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LIT Spotlights Rep. Virginia Foxx’s Investment Portfolio and Conflicts of Interest

Foxx, 77, has made at least six investments in Altria, a tobacco company and a leader in the burgeoning U.S. cannabis industry.

Meet the anti-legalization GOP Congresswoman cashing in on marijuana stocks

“It brings into question her credibility as a lawmaker,” one Congressional ethics expert says.

MAY 29, 2021 | REPUBLISHED BY LIT: MAY 31, 2021

Rep. Virginia Foxx, a North Carolina Republican with an influential post on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, has spent her Congressional career advocating against the legalization of marijuana — while also loading up on hundreds of thousands of dollars in marijuana-industry stocks ahead of crucial votes on key federal decriminalization measures, Salon has learned.

Foxx, 77, has made at least six investments in Altria, one of the world’s largest tobacco companies and a leader in the burgeoning U.S. cannabis industry, since September of last year, according to financial disclosure reports.

Altria, previously known as Phillip Morris, also holds large minority stakes in JUUL Labs and Anheuser Busch InBev, another company exploring the cannabis market.

The purchases, which have not previously been reported, likely make her the largest holder of marijuana-related stocks in Congress, according to a report from Unusual Whales, a market research firm. It’s impossible to say for certain, however, because members of Congress are not required to disclose the exact amounts of their investments.

The trades are especially newsworthy for their timing

beginning just a few months before the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment & Expungement Act (MORE) in December, which would serve to decriminalize cannabis at the federal level — a key goal of advocates who say the drug’s current status as a controlled substance represents a key roadblock to full legalization.

Foxx voted against the measure.

Her investments raise concerns over the ethical problems members of Congress create when trading individual stocks within an industry their actions have the potential to influence.

“This is so obviously a conflict of interest, I’m just not sure what else I can say, really,”

Richard Painter, a former White House ethics attorney under President George W. Bush and University of Minnesota law professor, told Salon.

“It brings into question her credibility as a lawmaker.”

Rep. Foxx’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

Foxx Invests in Property REIT Claiming 98% Rent Payments Achieved During Pandemic.

One Liberty Properties Reports First Quarter 2021 Results

May 05, 2021 16:10 ET | Source: One Liberty Properties, Inc.

– Collects Over 98% of First Quarter Rents –

GREAT NECK, N.Y., May 05, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — One Liberty Properties, Inc. (NYSE: OLP), a real estate investment trust focused on net leased properties, today announced operating results for the quarter ended March 31, 2021.

Patrick J. Callan, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of One Liberty commented,

“We collected 98% of billed rents in the first quarter, demonstrating the stability of our portfolio and our continuing success in navigating the impact of the pandemic.

Contributing to these efforts is the ongoing transformation of One Liberty as an industrial-focused REIT.

As we move forward, we remain committed to ensuring that the portfolio provides consistent cash flow to support our dividend.

In addition, given the competitive environment for desirable industrial properties, we will remain diligent and disciplined in our pursuit of accretive acquisitions to create long-term sustained value for our stockholders.”

Operating Results:

Rental income was $20.7 million in the first quarter of 2021 compared to $21.2 million in the first quarter of 2020. The Company collected 98.3% of billed rent in the first quarter of 2021.

Total operating expenses were $13.2 million in the first quarter of 2021 compared to $12.4 million for the first quarter of 2020. Contributing to the change was a $344,000 increase in real estate operating expenses and a $308,000 increase in general and administrative expense due primarily to non-cash expense related to equity incentive awards.

Net income attributable to One Liberty in the first quarter of 2021 was $3.0 million, or $0.13 per diluted share, compared to $7.8 million, or $0.39 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2020. Net income for the 2020 quarter includes a $4.3 million, or $0.21 per diluted share, gain on sale of real estate, before giving effect to a $290,000, or $0.01 per diluted share, debt prepayment charge.

Adjusted Funds from Operations, or AFFO1, was $10.0 million, or $0.48 per diluted share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2021, compared to $10.2 million, or $0.51 per diluted share, for the corresponding quarter in the prior year. The change in AFFO is due primarily to a $337,000 increase in real estate operating expenses and a $122,000 reduction in rental income, offset by a $250,000 decrease in interest expense.

Funds from Operations, or FFO was $8.8 million, or $0.42 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2021, compared to $9.2 million, or $0.46 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2020. The change is due to the factors contributing to the decrease in AFFO as well as a $433,000 non-cash reduction in rental income related to straight-line rent accruals and amortization of lease intangibles and an increase of $367,000 of non-cash expense related to equity-based awards, offset by a $298,000 increase in other income and lease termination fee income and a $290,000 decrease in debt prepayment costs.

_________________
1 A description and reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures (i.e., AFFO and FFO) to GAAP financial measures is presented later in this release.

Balance Sheet:

At March 31, 2021, the Company had $11.2 million of cash and cash equivalents, total assets of $768.2 million, total debt of $439.3 million, and total One Liberty Properties, Inc. stockholders’ equity of $287.2 million.

At May 3, 2021, One Liberty’s available liquidity was $81.5 million, including $6.8 million of cash and cash equivalents (including the credit facility’s required $3.0 million average deposit maintenance balance) and $74.7 million available under its credit facility. The facility is currently available for the acquisition of commercial real estate, repayment of mortgage debt, and up to $10 million and $19 million for renovation and operating expenses, respectively.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures:

One Liberty computes FFO in accordance with the “White Paper on Funds from Operations” issued by the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (“NAREIT”) and NAREIT’s related guidance. FFO is defined in the White Paper as net income (calculated in accordance with GAAP), excluding depreciation and amortization related to real estate, gains and losses from the sale of certain real estate assets, gains and losses from change in control, impairment write-downs of certain real estate assets and investments in entities where the impairment is directly attributable to decreases in the value of depreciable real estate held by the entity. Adjustments for unconsolidated partnerships and joint ventures are calculated to reflect funds from operations on the same basis. In computing FFO, OLP does not add back to net income the amortization of costs in connection with its financing activities or depreciation of non-real estate assets.

One Liberty computes AFFO by adjusting from FFO for straight-line rent accruals and amortization of lease intangibles, deducting lease termination fees and certain other non-recurring fees and adding back amortization of restricted stock and restricted stock unit compensation expense, amortization of costs in connection with its financing activities (including its share of its unconsolidated joint ventures), income on insurance recoveries from casualties and debt prepayment costs. Since the NAREIT White Paper does not provide guidelines for computing AFFO, the computation of AFFO may vary from one REIT to another.

One Liberty believes that FFO and AFFO are useful and standard supplemental measures of the operating performance for equity REITs and are used frequently by securities analysts, investors and other interested parties in evaluating equity REITs, many of which present FFO and AFFO when reporting their operating results. FFO and AFFO are intended to exclude GAAP historical cost depreciation and amortization of real estate assets, which assumes that the value of real estate assets diminishes predictably over time. In fact, real estate values have historically risen and fallen with market conditions. As a result, management believes that FFO and AFFO provide a performance measure that when compared year over year, should reflect the impact to operations from trends in occupancy rates, rental rates, operating costs, interest costs and other matters without the inclusion of depreciation and amortization, providing a perspective that may not be necessarily apparent from net income. Management also considers FFO and AFFO to be useful in evaluating potential property acquisitions.

FFO and AFFO do not represent net income or cash flows from operating, investing or financing activities as defined by GAAP. FFO and AFFO should not be an alternative to net income as a reliable measure of our operating performance nor as an alternative to cash flows as measures of liquidity. FFO and AFFO do not measure whether cash flow is sufficient to fund all of the Company’s cash needs.

Forward Looking Statement:

Certain information contained in this press release, together with other statements and information publicly disseminated by One Liberty Properties, Inc. is forward looking within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. We intend such forward looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provision for forward looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and include this statement for the purpose of complying with these safe harbor provisions. You should not rely on forward-looking statements since they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which are, in some cases, beyond the Company’s control and which could materially affect the Company’s results of operations, financial condition, cash flows, performance or future achievements or events. Currently, one of the most significant factors that could adversely affect the Company is the current pandemic of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, and the governmental and non-governmental responses thereto. The extent to which COVID-19 impacts the Company and its tenants will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted with confidence, including the scope, severity and duration of the pandemic, the actions taken to contain the pandemic or mitigate its impact, and the direct and indirect economic effects of the pandemic and containment measures, among others. Information regarding other important factors that could cause actual outcomes or other events to differ materially from any such forward looking statements appear in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020 and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended March 31, 2021 and in particular, the sections entitled “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations”, included therein.

About One Liberty Properties:

One Liberty is a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust incorporated in Maryland in 1982. The Company acquires, owns and manages a geographically diversified portfolio consisting primarily of industrial, retail, restaurant, health and fitness and theater properties. Many of these properties are subject to long term net leases under which the tenant is typically responsible for the property’s real estate taxes, insurance and ordinary maintenance and repairs.

Contact:
One Liberty Properties
Investor Relations
Phone: (516) 466-3100
www.onelibertyproperties.com

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LIT Spotlights Rep. Virginia Foxx’s Investment Portfolio and Conflicts of Interest
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