depend upon our ability to maintain interest coverage ratios meeting market underwriting standards that will vary according to lenders’ assessments of our creditworthiness and the terms of the borrowings. As of December 31, 2005, our debt-to-book equity plus accumulated depreciation, depletion and loan loss reserves ratio was 2.1x and our total carrying value of debt obligations outstanding was approximately $5.9 billion. Our charter does not limit the amount of indebtedness which we may incur. Our Board of Directors has overall responsibility for our financing strategy. Stockholder approval is not required for changes to our financing strategy. If our Board of Directors decided to increase our leverage, it could lead to reduced or negative cash flow and reduced liquidity.

The percentage of leverage used will vary depending on our estimate of the stability of our cash flow.  To the extent that changes in market conditions cause the cost of such financing to increase relative to the income that can be derived from the assets originated, we may reduce the amount of our leverage. Leverage creates an opportunity for increased net income, but at the same time creates risks. For example, leveraging magnifies changes in our net worth. We will incur leverage only when there is an expectation that it will enhance returns, although there can be no assurance that our use of leverage will prove to be beneficial. Moreover, there can be no assurance that we will be able to meet our debt service obligations and, to the extent that we cannot, we risk the loss of some or all of our assets or a financial loss if we are required to liquidate assets at a commercially inopportune time.

We and our subsidiaries are parties to agreements and debt instruments that restrict future indebtedness and the payment of dividends, including indirect restrictions (through, for example, covenants requiring the maintenance of specified levels of net worth and earnings to debt service ratios) and direct restrictions. As a result, in the event of a deterioration in our financial condition, these agreements or debt instruments could restrict our ability to pay dividends. Moreover, if we fail to pay dividends as required by the Code whether as a result of restrictive covenants in our debt instruments or otherwise, we may lose our qualification as a REIT. For more information regarding the consequences of loss of REIT qualification, please read the risk factor entitled “We May Be Subject to Adverse Consequences if We Fail to Qualify as a REIT.”

21




We Utilize Interest Rate Hedging Arrangements Which May Adversely Affect Our Borrowing Cost and Expose Us to Other Risks.

We have variable rate lending assets and variable rate debt obligations. These assets and liabilities create a natural hedge against changes in variable interest rates. This means that as interest rates increase, we earn more on our variable rate lending assets and pay more on our variable rate debt obligations and, conversely, as interest rates decrease, we earn less on our variable rate lending assets and pay less on our variable rate debt obligations. When our variable rate debt obligations exceed our variable rate lending assets, we utilize derivative instruments to limit the impact of changing interest rates on our net income. We do not use derivative instruments to hedge assets or for speculative purposes. The derivative instruments we use are typically in the form of interest rate swaps and interest rate caps. Interest rate swaps effectively change variable rate debt obligations to fixed rate debt obligations or fixed rate debt obligations to variable rate debt obligations. Interest rate caps effectively limit the maximum interest rate on variable rate debt obligations.

The primary risks from our use of derivative instruments is the risk that a counterparty to a hedging arrangement could default on its obligation and the risk that we may have to pay certain costs, such as transaction fees or breakage costs, if a hedging arrangement is terminated by us. As a matter of policy, we enter into hedging arrangements with counterparties that are large, creditworthy financial institutions typically rated at least “A” and “A2” by S&P and Moody’s Investors Service, respectively. Our hedging strategy is monitored by our Audit Committee on behalf of our Board of Directors and may be changed by the Board of Directors without stockholder approval.

Developing an effective strategy for dealing with movements in interest rates is complex and no strategy can completely insulate us from risks associated with such fluctuations. There can be no assurance that our hedging activities will have the desired beneficial impact on our results of operations or financial condition.

Quarterly Results May Fluctuate and May Not Be Indicative of Future Quarterly Performance.

Our quarterly operating results could fluctuate; therefore, you should not rely on past quarterly results to be indicative of our performance in future quarters. Factors that could cause quarterly operating results to fluctuate include, among others, variations in our investment origination volume, variations in the timing of prepayments, the degree to which we encounter competition in our markets and general economic conditions.

Certain Provisions in Our Charter May Inhibit a Change in Control.

Generally, to maintain our qualification as a REIT under the Code, not more than 50% in value of our outstanding shares of stock may be owned, directly or indirectly, by five or fewer individuals at any time during the last half of our taxable year. The Code defines “individuals” for purposes of the requirement described in the preceding sentence to include some types of entities. Under our charter, no person may own more than 9.8% of our outstanding shares of stock, with some exceptions. The restrictions on transferability and ownership may delay, deter or prevent a change in control or other transaction that might involve a premium price or otherwise be in the best interest of the security holders.

Our charter authorizes our Board of Directors:

1.     To cause us to issue additional authorized but unissued shares of common or preferred stock.

2.     To classify or reclassify, in one or more series, any of our unissued preferred shares.

3.     To set the preferences, rights and other terms of any classified or reclassified securities that we issue.

22




Our Board of Directors May Change Certain of Our Policies Without Stockholder Approval.

Our charter provides that our primary purpose is to invest in a diversified portfolio of debt and debtlike interests in real estate and real estate related assets, although it does not set forth specific percentages of the types of investments we may make. Our Board of Directors determines our investment policies, as well as our financing and conflicts of interest policies. Our Board of Directors can amend, revise or eliminate these policies at any time and from time to time at its discretion without a vote of the stockholders, except as otherwise required by our charter. A change in these policies could adversely affect our financial condition or results of operations or the market price of our common stock.

We May Be Subject to Adverse Consequences Should We Fail to Qualify as a REIT.

We intend to operate so as to qualify as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes. We have received an opinion of our legal counsel, Clifford Chance US LLP, that based on the assumptions and representations described in “Certain U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences,” our existing legal organization and our actual and proposed method of operation, enable us to satisfy the requirements for qualification as a REIT under the Code. Investors should be aware, however, that opinions of counsel are not binding on the Internal Revenue Service or any court. The opinion only represents the view of our counsel based on their review and analysis of existing law, some aspects of which include no controlling precedents. Furthermore, both the validity of the opinion and our qualification as a REIT will depend on our continuing ability to meet various requirements concerning, among other things, the ownership of our outstanding stock, the nature of our assets, the sources of our income and the amount of our distributions to our stockholders.

If we were to fail to qualify as a REIT for any taxable year, we would not be allowed a deduction for distributions to our stockholders in computing our taxable income and we would be subject to U.S. federal income tax, including any applicable minimum tax, on our taxable income with respect to any such taxable year at regular corporate rates. Unless entitled to relief under certain Code provisions, we also would be disqualified from treatment as a REIT for the four subsequent taxable years following the year during which qualification was lost. As a result, cash available for distribution would be reduced for each of the years involved. Furthermore, it is possible that future economic, market, legal, tax or other considerations may cause the Board of Directors to revoke our REIT election.

To Qualify as a REIT, We May Be Forced to Borrow Funds During Unfavorable Market Conditions.

To qualify as a REIT, we generally must distribute to our stockholders at least 90% of our net income each year, excluding net capital gains, and we will be subject to regular U.S. federal corporate income taxes to the extent that we distribute less than 100% of our net taxable income each year. In addition, we will be subject to a 4% nondeductible excise tax on the amount, if any, by which distributions paid by us in any calendar year are less than the sum of 85% of our ordinary income, 95% of our capital gain net income and 100% of our undistributed income from prior years. In order to qualify as a REIT and avoid the payment of income and excise taxes, we may need to borrow funds on a short-term, or possibly long-term, basis to meet the REIT distribution requirements even if the prevailing market conditions are not favorable for these borrowings. These borrowing needs could result from, among other things, a difference in timing between the actual receipt of cash and inclusion of income for U.S. federal income tax purposes, the effect of non-deductible capital expenditures, the creation of reserves or required debt or amortization payments.

Dividends Payable by REITs Do Not Qualify for Reduced Tax Rates.

The maximum U.S. federal income tax rate for dividends payable by domestic corporations to individual U.S. stockholders is 15% through 2008. Dividends payable by REITs, however, are generally not eligible for the reduced rates. As a result, the more favorable rates applicable to regular corporate

23




dividends could cause stockholders who are individuals to perceive investments in REITs to be relatively less attractive than investments in the stocks of non-REIT corporations that pay dividends, which could adversely affect the value of the stock of REITs, including our common stock.

Possible Legislative or Other Actions Affecting REITs Could Adversely Affect Our Stockholders.

The rules dealing with U.S. federal income taxation are constantly under review by persons involved in the legislative process and by the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Treasury Department. Changes to tax laws (which may have retroactive application) could adversely affect our stockholders or us. It cannot be predicted whether, when, in what forms, or with what effective dates, the tax laws applicable to our stockholders or us will be changed.

We Will Pay Some Taxes.

Even if we qualify as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes, we will be required to pay some U.S. federal, state, local, and foreign taxes on our income and property. In addition, our “taxable REIT subsidiaries” are fully taxable corporations, and there are limitations on the ability of taxable REIT subsidiaries to make interest payments to affiliated REITs. In addition, we will be subject to a 100% penalty tax to the extent economic arrangements among our tenants, our taxable REIT subsidiary and us are not comparable to similar arrangements among unrelated parties. We will also be subject to a 100% tax to the extent we derive income from the sale of assets to customers in the ordinary course of business. To the extent that we or our taxable REIT subsidiary are required to pay U.S. federal, state, local or foreign taxes, we will have less cash available for distribution to stockholders.

Certain Financing Activities May Subject Us to U.S. Federal Income Tax and Increase the Tax Liability of Our Stockholders.

Although we do not intend to invest a material portion of our assets in real estate mortgage investment conduits, or “REMICs,” certain taxable income produced by REMIC residual interests may cause our stockholders to suffer adverse tax consequences.

Although the law on the matter is unclear, we might be taxable at the highest corporate income tax rate on a portion of the income arising from a taxable mortgage pool that is allocable to the percentage of our shares held by “disqualified organizations,” which are generally certain cooperatives, governmental entities and tax-exempt organizations that are exempt from unrelated business taxable income. We believe that disqualified organizations own our shares. Because this tax would be imposed on us, all of our investors, including investors that are not disqualified organizations, would bear a portion of the tax cost associated with the classification of us or a portion of our assets as a taxable mortgage pool. In addition, if we realize “excess inclusion income” and allocate it to stockholders, this income cannot be offset by net operating losses of our stockholders. In addition, if the stockholder is a tax-exempt entity and not a disqualified organization, then the excess inclusion income would be fully taxable as unrelated business taxable income under Section 512 of the Code. If the stockholder is a foreign person, it would be subject to U.S. federal income tax withholding on the excess inclusion income and would not be able to reduce such withholding tax pursuant to any otherwise applicable income tax treaty.

A Portion of The Dividends We Distribute May Be Deemed a Return of Capital For U.S. Federal Income Tax Purposes.

The amount of dividends we distribute to our common stockholders in a given quarter may not correspond to our taxable income for such quarter. Consequently, a portion of the dividends we distribute may be deemed a return of capital for U.S. federal income tax purposes, and will not be taxable but will

24




reduce stockholders’ basis in its common stock. For the year ended December 31, 2005, the percentage of our dividend payments made to common stockholders that was treated as a return of capital was 21.08%.

Item 1b. Unresolved Staff Comments

None.

Item 2. Properties

The Company’s principal executive and administrative offices are located at 1114 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036. Its telephone number, general facsimile number and web address are (212) 930-9400, (212) 930-9494 and www.istarfinancial.com, respectively. The lease for the Company’s primary corporate office space expires in February 2010. During 2005, the Company entered into new leases for additional space in the same facility to accommodate its growing employee base. The Company also maintains super-regional offices in Atlanta, Georgia; Hartford, Connecticut; and San Francisco, California, as well as regional offices in Boston, Massachusetts, Dallas, Texas and Chicago, Illinois; and a subsidiary in London, England.

See Item 1—“Corporate Tenant Leasing” for a discussion of CTL facilities held by the Company and its Leasing Subsidiary for investment purposes and Item 8—“Schedule III—Corporate Tenant Lease Assets and Accumulated Depreciation” for a detailed listing of such facilities.

Item 3. Legal Proceedings

The Company is not a party to any material litigation or legal proceedings, or to the best of its knowledge, any threatened litigation or legal proceedings which, in the opinion of management, individually or in the aggregate, would have a material adverse effect on its results of operations or financial condition.

Item 4. Submission of Matters to a Vote of Security Holders

There were no matters submitted to a vote of security holders during the fourth quarter of 2005.

25




PART II

Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Equity and Related Share Matters

The Company’s Common Stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) under the symbol “SFI.”

The high and low sales prices per share of Common Stock are set forth below for the periods indicated.

Quarter Ended

 

 

 

High

 

Low

 

2004

 

 

 

 

 

March 31, 2004

 

$

42.95

 

$

38.60

 

June 30, 2004

 

$

42.75

 

$

34.50

 

September 30, 2004

 

$

41.23

 

$

37.03

 

December 31, 2004

 

$

45.57

 

$

41.32

 

2005

 

 

 

 

 

March 31, 2005

 

$

44.90

 

$

40.23

 

June 30, 2005

 

$

42.84

 

$

39.33

 

September 30, 2005

 

$

43.98

 

$

39.73

 

December 31, 2005

 

$

41.07

 

$

35.36

 

 

On February 28, 2006, the closing sale price of the Common Stock as reported by the NYSE was $38.10. The Company had 3,346 holders of record of Common Stock as of February 28, 2006.

At December 31, 2005, the Company had five series of preferred stock outstanding: 8.000% Series D Preferred Stock, 7.875% Series E Preferred Stock, 7.800% Series F Preferred Stock, 7.650% Series G Preferred Stock and 7.500% Series I Preferred Stock. Each of the Series D, E, F, G and I preferred stock is publicly traded.

Dividends

The Company’s management expects that any taxable income remaining after the distribution of preferred dividends and the regular quarterly or other dividends on its Common Stock will be distributed annually to the holders of the Common Stock on or prior to the date of the first regular quarterly dividend payment date of the following taxable year. The dividend policy with respect to the Common Stock is subject to revision by the Board of Directors. All distributions in excess of dividends on preferred stock or those required for the Company to maintain its REIT status will be made by the Company at the sole discretion of the Board of Directors and will depend on the taxable earnings of the Company, the financial condition of the Company, and such other factors as the Board of Directors deems relevant. The Board of Directors has not established any minimum distribution level. In order to maintain its qualifications as a REIT, the Company intends to pay regular quarterly dividends to its shareholders that, on an annual basis, will represent at least 90% of its taxable income (which may not necessarily equal net income as calculated in accordance with GAAP), determined without regard to the deduction for dividends paid and excluding any net capital gains.

Holders of Common Stock will be entitled to receive distributions if, as and when the Board of Directors authorizes and declares distributions. However, rights to distributions may be subordinated to the rights of holders of preferred stock, when preferred stock is issued and outstanding. In addition, most of the Company’s borrowings contain covenants that limit the Company’s ability to pay distributions on its capital stock based upon the Company’s adjusted earnings provided however, that these borrowings generally permit the Company to pay the minimum amount of distributions necessary to maintain the Company’s REIT status. In any liquidation, dissolution or winding up of the Company, each outstanding

26




share of Common Stock will entitle its holder to a proportionate share of the assets that remain after the Company pays its liabilities and any preferential distributions owed to preferred shareholders.

The following table sets forth the dividends paid or declared by the Company on its Common Stock:

Quarter Ended

 

 

 

Shareholder
Record Date

 

Dividend/
Share

 

2004(1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 31, 2004

 

April 15, 2004

 

 

$

0.6975

 

 

June 30, 2004

 

July 15, 2004

 

 

$

0.6975

 

 

September 30, 2004

 

October 15, 2004

 

 

$

0.6975

 

 

December 31, 2004

 

December 15, 2004

 

 

$

0.6975

 

 

2005(2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 31, 2005

 

April 15, 2005

 

 

$

0.7325

 

 

June 30, 2005

 

July 15, 2005

 

 

$

0.7325

 

 

September 30, 2005

 

October 15, 2005

 

 

$

0.7325

 

 

December 31, 2005

 

December 15, 2005

 

 

$

0.7325

 

 

 

Explanatory Notes:


(1)             For tax reporting purposes, the 2004 dividends were classified as 49.15% ($1.3713) ordinary income, 2.20% ($0.0613) 15% capital gain, 7.45% ($0.0278) 25% Section 1250 capital gain and 41.20% ($1.1496) return of capital for those shareholders who held shares of the Company for the entire year.

(2)             For tax reporting purposes, the 2005 dividends were classified as 65.04% ($1.905) ordinary income, 12.72% ($0.3727) 15% capital gain, 1.17% ($0.0342) 25% Section 1250 capital gain and 21.08% ($0.6176) return of capital for those shareholders who held shares of the Company for the entire year.

The Company declared dividends aggregating $8.0 million, $11.0 million, $7.8 million, $6.1 million, and $9.4 million respectively, on its Series D, E, F, G, and I preferred stock, respectively, for the year ended December 31, 2005. There are no dividend arrearages on any of the preferred shares currently outstanding.

Distributions to shareholders will generally be taxable as ordinary income, although a portion of such dividends may be designated by the Company as capital gain or may constitute a tax-free return of capital. The Company annually furnishes to each of its shareholders a statement setting forth the distributions paid during the preceding year and their characterization as ordinary income, capital gain or return of capital.

The Company intends to continue to declare quarterly distributions on its Common Stock. No assurance, however, can be given as to the amounts or timing of future distributions, as such distributions are subject to the Company’s earnings, financial condition, capital requirements, debt covenants and such other factors as the Company’s Board of Directors deems relevant. On February 28, 2006, the Company announced that, effective April 1, 2006, its Board of Directors approved an increase in the regular quarterly dividend on its Common Stock for 2006 to $0.77 per share, representing $3.08 per share on an annualized basis.

27




Disclosure of Equity Compensation Plan Information

Plan category

 

 

 

(a)
Number of securities
to be issued upon
exercise of
outstanding options,
warrants and rights

 

(b)
Weighted-average
exercise price of
outstanding options,
warrants and rights

 

(c)
Number of securities
remaining available for
future issuance under
equity compensation
plans (excluding securities
reflected in column (a))

 

Equity compensation plans approved by security holders-stock options(1)

 

 

1,231,992

 

 

 

$

17.86

 

 

 

980,818

 

 

Equity compensation plans approved by security holders-restricted stock awards(2)

 

 

141,143

 

 

 

N/A

 

 

 

N/A

 

 

Equity compensation plans approved by security holders-high performance units(3)

 

 

 

 

 

N/A

 

 

 

N/A

 

 

Equity compensation plans not approved by security holders

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

 

1,373,135

 

 

 

$

17.86

 

 

 

980,818

 

 

 

Explanatory Notes:


(1)             Stock Options—As more fully discussed in Note 12 to the Company’s Consolidated Financial Statements, there were approximately 1.2 million stock options outstanding as of December 31, 2005. These 1.2 million options, together with their weighted-average exercise price, have been included in columns (a) and (b), above. The 980,818 figure in column (c) represents the aggregate amount of stock options or restricted stock awards that could be granted under compensation plans approved by the Company’s security holders after giving effect to previously issued awards of stock options, shares of restricted stock and other performance awards (see Note 12 to the Company’s Consolidated Financial Statements for a more detailed description of the Company’s Long-Term Incentive Plan).

(2)             Restricted Stock—As of December 31, 2005, the Company has issued 929,980 shares of restricted stock. The restrictions on 93,643 of such shares primarily relate to the passage of time for vesting periods which have not lapsed, and are thus not included in the Company’s outstanding share balance. These shares have been included in column (a), above. The amounts shown in column (a) also include 47,500 common stock equivalents awarded to our non-employee directors in consideration of their service to us as directors. The Company awards 2,500 common stock equivalents to each non-employee director on the date of each annual meeting of shareholders pursuant to the Company’s Non-Employee Directors’ Deferral Plan, which was approved by the Company’s shareholders in May 2004. Common stock equivalents represent rights to receive shares of Common Stock, or cash in amount equal to the fair market value of the Common Stock, at the date the Common Stock Equivalents are settled based upon individual elections made by each director. Common stock equivalents have dividend equivalent rights beginning on the date of grant.

(3)             High Performance Unit Program—In May 2002, the Company’s shareholders approved the iStar Financial High Performance Unit Program. The Program is more fully described in the Company’s proxy statement dated April 8, 2002 and in Note 12 to the Company’s Consolidated Financial Statements. The program entitles the employee participants to receive distributions in the nature of common stock dividends if the total rate of return on the Company’s Common Stock exceeds certain performance levels. The first, second and third tranches of the program were completed on December 31, 2002, 2003 and 2004, respectively. As a result of the Company’s superior performance during the valuation period for all three tranches, the program participants are entitled to share in distributions equivalent to dividends payable on 819,254 shares, 987,149 shares and 1,031,875 shares of the Company’s Common Stock, in the aggregate, as and when such dividends are paid by the Company for the 2002, 2003 and 2004 plan, respectively. Such dividend payments for the first tranche began with the first quarter 2003 dividend, for the second tranche began with the first quarter 2004 dividend and those for the third tranche began with the first quarter 2005 dividend and reduced net income allocable to common stockholders when paid. The valuation period for the fourth tranch of the plan was completed on December 31, 2005, and it did not meet the performance threshold. As a result, the participants in the 2005 plan are not entitled to any future dividend payments and no shares of the Company’s Common Stock will be issued in connection with this program (see Note 12 to the Company’s Consolidated Financial Statements for a more detailed description of the Company’s High Performance Unit Program).

28




Item 6. Selected Financial Data

The following table sets forth selected financial data on a consolidated historical basis for the Company. This information should be read in conjunction with the discussions set forth in Item 7—“Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.” Certain prior year amounts have been reclassified to conform to the 2005 presentation.

 

 

For the Years Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2005

 

2004

 

2003

 

2002

 

2001

 

 

 

(In thousands, except per share data and ratios)

 

OPERATING DATA:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interest income

 

$

406,668

 

$

351,972

 

$

302,915

 

$

254,746

 

$

254,119

 

Operating lease income

 

310,396

 

283,157

 

228,620

 

205,903

 

151,753

 

Other income

 

81,440

 

56,063

 

38,153

 

28,878

 

30,921

 

Total revenue

 

798,504

 

691,192

 

569,688

 

489,527

 

436,793

 

Interest expense

 

313,053

 

232,728

 

194,662

 

185,013

 

169,585

 

Operating costs—corporate tenant lease assets

 

23,066

 

21,987

 

11,236

 

6,688

 

5,191

 

Depreciation and amortization

 

72,442

 

63,778

 

49,943

 

41,896

 

29,963

 

General and administrative

 

61,229

 

47,912

 

38,153

 

30,449

 

24,151

 

General and administrative—stock-based compensation 

 

2,758

 

109,676

 

3,633

 

17,998

 

3,574

 

Provision for loan losses

 

2,250

 

9,000

 

7,500

 

8,250

 

7,000

 

Loss on early extinguishment of debt

 

46,004

 

13,091

 

 

12,166

 

1,620

 

Total costs and expenses

 

520,802

 

498,172

 

305,127

 

302,460

 

241,084

 

Income before equity in earnings from joint ventures, minority interest and other items

 

277,702

 

193,020

 

264,561

 

187,067

 

195,709

 

Equity in earnings (loss) from joint ventures

 

3,016

 

2,909

 

(4,284

)

1,222

 

7,361

 

Minority interest in consolidated entities

 

(980

)

(716

)

(249

)

(162

)

(218

)

Cumulative effect of change in accounting principle(1)

 

 

 

 

 

(282

)

Income from continuing operations

 

279,738

 

195,213

 

260,028

 

188,127

 

202,570

 

Income from discontinued operations

 

1,821

 

21,859

 

26,962

 

26,426

 

26,197

 

Gain from discontinued operations

 

6,354

 

43,375

 

5,167

 

717

 

1,145

 

Net income

 

$

287,913

 

$

260,447

 

$

292,157

 

$

215,270

 

$

229,912

 

Preferred dividend requirements

 

(42,320

)

(51,340

)

(36,908

)

(36,908

)

(36,908

)

Net income allocable to common shareholders and HPU holders(2)

 

$

245,593

 

$

209,107

 

$

255,249

 

$

178,362

 

$

193,004

 

Basic earnings per common share(3)

 

$

2.13

 

$

1.87

 

$

2.52

 

$

1.98

 

$

2.24

 

Diluted earnings per common share(3)(4)

 

$

2.11

 

$

1.83

 

$

2.43

 

$

1.93

 

$

2.19

 

Dividends declared per common share(5)

 

$

2.93

 

$

2.79

 

$

2.65

 

$

2.52

 

$

2.45

 

SUPPLEMENTAL DATA:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adjusted diluted earnings allocable to common shareholders and HPU holders(6)(8)

 

$

391,884

 

$

270,946

 

$

341,777

 

$

262,786

 

$

254,095

 

EBITDA(7)(8)

 

$

677,241

 

$

561,849

 

$

543,235

 

$

448,673

 

$

435,675

 

Ratio of EBITDA to interest expense

 

2.16x

 

2.41x

 

2.79x

 

2.42x

 

2.56x

 

Ratio of EBITDA to combined fixed charges(9)

 

1.91x

 

1.98x

 

2.34x

 

2.02x

 

2.10x

 

Ratio of earnings to fixed charges(10)

 

1.88x

 

1.83x

 

2.37x

 

2.04x

 

2.16x

 

Ratio of earnings to fixed charges and preferred stock dividends(10)

 

1.66x

 

1.50x

 

1.99x

 

1.70x

 

1.78x

 

Weighted average common shares outstanding-basic

 

112,513

 

110,205

 

100,314

 

89,886

 

86,349

 

Weighted average common shares outstanding-diluted

 

113,703

 

112,464

 

104,101

 

92,649

 

88,234

 

Cash flows from:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating activities

 

$

515,919

 

$

353,566

 

$

334,673

 

$

344,979

 

$

287,710

 

Investing activities

 

(1,406,121

)

(465,636

)

(970,765

)

(1,149,206

)

(345,012

)

Financing activities

 

917,150

 

120,402

 

700,248

 

804,491

 

50,220

 

 

29




 

 

 

For the Years Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2005

 

2004

 

2003

 

2002

 

2001

 

 

 

(In thousands, except per share data and ratios)

 

BALANCE SHEET DATA:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loans and other lending investments, net

 

$

4,661,915

 

$

3,938,427

 

$

3,694,709

 

$

3,045,966

 

$

2,373,251

 

Corporate tenant lease assets, net

 

3,115,361

 

2,877,042

 

2,535,885

 

2,291,805

 

1,781,565

 

Total assets

 

8,532,296

 

7,220,237

 

6,660,590

 

5,611,697

 

4,380,640

 

Debt obligations

 

5,859,592

 

4,605,674

 

4,113,732

 

3,461,590

 

2,495,369

 

Minority interest in consolidated entities

 

33,511

 

19,246

 

5,106

 

2,581

 

2,650

 

Shareholders’ equity

 

2,446,671

 

2,455,242

 

2,415,228

 

2,025,300

 

1,787,778

 

SUPPLEMENTAL DATA:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total debt to shareholders’ equity

 

2.4x

 

1.9x

 

1.7x

 

1.7x

 

1.4x

 

 

Explanatory Notes:


(1)          Represents one-time effect of adoption of Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 133, “Accounting for Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities” as of January 1, 2001.

(2)          HPU holders are Company employees who purchased high performance common stock units under the Company’s High Performance Unit Program.

(3)          For the 12 months ended December 31, 2005, net income used to calculate earnings per basic and diluted common share excludes $6,043 and $5,983 of net income allocable to HPU holders, respectively. For the 12 months ended December 31, 2004, net income used to calculate earnings per basic and diluted common share excludes $3,314 and $3,265 of net income allocable to HPU holders, respectively. For the 12 months ended December 31, 2003, net income used to calculate earnings per basic and diluted common share excludes $2,066 and $1,994 of net income allocable to HPU holders, respectively.

(4)          For the 12 months ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003, net income used to calculate earnings per diluted common share includes joint venture income of $28, $3 and $167, respectively.

(5)          The Company generally declares common and preferred dividends in the month subsequent to the end of the quarter.

(6)          Adjusted earnings represents net income allocable to common shareholders and HPU holders computed in accordance with GAAP, before depreciation, depletion, amortization, gain (loss) from discontinued operations, extraordinary items and cumulative effect of change in accounting principle. For the year ended December 31, 2004, adjusted earnings includes a $106.9 million charge related to performance-based vesting of 100,000 restricted shares granted under the Company’s long-term incentive plan to the Chief Financial Officer, the vesting of 2.0 million phantom shares on March 30, 2004 to the Chief Executive Officer, the one-time award of Common Stock with a value of $10.0 million to the Chief Executive Officer, the vesting of 155,000 restricted shares granted to several employees and the Company’s share of taxes associated with these transactions. For the year ended December 31, 2002, adjusted earnings includes the $15.0 million charge related to the performance based vesting of restricted shares granted under the Company’s long-term incentive plan. For years ended December 31, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002 and 2001, adjusted diluted earnings includes approximately $7.5 million, $9.8 million, $0, $4.0 million and $1.0 million, respectively, of cash paid for prepayment penalties associated with early extinguishment of debt. (See Item 7—“Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” for a reconciliation of adjusted earnings to net income).

(7)          EBITDA is calculated as net income plus the sum of interest expense, depreciation, depletion and amortization (which includes the interest expense, depreciation, depletion and amortization reclassed to income from discontinued operations).

 

 

For the Years Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2005

 

2004

 

2003

 

2002

 

2001

 

 

 

(In thousands)

 

Net income

 

$

287,913

 

$

260,447

 

$

292,157

 

$

215,270

 

$

229,912

 

Add: Interest expense(1)

 

313,053

 

232,919

 

194,999

 

185,362

 

170,121

 

Add: Depreciation, depletion and amortization(2)

 

76,275

 

68,483

 

56,079

 

48,041

 

35,642

 

EBITDA

 

$

677,241

 

$

561,849

 

$

543,235

 

$

448,673

 

$

435,675

 

 

Explanatory Notes:


(1)            For the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002 and 2001, interest expense includes $0, $190, $337, $348 and $536, respectively, of interest expense reclassed to discontinued operations.

(2)            For the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002 and 2001, depreciation and amortization includes $628, $4,705, $6,136, $6,144 and $5,679, respectively, of depreciation and amortization reclassed to discontinued operations.

30




(8)             Both adjusted earnings and EBITDA should be examined in conjunction with net income as shown in the Consolidated Statements of Operations. Neither adjusted earnings nor EBITDA should be considered as an alternative to net income (determined in accordance with GAAP) as an indicator of the Company’s performance, or to cash flows from operating activities (determined in accordance with GAAP) as a measure of the Company’s liquidity, nor is either measure indicative of funds available to fund the Company’s cash needs or available for distribution to shareholders. Rather, adjusted earnings and EBITDA are additional measures the Company uses to analyze how its business is performing. Its should be noted that the Company’s manner of calculating adjusted earnings and EBITDA may differ from the calculations of similarly-titled measures by other companies.

(9)             Combined fixed charges are comprised of interest expense (including amortization of original issue discount) and preferred stock dividend requirements.

(10)       For the purposes of calculating the ratio of earnings to fixed charges, “earnings” consist of income from continuing operations before adjustment for minority interest in consolidated subsidiaries, or income or loss from equity investees, income taxes and cumulative effect of change in accounting principle plus “fixed charges” and certain other adjustments. “Fixed charges” consist of interest incurred on all indebtedness related to continuing and discontinued operations (including amortization of original issue discount) and the implied interest component of the Company’s rent obligations in the years presented.

31




Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

Introduction

Our primary sources of revenues are interest income, which is the interest that our borrowers pay on our loans, and operating lease income, which is the rent that our corporate customers pay us to lease our corporate tenant lease (“CTL”) properties. A smaller and more variable source of revenue is other income, which consists primarily of prepayment penalties and realized gains that occur when our borrowers repay our loans before their maturity date. We generate income from the differential between the revenues generated from our loans and leases and our interest expense and the cost of our operations, often referred to as the “spread” or “margin.”  The Company seeks to match-fund its revenue generating assets with either fixed or floating rate debt of a similar maturity so that rising interest rates or changes in the shape of the yield curve will have a minimal impact on the Company’s earnings. Initially, we fund our new lending and leasing activity with our short term debt sources such as our lines of credit. We then match-fund our assets by raising longer-term unsecured debt, secured debt and equity capital in the public and private capital markets.

Key Performance Measures

Profitability Metrics

We use the following metrics, as determined on an annual basis, to measure our profitability:

·       Adjusted diluted earnings per share (see section captioned “Adjusted Earnings” for more information on this metric).

·       Net Finance Margin, calculated as the rate of return on assets less the cost of debt. The rate of return on assets is the sum of interest income and operating lease income, divided by the sum of average gross corporate tenant lease assets, average loans and other lending investments, average SFAS No. 141 purchase intangibles and average assets held for sale over the period. The cost of debt is the sum of interest expense and operating costs—corporate tenant lease assets, divided by the average gross debt obligations over the period.

·       Return on Average Common Book Equity, calculated as adjusted basic earnings allocable to common shareholders and HPU holders divided by average common book equity.

We believe the following items are key factors in determining our current and future profitability:

Asset Growth

·       Our ability to originate new loans and leases and grow our asset base in a prudent manner.

Risk Management

·       Our ability to underwrite and manage our loans and leases to balance income production potential with the potential for credit losses.

Cost and Availability of Funds

·       Our ability to access funding sources at competitive rates and terms and insulate our margin from changes in interest rates.

Expense Management

·       Our ability to maintain a customer-oriented and cost effective operation.

Capital Management

·       Our ability to maintain a strong capital base through the use of prudent financial leverage.

32




Key Trends

After experiencing more difficult economic and market conditions in 2002 and 2003, the commercial real estate industry has experienced increasing property-level returns throughout 2004 and continuing through 2005.  During this period, the industry has attracted large amounts of investment capital which has increased property valuations across most sectors. Investors such as pension funds and foreign buyers have increased their allocations to real estate and private real estate funds and individual investors have raised record amounts of capital to invest in the sector. At the same time, interest rates have remained at historically low levels. More recently, the yield curve, or the difference between short term and long-term interest rates, has flattened. Lower interest rates have enabled many property owners to finance their assets at attractive rates and proceeds levels. Default rates on commercial mortgages have steadily declined over the past ten years and are now under 2% nationally. As a result, many banks and insurance companies are increasing their real estate lending activities. The securitization markets for commercial real estate, including both the Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities (CMBS) and the Collateralized Debt Obligation (CDO) markets, have experienced record issuance volumes and liquidity. Investors in this arena have been willing to buy increasingly complex and aggressively underwritten transactions. While the fundamentals in most real estate markets are firming, valuations have increased at a faster pace than underlying cash flows due to the large supply of investor capital.

The commercial real estate industry has undergone a transformation over the past ten years. During this time many large real estate-owning companies went public and thousands of commercial real estate loans were rated and securitized. This resulted in the public disclosure of significantly more property-level and market data than had been available in the past. In addition, numerous on-line real estate data sources have been successful in filling the information void and have created publicly available data on almost all real estate asset types across the country. Access to this data has dramatically increased the visibility in the industry. Better disclosure and data has enabled broader and more informed investor participation in the sector and should be an important component in moderating the impact of the broader economic cycles on the real estate industry over longer periods of time.

The following discussion of our results describes the impact that the key trends have had, and are expected to continue to have for the foreseeable future on our business.

Results

Profitability—The following table summarizes the key metrics by which we measure the profitability of our operations:

 

 

For the Years Ended
December 31,

 

 

 

2005

 

2004

 

2003

 

Adjusted diluted earnings per share(1)

 

$

3.36

 

$

2.37

 

$

3.25

 

Net Finance Margin(2)

 

3.2

%

3.8

%

4.0

%

Return on Average Common Book Equity(1)

 

19.6

%

13.7

%

19.1

%

 

Explanatory Note:


(1)             For the year ended December 31, 2004, adjusted diluted earnings per share and return on average common book equity are $3.47 and 20.1%, respectively, excluding the $106.9 million charge related to first quarter compensation charges and $18.7 million of securities redemption charges, as further discussed below in Results of Operations—Year Ended December 31, 2005 Compared to Year Ended December 31, 2004.

(2)             For the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003, operating lease income used to calculate the net finance margin does not include SFAS No. 144 adjustments from discontinued operations of $2,479, $34,155 and $40,938. For the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003, interest expense used to calculate the net finance margin does not include SFAS No. 144 adjustments from discontinued operations of $0, $190 and $337. For the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003, operating costs—corporate tenant lease assets used to calculate the net finance margin does not include SFAS No. 144 adjustments from discontinued operations of $181, $7,349 and $7,505.

33




The following is an overview of how the company performed in respect to each key operating performance measure and how those items affected profitability and were impacted by key trends.

Asset Growth—During the twelve months ended December 31, 2005, the Company had $4.9 billion of transaction volume representing 95 financing commitments. Repeat customer business has become a key source of transaction volume for the Company, accounting for approximately 52% of the Company’s cumulative volume through December 31, 2005. Transaction volume for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2004 and 2003 were $2.8 billion and $2.2 billion, respectively. The Company completed 53 financing commitments in 2004 and 60 in 2003. The Company has also experienced significant growth during the last several years, having made a number of strategic acquisitions to complement its organic growth and extending its business franchise. Based upon feedback from its customers, the Company believes that greater recognition of the Company, its reputation for completing highly structured transactions in an efficient manner and its reduced cost of capital have contributed to increases in its transaction volume.

The benefits of higher investment volumes have been mitigated to an extent by the low interest rate environment that has persisted in recent years. Low interest rates benefit the Company in that our borrowing costs decrease, but similarly, earnings on its variable-rate lending investments also decrease. The increased investment and lending activity in both the public and private commercial real estate markets, as described under “Key Trends,” has resulted in a highly competitive real estate financing environment with reduced returns on assets. The reduction in our return on assets has been partially offset by our lower cost of funds. In addition, in 2004 and 2005, many of the Company’s borrowers were able to prepay their loans with proceeds from initial public offerings, asset sales or refinancings.  As a consequence, the Company experienced a higher level of prepayments in 2004 and 2005 than in previous years, which resulted in lower net asset growth (gross origination volume plus additional fundings less loan repayments and CTL asset sales). If significant amounts of investment capital continue to be allocated to commercial real estate and interest rates remain low, the Company expects to continue to see relatively high levels of prepayments. Many of the Company’s loans have some form of call protection and can generate significant prepayment penalties. Prepayment penalties had a significant impact on the Company’s results of operations in 2004 and 2005. Increased prepayment penalties result in higher other income in the current period, which is offset by reduced interest income, as the loan assets that are prepaid no longer generate recurring earnings.

Over the past several years, while property-level fundamentals have stabilized and are beginning to improve generally, investment activity in direct real estate ownership has increased dramatically. In many cases, this has caused property valuations to increase disproportionately to any corresponding increase in fundamentals. Corporate tenant leases, or net leased properties, are one of the most stable real estate asset classes and have garnered significant interest from both institutional and retail investors who seek a long-term stable income stream. In many cases, the Company believes that the valuations of CTL assets in today’s market do not represent solid risk-adjusted returns. As a result, we have not invested as heavily in this asset class, acquiring only $282.4 million in 2005, compared to $513.0 million in 2004. While we continue to monitor the CTL market and review certain transactions, we have shifted most of our origination resources to our lending business until we see compelling opportunities for CTL acquisitions in the market again.

Despite the competitive environment, the Company intends to maintain its disciplined approach to underwriting its investments and will adjust its focus away from markets and products where the Company believes that the available pricing terms do not fairly reflect the risks of the investments. We will also continue to maintain our disciplined investment strategy and deploy capital to those opportunities that demonstrate the most attractive returns.

34




Risk Management—The Company continued to manage its business to ensure that the overall credit quality of the portfolio remained strong. There were no major changes to the portfolio credit statistics in 2005 versus 2004. The remaining weighted average duration of the loan portfolio is 3.8 years.

At December 31, 2005, our internal risk ratings of the loan portfolio were essentially unchanged from year-end 2004. The aggregate risk of principal loss, which was buoyed by the strong real estate investment markets, improved slightly. The Company has experienced minimal credit losses on its lending investments. The Company did not experience any credit losses in 2005 or 2004, and only recognized a $3.3 million loss in 2003. At December 31, 2005, our non-performing loan assets represented 0.41% of total assets versus 0.38% at year-end 2004. The Company believes that we have adequate reserves in the event that additional credit losses were to occur.

At December 31, 2005, the risk rating on the CTL portfolio improved slightly from year-end 2004. The Company continues to focus on re-leasing space at its CTL facilities under longer-term leases in an effort to reduce the impact of lease expirations on the Company’s earnings. As of December 31, 2005, the weighted average lease term on the Company’s CTL portfolio was 11.0 years and the portfolio was 96% leased. The Company expects the average lease term of its portfolio to decline somewhat until such time that the Company begins to find new acquisition opportunities that meet its investment criteria.

Cost and Availability of Funds—In 2003, the Company began migrating its debt obligations from secured debt towards unsecured debt. We believed that funding ourselves on an unsecured basis would enable us to better serve our customers, to more effectively match-fund our assets and to provide us with a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Early in 2004, we made significant progress to that end by completing a new unsecured bank facility that initially had $850.0 million of capacity and was subsequently increased to $1.25 billion of capacity in December 2004. The Company also took advantage of the very low interest rate environment and issued longer term unsecured debt, using the proceeds to repay existing secured credit facilities and mortgage debt. The Company continued to emphasize its use of unsecured debt to fund new net asset growth and to repay existing secured debt in 2004. In October of 2004, in part as a result of our shift to unsecured debt, the Company’s senior unsecured debt ratings were upgraded to investment grade (BBB-/Baa3) by S&P and Moody’s. This resulted in a broader market for our bonds and a lower cost of debt capital on incremental debt financings.

In 2005, the Company continued to broaden its sources of capital, particularly in the unsecured bank and bond markets. We completed $2.1 billion in bond offerings, upsized our unsecured credit facility to $1.5 billion, eliminated three secured lines of credit and repaid our $620.7 million of STARs asset-backed notes, which required us to take a one-time $44.3 million charge in the third quarter of 2005. Our financing activities in 2005 have now lowered our percentage of secured debt to total debt to 7% at the end of 2005 from 82% at the end of 2002. As a result, we have completed our goals of substantially unencumbering our asset base, decreasing secured debt and increasing our unsecured credit capacity to replace our secured facilities.

The Company seeks to match-fund its assets with either fixed or floating rate debt of a similar maturity so that rising interest rates or changes in the shape of the yield curve will have a minimal impact on the Company’s earnings. The Company’s policy requires that we manage our fixed/floating rate exposure such that a 100 basis point move in short term interest rates would have no more than a 2.5% impact on our quarterly adjusted earnings. At December 31, 2005, a 100 basis point increase in LIBOR would result in a 0.77% decrease in our fourth quarter 2005 adjusted earnings. The Company has used fixed rate or floating rate hedges to manage its fixed and floating rate exposure; however, because the Company now has investment grade credit ratings, it is able to access the floating rate debt markets. In the future the Company expects to decrease the need for synthetic hedging to match-fund its debt.

35




While the Company considers it prudent to have a broad array of sources of capital, including some secured financing arrangements, the Company expects to continue to emphasize its use of unsecured debt in funding its net asset growth going forward. We believe that the Company has ample short-term capital available to provide liquidity and to fund our business. In addition, during the first quarter of 2006, S&P, Moody’s and Fitch upgraded the Company’s senior unsecured debt rating to BBB, Baa2, and BBB from BBB-, Baa3 and BBB-, respectively.

Expense Management—We measure the efficiency of our operations by tracking our efficiency ratio, which is the ratio of general and administrative expenses plus general and administrative—stock-based compensation to total revenue, excluding SFAS No. 144 adjustments from discontinued operations. We exclude the impact of subsequent adjustments from discontinued operations, because we are seeking to analyze our actual efficiency experience during the relevant period, as measured by the ratio of historical general and administrative expenses to historical revenues, generated by our operations and our assets owned during that period, regardless of whether we subsequently decided to sell one or more assets in a later period. Our efficiency ratio was 8.0%, 21.7% and 6.8% for 2005, 2004 and 2003, respectively. The 2004 ratio was 7.0% excluding $106.9 million of executive stock-based compensation charges. The efficiency ratios for 2005, 2004 and 2003, include $2.6 million, $34.2 million and $40.9 million of income from discontinued operations, respectively. In 2005, our efficiency ratio reflected increases in payroll costs, expenses associated with employee growth, expenses related to our acquisition of Falcon Financial and the ramp-up of several new business initiatives including our AutoStar venture. Management talent is one of our most significant assets and our payroll costs are correspondingly our largest non-interest cash expense. The market for management talent is highly competitive and we do not expect to materially decrease this expense in the coming years. However, we believe that our efficiency ratio remains low by industry standards and expect it to normalize somewhat as acquisitions and new businesses stabilize.

Capital Management—The Company uses a dynamic capital allocation model to derive its maximum targeted corporate leverage. We calculate our leverage as the ratio of book debt to the sum of book equity, accumulated depreciation, accumulated depletion and loan loss reserves. Our maximum targeted leverage was 2.6x, 2.7x and 2.7x at the end of 2005, 2004 and 2003, respectively. The Company’s actual leverage was 2.1x, 1.7x and 1.6x in 2005, 2004 and 2003, respectively.  In 1998, when the Company went public, our leverage levels were very low, around 1.1x. Since that time the Company has been slowly increasing its leverage to its targeted levels. We evaluate our capital model target leverage levels based upon leverage levels achieved by similar assets in other markets, market liquidity levels for underlying assets and default and severity experience. Our data currently suggest that capital levels of certain of our asset categories are conservative.

We measure our capital management by the strength of our tangible capital base and the ratio of our tangible book equity to total book assets. Our tangible book equity was $2.4 billion, $2.5 billion and $2.4 billion as of December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003, respectively. Our ratio of tangible book equity to total book assets was 29%, 34% and 36% as of December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003, respectively. The decline in this ratio is attributable to the Company’s modest increase in financial leverage as we have moved towards our target capital level. We believe that relative to other finance companies, we are very well capitalized for a company of our size and asset base.

Results of Operations

Year Ended December 31, 2005 Compared to Year Ended December 31, 2004

Interest income—Interest income increased by $54.7 million to $406.7 million for the 12 months ended December 31, 2005, from $352.0 million for the same period in 2004. This increase was primarily due to $172.3 million of interest income on new originations or additional fundings, offset by a $117.5 million decrease from the repayment of loans and other lending investments. This increase was also

36




due to an increase in interest income on the Company’s variable-rate lending investments as a result of higher average one-month LIBOR rates of 3.39% in 2005, compared to 1.50% in 2004.

Operating lease income—Operating lease income increased by $27.2 million to $310.4 million for the 12 months ended December 31, 2005, from $283.2 million for the same period in 2004. Of this increase, $31.1 million is attributable to new CTL investments, the consolidation of Sunnyvale in March 2004, the acquisition of the remaining interest of ACRE in November 2004 and an additional $1.9 million of operating lease income from one CTL customer that terminated its lease in May 2005. This increase is partially offset by $5.9 million of lower operating lease income due to vacancies and lower rental rates on certain CTL assets.

Other income—Other income generally consists of prepayment penalties and realized gains from the early repayment of loans and other lending investments, financial advisory and asset management fees, lease termination fees, mortgage servicing fees, loan participation payments, income from timber operations and dividends on certain investments. During the 12 months ended December 31, 2005, other income included income from loan repayments and prepayment penalties of $64.8 million, lease termination, asset management, mortgage servicing and other fees of approximately $1.4 million, realized gains from marketable securities of $3.2 million, income from timber operations of $1.2 million and other miscellaneous income such as dividends and income from other investments of $10.8 million.

During the 12 months ended December 31, 2004, other income included realized gains on sale of lending investments of $8.3 million, income from loan repayments and prepayment penalties of $37.2 million, lease termination, asset management, mortgage servicing and other fees of approximately $6.3 million and other miscellaneous income such as dividend payments of $4.3 million.

Interest expense—For the 12 months ended December 31, 2005, interest expense increased by $80.4 million to $313.1 million from $232.7 million for the same period in 2004. This increase was primarily due to higher average borrowings on the Company’s unsecured debt obligations. This increase was also due to higher average one-month LIBOR rates, which averaged 3.39% in 2005 compared to 1.50% in 2004 and higher average three-month LIBOR rates, which averaged 3.57% in 2005 compared to 1.62% in 2004, on the unhedged portion of the Company’s variable-rate debt.

Operating costs—corporate tenant lease assets—For the 12 months ended December 31, 2005, operating costs increased by $1.1 million to $23.1 million from $22.0 million for the same period in 2004. This increase is primarily related to new CTL investments, higher unrecoverable operating costs due to vacancies and lease modifications on certain CTL assets.

Depreciation and amortization—Depreciation and amortization increased by $8.6 million to $72.4 million for the 12 months ended December 31, 2005 from $63.8 million for the same period in 2004. This increase is primarily due to depreciation on new CTL investments.

General and administrative—For the 12 months ended December 31, 2005, general and administrative expenses increased by $13.3 million to $61.2 million, compared to $47.9 million for the same period in 2004. This increase is primarily due to increases in payroll costs, expenses associated with employee growth, expenses relating to acquisitions made during the year and the ramp-up of new business initiatives.

General and administrative—stock-based compensation—General and administrative—stock-based compensation decreased by $106.9 million to $2.8 million for the 12 months ended December 31, 2005 compared to $109.7 million for the same period in 2004. In the first quarter 2004, the Company recognized a charge of approximately $106.9 million composed of $4.1 million for the performance-based vesting of 100,000 restricted shares granted under the Company’s long-term incentive plan to the Chief Financial Officer, $86.0 million for the vesting of 2.0 million phantom shares on March 30, 2004 granted to the Chief Executive Officer, $10.1 million for the one-time award of Common Stock to the Chief Executive Officer

37




and $6.7 million for the vesting of 155,000 restricted shares granted to several employees (see Note 12 to the Company’s Consolidated Financial Statements).

Provision for loan losses—The Company’s charge for provision for loan losses decreased to $2.3 million for the 12 months ended December 31, 2005 compared to $9.0 million in the same period in 2004. As more fully discussed in Note 4 to the Company’s Consolidated Financial Statements, the Company has experienced minimal actual losses on its loan investments to date. The Company considers it prudent to reflect reserves for loan losses on a portfolio basis based upon the Company’s assessment of general market conditions, the Company’s internal risk management policies and credit risk rating system, industry loss experience, the Company’s assessment of the likelihood of delinquencies or defaults, and the value of the collateral underlying its investments. Accordingly, since its first full quarter operating its current business as a public company (the quarter ended June 30, 1998), management has reflected quarterly provisions for loan losses in its operating results.

Loss on early extinguishment of debt—During the 12 months ended December 31, 2005, the Company incurred $1.6 million of losses on early extinguishment of debt associated with the amortization of deferred financing costs and cash prepayment fees related to the early repayment of the Company’s $135 million term loan. The Company incurred a loss of $44.4 million associated with the amortization of deferred financing costs, the amortization of an interest rate cap premium and cash prepayment fees related to the early repayment of the Company’s STARs, Series 2002-1 Notes and its STARs, Series 2003-1 Notes.

During the 12 months ended December 31, 2004, the Company incurred $11.5 million of losses on early extinguishment of debt associated with the prepayment penalties and amortization of deferred financing costs related to the redemption of $110.0 million of the Company’s 8.75% Senior Notes due 2008. In addition, the Company incurred approximately $1.6 million of net losses on early extinguishment of debt associated with the amortization of deferred financing costs related to the early repayment of several term loans and an unsecured credit facility.  These activities related to the Company’s strategies of migrating its borrowings toward more unsecured debt and taking advantage of lower cost refinancing opportunities.

Equity in earnings (loss) from joint ventures—For the 12 months ended December 31, 2005, equity in earnings (loss) from joint ventures increased by $107,000 to $3.0 million from $2.9 million for the same period in 2004. This increase is primarily due to the acquisition of a substantial minority interest in Oak Hill in April 2005, which accounted for $3.5 million of earnings from joint ventures in 2005. The increase was offset by the loss of income from the conveyance by one of the Company’s CTL joint ventures of its interest in two buildings and the related property to the mortgage lender in exchange for satisfaction of its obligations of the related loan in the first quarter of 2004 (see Note 6 to the Company’s Consolidated Financial Statements).

Income from discontinued operations—For the 12 months ended December 31, 2005 and 2004, operating income earned by the Company on CTL assets sold (prior to their sale) was $1.8 million and $21.9 million, respectively, and is classified as “discontinued operations,” even though such income was recognized by the Company prior to the asset dispositions on the Company’s Consolidated Balance Sheets.

Gain from discontinued operations—During 2005, the Company disposed of five CTL assets for net proceeds of $36.9 million, and recognized a gain of approximately $6.4 million.

During 2004, the Company disposed of 22 CTL assets for net proceeds of $279.6 million, and recognized a gain of approximately $43.4 million.

Year Ended December 31, 2004 Compared to Year Ended December 31, 2003

Interest income—Interest income increased by $49.1 million to $352.0 million for the 12 months ended December 31, 2004 from $302.9 million for the same period in 2003. This increase was primarily due

38




to $106.4 million of interest income on new originations or additional fundings, offset by a $56.1 million decrease from the repayment of loans and other lending investments. This increase was due to an increase in interest income on the Company’s variable-rate lending investments as a result of higher average one-month LIBOR rates of 1.50% in 2004, compared to 1.21% in 2003.

Operating lease income—Operating lease income increased by $54.6 million to $283.2 million for the 12 months ended December 31, 2004 from $228.6 million for the same period in 2003. Of this increase, $63.7 million is attributable to new CTL investments, the consolidation of Sunnyvale in March 2004 and ACRE in November 2004. This increase is partially offset by $9.2 million of lower operating lease income due to vacancies and lower rental rates on certain CTL assets.

Other income—Other income generally consists of prepayment penalties and realized gains from the early repayment of loans and other lending investments, financial advisory and asset management fees, lease termination fees, mortgage servicing fees, loan participation payments and dividends on certain investments. During the 12 months ended December 31, 2004, other income included realized gains on sale of lending investments of $8.3 million, income from loan repayments and prepayment penalties of $37.2 million, lease termination, asset management, mortgage servicing and other fees of approximately $6.3 million and other miscellaneous income such as dividend payments of $4.3 million.

During the 12 months ended December 31, 2003, other income included realized gains on sale of lending investments of $16.3 million, income from loan repayments and prepayment penalties of $17.3 million, asset management, mortgage servicing and other fees of approximately $2.6 million and other miscellaneous income such as dividends and income from other investments of $2.0 million.

Interest expense—For the 12 months ended December 31, 2004, interest expense increased by $38.0 million to $232.7 million from $194.7 million for the same period in 2003. This increase was primarily due to the higher average borrowings on the Company’s unsecured debt obligations. This increase was also due to higher average one-month LIBOR rates, which averaged 1.50% in 2004 compared to 1.21% in 2003, on the unhedged portion of the Company’s variable-rate debt and by a $3.0 million increase in amortization of deferred financing costs on the Company’s debt obligations in 2004 compared to the same period in 2003.

Operating costs—corporate tenant lease assets—For the 12 months ended December 31, 2004, operating costs increased by $10.8 million from $11.2 million to $22.0 million for the same period in 2003. This increase is primarily related to new CTL investments and higher unrecoverable operating costs due to vacancies on certain CTL assets.

Depreciation and amortization—Depreciation and amortization increased by $13.8 million to $63.8 million for the 12 months ended December 31, 2004 from $50.0 million for the same period in 2003. This increase is primarily due to depreciation on new CTL investments.

General and administrative—For the 12 months ended December 31, 2004, general and administrative expenses increased by $9.7 million to $47.9 million, compared to $38.2 million for the same period in 2003. This increase is primarily due to an increase in payroll related and other costs resulting from employee growth and the consolidation of iStar Operating.

General and administrative—stock-based compensation—General and administrative—stock-based compensation increased by $106.1 million to $109.7 million for the 12 months ended December 31, 2004 compared to $3.6 million for the same period in 2003. In the first quarter 2004, the Company recognized a charge of approximately $106.9 million composed of $4.1 million for the performance-based vesting of 100,000 restricted shares granted under the Company’s long-term incentive plan to the Chief Financial Officer, $86.0 million for the vesting of 2.0 million phantom shares on March 30, 2004 granted to the Chief Executive Officer, $10.1 million for the one-time award of Common Stock to the Chief Executive Officer and $6.7 million for the vesting of 155,000 restricted shares granted to several employees.

39




Provision for loan losses—The Company’s charge for provision for loan losses increased to $9.0 million for the 12 months ended December 31, 2004 compared to $7.5 million in the same period in 2003. As more fully discussed in Note 4 to the Company’s Consolidated Financial Statements, the Company has experienced minimal actual losses on its loan investments to date. The Company considers it prudent to reflect reserves for loan losses on a portfolio basis based upon the Company’s assessment of general market conditions, the Company’s internal risk management policies and credit risk rating system, industry loss experience, the Company’s assessment of the likelihood of delinquencies or defaults, and the value of the collateral underlying its investments. Accordingly, since its first full quarter operating its current business as a public company (the quarter ended June 30, 1998), management has reflected quarterly provisions for loan losses in its operating results.

Loss on early extinguishment of debt—During the 12 months ended December 31, 2004, the Company incurred $11.5 million of losses on early extinguishment of debt associated with the prepayment penalties and amortization of deferred financing costs related to the redemption of $110.0 million of the Company’s 8.75% Senior Notes due 2008. In addition, the Company incurred approximately $1.6 million of net losses on early extinguishment of debt associated with the amortization of deferred financing costs related to the early repayment of several term loans and an unsecured credit facility.  These activities related to the Company’s strategies of migrating its borrowings toward more unsecured debt and taking advantage of lower cost refinancing opportunities.

During the 12 months ended December 31, 2003, the Company had no losses on early extinguishment of debt.

Equity in earnings (loss) from joint ventures and unconsolidated subsidiaries—For the 12 months ended December 31, 2004, equity in earnings (loss) from joint ventures and unconsolidated subsidiaries increased by $7.2 million to $2.9 million from $(4.3) million for the same period in 2003. This increase is primarily due to certain lease terminations in 2003 and the conveyance by one of the Company’s CTL joint ventures of its interest in two buildings and the related property to the mortgage lender in exchange for satisfaction of its obligations of the related loan in the first quarter of 2004. In addition, this increase is due to the consolidation of iStar Operating and is partially offset by vacancies, the sale of one of the Company’s CTL joint venture interests in five buildings in September 2004, the consolidation of Sunnyvale in March 2004, and the consolidation of ACRE in November 2004 (see Note 6 to the Company’s Consolidated Financial Statements).

Income from discontinued operations—For the 12 months ended December 31, 2004 and 2003, operating income earned by the Company on CTL assets sold (prior to their sale) are $21.9 million and $27.0 million, respectively, is classified as “discontinued operations,” even though such income was recognized by the Company prior to the asset dispositions on the Company’s Consolidated Balance Sheets.

Gain from discontinued operations—During 2004, the Company disposed of 22 CTL assets for net proceeds of $279.6 million, and recognized a gain of approximately $43.4 million.

During 2003, the Company disposed of nine CTL assets for net proceeds of $47.6 million, and recognized a gain of approximately $5.2 million.

Adjusted Earnings

The Company measures its performance using adjusted earnings in addition to net income. Adjusted earnings represent net income allocable to common shareholders and HPU holders computed in accordance with GAAP, before depreciation, depletion, amortization, gain (loss) from discontinued operations, extraordinary items and cumulative effect of change in accounting principle. Adjustments for joint ventures reflect the Company’s share of adjusted earnings calculated on the same basis.

40




The Company believes that adjusted earnings is a helpful measure to consider, in addition to net income, because this measure helps the Company to evaluate how its commercial real estate finance business is performing compared to other commercial finance companies, without the effects of certain GAAP adjustments that are not necessarily indicative of current operating performance. The most significant GAAP adjustments that the Company excludes in determining adjusted earnings are depreciation, depletion and amortization. As a commercial finance company that focuses on real estate lending and corporate tenant leasing, the Company records significant depreciation on its real estate assets and amortization of deferred financing costs associated with its borrowings. The Company also records depletion on its timber assets, although depletion amounts are currently insignificant. Depreciation, depletion and amortization do not affect the Company’s daily operations, but they do impact financial results under GAAP. By measuring its performance using adjusted earnings and net income, the Company is able to evaluate how its business is performing both before and after giving effect to recurring GAAP adjustments such as depreciation, depletion and amortization and, in the case of adjusted earnings, after including earnings from its joint venture interests on the same basis and excluding gains or losses from the sale of assets that will no longer be part of its continuing operations.

Adjusted earnings is not an alternative or substitute for net income in accordance with GAAP as a measure of the Company’s performance. Rather, the Company believes that adjusted earnings is an additional measure that helps analyze how its business is performing. This measure is also used to track compliance with covenants in certain of the Company’s material borrowing arrangements that have covenants based upon this measure. Adjusted earnings should not be viewed as an alternative measure of either the Company’s liquidity or funds available for its cash needs or for distribution to its shareholders. In addition, the Company may not calculate adjusted earnings in the same manner as other companies that use a similarly titled measure.

 

 

For the Years Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2005

 

2004

 

2003

 

2002

 

2001

 

 

 

(In thousands)
(Unaudited)

 

Adjusted earnings:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net income allocable to common shareholders and HPU holders

 

$

245,593

 

$

209,107

 

$

255,249

 

$

178,362

 

$

193,004

 

Add: Joint venture income

 

136

 

166

 

593

 

991

 

965

 

Add: Depreciation, depletion and
amortization

 

75,574

 

67,853

 

55,905

 

48,041

 

35,642

 

Add: Joint venture depreciation and amortization

 

8,284

 

3,544

 

7,417

 

4,433

 

4,044

 

Add: Amortization of deferred financing costs 

 

68,651

 

33,651

 

27,180

 

31,676

 

21,303

 

Less: Gains from discontinued operations

 

(6,354

)

(43,375

)

(5,167

)

(717

)

(1,145

)

Add: Cumulative effect of change in accounting principle(1)

 

 

 

 

 

282

 

Adjusted diluted earnings allocable to common shareholders and HPU holders(2)(3)(4)(5)

 

$

391,884

 

$

270,946

 

$

341,177

 

$

262,786

 

$

254,095

 

Weighted average diluted common shares outstanding(6)

 

113,747

 

112,537

 

104,248

 

93,020

 

88,606

 

 

Explanatory Notes:


(1)             Represents one-time effect of adoption of Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 133, “Accounting for Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities” as of January 1, 2001.

(2)             HPU holders are Company employees who purchased high performance common stock units under the Company’s High Performance Unit Program. For the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003 adjusted diluted earnings allocable to

41




common shareholders and HPU holders includes $9,538, $4,261 and $2,659 of adjusted earnings allocable to HPU holders, respectively.

(3)             For years ended December 31, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002 and 2001, adjusted diluted earnings allocable to common shareholders includes approximately $7.5 million, $9.8 million, $0, $4.0 million, and $1.0 million, respectively, of cash paid for prepayment penalties associated with early extinguishment of debt.

(4)             For the year ended December 31, 2004, adjusted diluted earnings allocable to common shareholders includes a $106.9 million charge related to performance-based vesting of 100,000 restricted shares granted under the Company’s long-term incentive plan to the Chief Financial Officer, the vesting of 2.0 million phantom shares on March 30, 2004 granted to the Chief Executive Officer, the one-time award of Common Stock with a value of $10.0 million to the Chief Executive Officer, the vesting of 155,000 restricted shares granted to several employees and the Company’s share of taxes associated with all transactions.

(5)             For the year ended December 31, 2002, adjusted diluted earnings allocable to common shareholders includes a $15.0 million charge related to performance-based vesting of restricted shares granted under the Company’s long-term incentive plan.

(6)             In addition to the GAAP defined weighted average diluted shares outstanding these balances include an additional 44,000 shares, 73,000 shares, 147,000 shares, 371,000 shares and 372,000 shares for the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002 and 2001, respectively, relating to the additional dilution of joint venture shares.

Risk Management

Loans and Other Lending Investments Credit Statistics—The table below summarizes the Company’s loans and other lending investments that are more than 90-days past due in scheduled payments and details the reserve for loan losses associated with the Company’s lending investments for the 12 months ended December 31, 2005 and 2004 (in thousands):

 

 

As of December 31,

 

 

 

2005

 

2004

 

 

 

$

 

%

 

$

 

%

 

Carrying value of loans past due 90 days or more/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a percentage of total assets

 

$

35,291

 

0.41

%

$

27,526

 

0.38

%

As a percentage of total loans

 

 

 

0.75

%

 

 

0.69

%

Reserve for loan losses/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a percentage of total assets

 

$

46,876

 

0.55

%

$

42,436

 

0.59

%

As a percentage of total loans

 

 

 

1.00

%

 

 

1.07

%

Net charge-offs/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a percentage of total assets

 

$

 

0.00

%

$

 

0.00

%

As a percentage of total loans

 

 

 

0.00

%

 

 

0.00

%

 

Non-Performing Loans—Non-performing loans includes all loans on non-accrual status and repossessed real estate collateral. The Company transfers loans to non-accrual status at such time as: (1) management determines the borrower is incapable of, or has ceased efforts towards, curing the cause of an impairment; (2) the loan becomes 90 days delinquent; (3) the loan has a maturity default; or (4) the net realizable value of the loan’s underlying collateral approximates the Company’s carrying value of such loan. Interest income is recognized only upon actual cash receipt for loans on non-accrual status. As of December 31, 2005, the Company’s non-performing loans included two non-accrual loans with an aggregate carrying value of $35.3 million, or 0.41% of total assets, compared to 0.38% at December 31, 2004, and no repossessed real estate collateral. Management believes there is adequate collateral to support the book values of the assets.

Watch List Assets—The Company conducts a quarterly comprehensive credit review, resulting in an individual risk rating being assigned to each asset. This review is designed to enable management to evaluate and proactively manage asset-specific credit issues and identify credit trends on a portfolio-wide basis as an “early warning system.” As of December 31, 2005, the Company had three assets on its credit watch list, excluding those assets included in non-performing loans above, with an aggregate carrying value of $19.5 million, or 0.23% of total assets.

42




Liquidity and Capital Resources

The Company requires significant capital to fund its investment activities and operating expenses. While, the distribution requirements under the REIT provisions of the Code limit the Company’s ability to retain earnings and thereby replenish or increase capital committed to its operations, the Company believes it has sufficient access to capital resources to fund its existing business plan, which includes the expansion of its real estate lending and corporate tenant leasing businesses. The Company’s capital sources include cash flow from operations, borrowings under lines of credit, additional term borrowings, unsecured corporate debt financing, financings secured by the Company’s assets, trust preferred debt, and the issuance of common, convertible and/or preferred equity securities. Further, the Company may acquire other businesses or assets using its capital stock, cash or a combination thereof.

The Company believes that its existing sources of funds will be adequate for purposes of meeting its short- and long-term liquidity needs. The Company’s ability to meet its long-term (i.e., beyond one year) liquidity requirements is subject to obtaining additional debt and equity financing. Any decision by the Company’s lenders and investors to provide the Company with financing will depend upon a number of factors, such as the Company’s compliance with the terms of its existing credit arrangements, the Company’s financial performance, industry or market trends, the general availability of and rates applicable to financing transactions, such lenders’ and investors’ resources and policies concerning the terms under which they make capital commitments and the relative attractiveness of alternative investment or lending opportunities.

The following table outlines the contractual obligations related to the Company’s long-term debt agreements and operating lease obligations as of December 31, 2005. There are no other long-term liabilities of the Company that would constitute a contractual obligation.

 

 

 

 

Principal Payments Due By Period(1)

 

 

 

Total

 

Less Than
1 Year

 

2–3
Years

 

4–5
Years

 

6–10
Years

 

After 10
Years

 

 

 

(In thousands)

 

Long-Term Debt Obligations:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unsecured notes

 

$

4,217,022

 

 

$

50,000

 

 

$

1,025,000

 

$

1,175,000

 

$

1,967,022

 

$

 

Unsecured revolving credit facilities

 

1,242,000

 

 

 

 

1,242,000

 

 

 

 

Secured term loans

 

404,486

 

 

67,224

 

 

2,572

 

155,313

 

91,339

 

88,038

 

Trust Preferred

 

100,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

100,000

 

Total

 

5,963,508

 

 

117,224

 

 

2,269,572

 

1,330,313

 

2,058,361

 

188,038

 

Operating Lease Obligations:(2)

 

52,492

 

 

6,017

 

 

13,403

 

10,144

 

12,411

 

10,517

 

Total(3)

 

$

6,016,000

 

 

$

123,241

 

 

$

2,282,975

 

$

1,340,457

 

$

2,070,772

 

$

198,555

 

 

Explanatory Notes:


(1)             Assumes exercise of extensions on the Company’s long-term debt obligations to the extent such extensions are at the Company’s option.

(2)             The Company also has a $1.0 million letter of credit outstanding as security for its primary corporate office lease.

(3)             The Company also has letters of credit outstanding totaling $25.9 million as additional collateral for two of its investments.

The Company’s primary credit facility is an unsecured credit facility totaling $1.50 billion which bears interest at LIBOR + 0.875% per annum and matures in April 2008. At December 31, 2005, the Company had $1.24 billion drawn under this facility (see Note 9 to the Company’s Consolidated Financial Statements). As a result of upgrades in the Company’s credit ratings in 2006, the facility’s interest rate has decreased to LIBOR + 0.70% per annum (see “Ratings Triggers” below in further detail). The Company also has one LIBOR-based secured revolving credit facility with an aggregate maximum capacity of $700.0 million, of which there was no balance drawn as of December 31, 2005. Availability under the secured credit facility is based on collateral provided under a borrowing base calculation.

43




The Company’s debt obligations contain covenants that are both financial and non-financial in nature. Significant financial covenants include limitations on the Company’s ability to incur indebtedness beyond specified levels and a requirement to maintain specified ratios of unsecured indebtedness compared to unencumbered assets. As a result of the upgrades in 2006 of the Company’s senior unsecured debt ratings by S&P, Moody’s and Fitch, the financial covenants in some series of the Company’s publicly held debt securities are not operative.

Significant non-financial covenants include a requirement in some series of its publicly-held debt securities that the Company offer to repurchase those securities at a premium if the Company undergoes a change of control. As of December 31, 2005, the Company believes it is in compliance with all financial and non-financial covenants on its debt obligations.

Unencumbered Assets/Unsecured Debt—The Company has completed the migration of its balance sheet towards unsecured debt, which generally results in a corresponding reduction of secured debt and an increase in unencumbered assets. The exact timing in which the Company will issue or borrow unsecured debt will be subject to market conditions. The following table shows the ratio of unencumbered assets to unsecured debt at December 31, 2005 and 2004 (in thousands):

 

 

As of December 31,

 

 

 

2005

 

2004

 

Total Unencumbered Assets

 

 

$

8,129,358

 

 

$

4,687,044

 

Total Unsecured Debt(1)

 

 

$

5,559,022

 

 

$

2,965,000

 

Unencumbered Assets/Unsecured Debt

 

 

146%

 

 

158%

 

 

Explanatory Note:


(1)             See Note 9 to the Company’s Consolidated Financial Statements for a more detailed description of the Company’s unsecured debt.

Capital Markets ActivityDuring the 12 months ended December 31, 2005, the Company issued $1.45 billion aggregate principal amount of fixed-rate Senior Notes bearing interest at annual rates ranging from 5.15% to 6.05% and maturing between 2010 and 2015, and $625.0 million of variable-rate Senior Notes bearing interest at annual rates ranging from three-month LIBOR + 0.39% to 0.55% and maturing between 2008 and 2009. The proceeds from these transactions were used to repay outstanding balances on the Company’s revolving credit facilities. In addition, subsequent to year end, on February 15, 2006, the Company issued $500 million 5.65% Senior Notes due 2011 and $500 million 5.875% Senior Notes due 2016.  The Company used the proceeds to repay outstanding balances on its unsecured revolving credit facility.  In connection with the issuance of these notes, the Company settled four forward-starting swaps that were entered into in May and June of 2005.

In addition, on September 14, 2005, the Company completed the issuance of $100.0 million in unsecured floating rate trust preferred securities through a newly formed statutory trust, iStar Financial Statutory Trust I, that is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company. The securities are subordinate to the Company’s senior unsecured debt and bear interest at a rate of LIBOR + 1.50%. The trust preferred securities are redeemable, at the option of the Company, in whole or in part, with no prepayment premium any time after October  2010.

In addition, on March 1, 2005, the Company exchanged its TriNet 7.70% Senior Notes due 2017 for iStar 5.70% Series B Senior Notes due 2014 in accordance with the exchange offer and consent solicitation issued on January 25, 2005. For each $1,000 principal amount of TriNet Notes tendered, holders received approximately $1,171 principal amount of iStar Notes. A total of $117.0 million aggregate principal amount of iStar Notes were issued. The iStar Notes issued in the exchange offer form part of the series of iStar 5.70% Series B Notes due 2014 issued on March 9, 2004. Also, on March 30, 2005, the Company amended certain covenants in the indenture relating to the 7.95% Notes due 2006 as a result of a consent solicitation of the holders of those notes. Following the successful completion of the consent solicitation,

44




the Company merged TriNet into the Company, the Company became the obligor on the Notes and TriNet no longer exists (see Note 1 to the Company’s Consolidated Financial Statements).

During the 12 months ended December 31, 2004, the Company issued $850.0 million aggregate principal amount of fixed-rate Senior Notes bearing interest at annual rates ranging from 4.875% to 5.70% and maturing between 2009 and 2014 and $200.0 million of variable-rate Senior Notes bearing interest at an annual rate of three-month LIBOR + 1.25% and maturing in 2007. In addition, the Company issued 8.3 million shares of preferred stock in two series with cumulative annual dividend rates of 7.50%.

During the 12 months ended December 31, 2003, the Company issued $685.0 million aggregate principal amount of fixed-rate Senior Notes bearing interest at annual rates ranging from 6.00% to 7.00% and maturing between 2008 and 2013. The Company issued 12.8 million shares of preferred stock in three series with cumulative annual dividend rates ranging from 7.650% to 7.875%. The Company also issued 5.0 million shares of Common Stock in 2003 at a price to the public of $38.50 per share.

The Company primarily used the proceeds from the issuance of securities described above to repay secured indebtedness as it migrated its balance sheet towards more unsecured debt and to refinance higher yielding obligations.

During the 12 months ended December 31, 2004, the Company redeemed approximately $110.0 million aggregate principal amount of its outstanding 8.75% Senior Notes due 2008 at a price of 108.75% of par. In connection with this redemption, the Company recognized a charge to income of $11.5 million included in “Loss on early extinguishment of debt” on the Company’s Consolidated Statements of Operations. The Company also retired its 3.3 million shares of Series H Variable Rate Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock. In addition, the Company redeemed all of its 2.0 million shares of 9.375% Series B Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock and all of its 1.3 million shares of 9.200% Series C Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock. In connection with this redemption, the Company recognized a charge to net income allocable to common shareholders and HPU holders of approximately $9.0 million included in “Preferred dividend requirements” on the Company's Consolidated Statements of Operations.

During the 12 months ended December 31, 2003, the Company retired all of its 4.0 million shares of 9.50% Series A Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock and all of TriNet’s 6.75% Dealer Remarketable Securities.

Unsecured/Secured Credit Facilities ActivityOn March 12, 2005, August 12, 2005, and September 30, 2005, three of the Company’s secured revolving credit facilities, with a maximum amount available to draw of $250.0 million, $350.0 million and $500.0 million, respectively, matured. Set forth below is a discussion of the Company’s remaining credit facilities.

On January 9, 2006, the Company extended the maturity on its remaining secured facility to January 2008, reduced its capacity from $700 million to $500 million and lowered its interest rates to LIBOR + 1.00%-2.00% from LIBOR + 1.40%-2.15%.

On April 19, 2004, the Company completed a new $850.0 million unsecured revolving credit facility with 19 banks and financial institutions. On December 17, 2004, the commitment on this facility was increased to $1.25 billion and was increased again on September 16, 2005 to $1.50 billion.  The facility has a three-year initial term with a one-year extension at the Company’s option. The facility initially bore interest at a rate of LIBOR + 1.00% and a 25 basis point annual facility fee. Due to an upgrade in the Company’s senior unsecured debt rating in 2004, the facility began to bear interest at a rate of LIBOR + 0.875% and a 17.5 basis point annual facility fee, which was its effective rate through December 31, 2005. In addition, as a result of upgrades to the Company’s unsecured debt ratings in 2006, the facility’s interest rate will decrease to LIBOR + 0.70% per annum, plus a 15 basis point annual facility fee.

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Other Financing Activity—During the 12 months ended December 31, 2005, the Company repaid a $76.0 million mortgage on 11 CTL investments which was open to prepayment without penalty. The Company also prepaid a $135.0 million mortgage on a CTL asset with a 0.5% prepayment penalty. In addition, the Company fully repaid all of its outstanding STARs Series 2002-1 and STARs Series 2003-1 Notes which had an aggregate outstanding principal balance of approximately $620.7 million on the date of repayment. The STARs Notes were originally issued in 2002 and 2003 by special purpose subsidiaries of the Company for the purpose of match funding the Company’s assets that collateralized the STARs Notes.  For accounting purposes, the issuance of the STARs Notes was treated as a secured on-balance sheet financing and no gain on sale was recognized in connection with the redemption of the STARs Notes, the Company incurred one-time cash costs, including prepayment and other fees, of approximately $6.8 million and a non-cash charge of approximately $37.5 million to write-off deferred financing fees and expenses.

Hedging Activities—The Company has variable-rate lending assets and variable-rate debt obligations. These assets and liabilities create a natural hedge against changes in variable interest rates. This means that as interest rates increase, the Company earns more on its variable-rate lending assets and pays more on its variable-rate debt obligations and, conversely, as interest rates decrease, the Company earns less on its variable-rate lending assets and pays less on its variable-rate debt obligations. When the amount of the Company’s variable-rate debt obligations exceeds the amount of its variable-rate lending assets, the Company utilizes derivative instruments to limit the impact of changing interest rates on its net income. The Company has a policy in place, that is administered by the Audit Committee, which requires the Company to enter into hedging transactions to mitigate the impact of rising interest rates on the Company’s earnings. The policy states that a 100 basis point increase in short-term rates cannot have a greater than 2.5% impact on quarterly earnings. The Company does not use derivative instruments for speculative purposes. The derivative instruments the Company uses are typically in the form of interest rate swaps and interest rate caps. Interest rate swaps effectively can either change variable-rate debt obligations to fixed-rate debt obligations or convert fixed-rate debt obligations into variable-rate debt obligations. Interest rate caps effectively limit the maximum interest rate on variable-rate debt obligations. In addition, during 2005 the Company also began using derivative instruments to manage its exposure to foreign exchange rate movements.

The primary risks from the Company’s use of derivative instruments are the risks that a counterparty to a hedging arrangement could default on its obligation and the risk that the Company may have to pay certain costs, such as transaction fees or breakage costs, if a hedging arrangement is terminated by the Company. As a matter of policy, the Company enters into hedging arrangements with counterparties that are large, creditworthy financial institutions typically rated at least A/A2 by S&P and Moody’s, respectively. The Company’s hedging strategy is approved and monitored by the Company’s Audit Committee on behalf of its Board of Directors and may be changed by the Board of Directors without shareholder approval.

The following table represents the notional principal amounts of interest rate swaps by class and the corresponding hedged liability positions (in thousands):

 

 

December 31,

 

 

 

2005

 

2004

 

Cash flow hedges

 

 

 

 

 

Interest rate swaps

 

$

250,000

 

$

250,000

 

Forward-starting interest rate swaps.

 

650,000

 

200,000

 

Fair value hedges.

 

1,100,000

 

850,000

 

Total interest rate swaps

 

$

2,000,000

 

$

1,300,000

 

 

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The following table presents the maturity, notional, and weighted average interest rates expected to be received or paid on USD interest rate swaps