21 June 2017

Poor Trump (not really)

Bloomberg has an article by Caleb Melby about Trump's declining wealth: Trump's Net Worth Slips as New York Towers Underperform

President Trump’s office properties aren’t bringing in as much cash as the banks that loaned him money had expected. That’s the biggest finding in an updated assessment of the president’s net worth, which has slipped to just under three billion dollars, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, down from three billion dollars a year ago. The calculation, five months after Trump’s inauguration, relies on figures compiled from lenders, mortgage documents, annual reports, market data, and a new financial disclosure released on 16 June 2017.
The decrease is driven mostly by a drop in the value of three office properties in Manhattan, where financial data compiled by Trump’s lenders offer a consistent picture: they’re underperforming appraisals conducted when Trump was issued loans. The buildings, at 40 Wall Street, Trump Tower, and 1290 Avenue of the Americas, a tower in which Trump holds a thirty percent stake, are victims of a changing New York City office market, where gleaming new skyscrapers are attracting tenants and demand for space in vintage properties is falling.
The Bloomberg calculation, which previously relied in part on banks’ estimates and appraisals, is now based solely on the three properties’ actual financial results disclosed by managers of mortgage-security trusts that hold Trump debt. The present value of the three properties has been revised down by a combined $380 million.
Allen Weisselberg, chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, and Jeffrey McConney, the company’s controller, didn’t respond to emails about Bloomberg’s methodology. An outside spokeswoman didn’t return calls for comment. Hope Hicks, a White House spokeswoman, didn’t respond to emails.
The decrease in the value of the three towers was almost offset by successes in other corners of Trump’s empire. His portfolio of liquid assets, including cash, has jumped to $230 million from $170 million following condo sales and other payouts from the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas, as well as the sale of a Manhattan penthouse apartment. He sold most of his stock portfolio last summer, a spokesman said in December.
Trump’s companies received new licensing fees for branded projects in Vancouver and Kolkata, the financial disclosure shows. On an annualized basis, revenue at his sixteen golf and resort properties rose three percent. Mar-a-Lago, which Trump has visited frequently since the election, saw a twenty-five percent jump in sales. The properties now have a combined value of $720 million, up from $710 million, according to the index, an increase damped by declining multiples for golf course properties.
At the same time, Trump’s debt load has shrunk to at least $550 million from about $630 million last year, according to lender data and repayment schedules.
The 40 Wall Street building, appraised at $540 million in 2015, had projected annual net operating income of $22.6 million, according to documents shared at the time with potential investors in the property’s debt. It earned $17.4 million in 2016, a year in which it was on a lender watchlist for three months because rental income barely covered debt payments. The property was removed from the list as its situation improved. The index values the property at $400 million based on last year’s performance.
Trump Tower, the President’s home and headquarters before he moved to the White House, is facing a similar problem. Its offices and stores were appraised at $480 million in 2012, with net income estimated at $20.4 million. The property generated $14.1 million of net income last year after higher expenses ate into revenue, lender documents show. The building, including Trump’s penthouse apartment, is now valued at $450 million.
The office tower at 1290 Avenue of the Americas, which Trump owns in partnership with Vornado Realty Trust, also has failed to meet lender expectations. The building was appraised at two billion dollars in 2012 on the assumption it would throw off $97.7 million of annual net income, but it generated only $77.7 million last year.
“We’re in the biggest development pipeline in Manhattan since the 1980s,” said Keith DeCoster, director of real estate analytics at Savills Studley. “Older buildings, circa 1980s, 1990s, are having a tougher time competing.”
Trump has retained his ownership interest in his companies. Unlike previous occupants of the Oval Office, he neither divested his assets nor set up a blind trust. Instead, he transferred his holdings to a revocable trust managed by his adult sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, and Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s CFO.
Trump’s own estimates of his net worth are frequently higher than independent appraisals. When he announced his candidacy in 2015, his campaign released a document stating he had a net worth of just under nine billion dollars. Later that year, when Bloomberg first assessed his net worth at $3 billion, he described it as “a stupid report", and later repeatedly asserted he was worth more than ten billion.
One difference between Trump’s estimates and Bloomberg’s is the value of his personal brand. The 2015 document released by Trump’s campaign said his ability to license his name and likeness to everything from international hotels to mattresses is worth just over three billion. Bloomberg assigns it a value of thirty-five million, for one times sales from ongoing licensing deals. That value hasn’t changed since Trump won the Republican nomination last July.
Rico says he refuses to feel sorry for a guy who's worth only ten billion...

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