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Post Apartment Homes, L.P., the operating arm of Post Properties, Inc. (PPS - Snapshot Report) recently announced that it has obtained a new $300 million unsecured bank term loan facility and a $30 million unsecured cash management line of credit facility.

The new credit facility has a time period of four years and is scheduled to mature in January 2016. The new credit facility replaces the company’s existing $300 million unsecured revolving credit facility and the new credit agreement amends the operating partnership’s existing $30 million unsecured revolving cash management line.

The $100 million borrowed under the new term loan facility will be used by the company to pay down a portion of the outstanding balance under the revolving credit facility and to pay related fees and expenses. The remaining $200 million will be used for general business purposes, including the repayment of approximately $95.7 million of 5.45% senior unsecured notes and approximately $53.7 million of 5.50% secured mortgage notes.

The strategic move is aimed at attaining financial flexibility and strengthening its balance sheet. At the end of third quarter; the company had cash and cash equivalents of $73.3 million.

Post Properties reported FFO (fund from operations) of $26.7 million or 52 cents per share in the third quarter of 2011 compared with $40.3 million or 82 cents per share in the year-earlier quarter. Fund from operations, a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs, is obtained after adding depreciation and amortization and other non-cash expenses to net income.

Post Properties together with its subsidiaries, engages in the development, ownership, and management of multifamily apartment communities in the United States.

Post Properties currently retains a Zacks #1 Rank, which translates into a short-term Strong Buy rating. We are also maintaining our long-term Outperform recommendation on the stock. One of its competitors, Equity Residential (EQR - Analyst Report)  has a Zacks #3 Rank, implying a short-term Hold rating.

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