Gladstone to issue $7.4m stock offering

The fast-growing real estate investment trust will use the funding to pay down debt and finance new acquisitions.

Real estate investment trust (REIT) Gladstone Land will issue up to 1,035,000 shares of stock to pay off debt and fund property acquisitions.

Issued at $8.82 per share, it is the REIT’s lowest stock price since its 2013 IPO, and nearly 30 percent down on its highest price this year of $12.28 per share.

The $7.4 million public offering is expected to close on 16 December, with 900,000 shares priced at $8.82, and a 30-day option for the underwriters to purchase an additional 135,000 shares, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

The REIT issued more than 1.25 million shares in a $14.3 million public offering in May this year, and 1.12 million shares in September 2014 for $13.3 million.

Gladstone owns 15,571 acres of fruit and vegetable-growing farmland on 42 US farms. The land is valued at roughly $269 million, according to a press release.

The REIT has grown significantly since its $50 million IPO in 2013, which made it the first publicly traded real estate investment trust focused exclusively on farmland.

The company’s assets have nearly tripled since the first quarter of 2013 to $269 million, according to the release. Between 2013 and the third quarter of 2015, operating income increased from $376,478 to $1,167,653, a 210 percent increase.

The company’s most recent earnings report showed year-on-year increases in total assets, operating revenues and shareholders’ equity, as well as distributions in excess of earnings.

The report also showed strong quarterly gains in funds from operations and adjusted funds from operations per share, two REIT-specific measures of performance meant to account for atypical depreciation of income-producing real estate.

However, the company also showed a rising debt to equity ratio, which grew to 67.7 percent by the end of the third quarter, compared to 60.5 percent at the start of the year.

Gladstone Land did not respond to requests for comment from Agri Investor by press time.