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Silvers noted the challenging economic climate under which the strong performance was posted: “Even against the backdrop of recession fears, the consumer continues to support our affordable drive to experiential properties,” he said. “We are also pleased that in the fourth quarter and through February 2023, we have received all scheduled rent and deferral payments from Regal as we are working through the process toward a resolution. Our tenant industries continue to demonstrate healthy momentum. This is particularly evident at the box office, which was up by more than 64% in 2022.”

The fly in the ointment going forward comes in the form of Regal Cinemas – the nation’s second-largest chain of movie theaters – after the September bankruptcy filing of its parent company Cineworld. The company was hit hard after a major decline in business during the pandemic, slating closures for 39 of its locations this year as a result.

“At this time, we aren’t providing earnings guidance due to the uncertainty of Regal’s bankruptcy proceeding,” Silvers said. “However, we remain confident in our outlook and are maintaining our well-covered monthly dividend to common shareholders at its current level. While we still have work to do to regain our full momentum, we are heartened by our significant progress, and we remain resolute and confident in the quality of our properties.”

He focused instead on the growth seen last year, while assuaging shareholders of the Regal issue:  “We delivered significant earnings growth in 2022, demonstrating our strong recovery and the resiliency of experiential investments,” Silvers said. “We are pleased that in the fourth quarter and in January and February of 2023, we have received all scheduled rent and deferral payments from Regal, and we are working with them through the bankruptcy process toward a resolution.”

Notwithstanding the Regal bankruptcy, Greg Zimmerman, executive vice president and chief investment officer, extolled the strengths of the company’s portfolio: “Our high-quality theater portfolio continues to outperform the industry,” he told investors. “When strong pictures are available theatrically, the public is responding very favorably and the results prove it out.”