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UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-K

[X] Annual Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020.

or

[ ] Transition Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

For the transition period from to .

Commission File Number: 001-33519

PUBLIC STORAGE

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)

Maryland

95-3551121

(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

(I.R.S. Employer Identification Number)


701 Western Avenue, Glendale, California 91201-2349

(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)

(818) 244-8080

(Registrant's telephone number, including area code)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of Class

 

Trading Symbol

 

Name of exchange on which registered

Common Shares, $0.10 par value

PSA

New York Stock Exchange

Depositary Shares Each Representing 1/1,000 of a 5.125% Cum Pref Share, Series C, $0.01 par value

PSAPrC

New York Stock Exchange

Depositary Shares Each Representing 1/1,000 of a 4.950% Cum Pref Share, Series D, $0.01 par value

PSAPrD

New York Stock Exchange

Depositary Shares Each Representing 1/1,000 of a 4.900% Cum Pref Share, Series E, $0.01 par value

PSAPrE

New York Stock Exchange

Depositary Shares Each Representing 1/1,000 of a 5.150% Cum Pref Share, Series F, $0.01 par value

PSAPrF

New York Stock Exchange

Depositary Shares Each Representing 1/1,000 of a 5.050% Cum Pref Share, Series G, $0.01 par value

PSAPrG

New York Stock Exchange

Depositary Shares Each Representing 1/1,000 of a 5.600% Cum Pref Share, Series H, $0.01 par value

PSAPrH

New York Stock Exchange

Depositary Shares Each Representing 1/1,000 of a 4.875% Cum Pref Share, Series I, $0.01 par value

PSAPrI

New York Stock Exchange

1


Depositary Shares Each Representing 1/1,000 of a 4.700% Cum Pref Share, Series J, $0.01 par value

PSAPrJ

New York Stock Exchange

Depositary Shares Each Representing 1/1,000 of a 4.750% Cum Pref Share, Series K, $0.01 par value

PSAPrK

New York Stock Exchange

Depositary Shares Each Representing 1/1,000 of a 4.625% Cum Pref Share, Series L, $0.01 par value

PSAPrL

New York Stock Exchange

Depositary Shares Each Representing 1/1,000 of a 4.125% Cum Pref Share, Series M, $0.01 par value

PSAPrM

New York Stock Exchange

Depositary Shares Each Representing 1/1,000 of a 3.875% Cum Pref Share, Series N, $0.01 par value

PSAPrN

New York Stock Exchange

Depositary Shares Each Representing 1/1,000 of a 3.900% Cum Pref Share, Series O, $0.01 par value

PSAPrO

New York Stock Exchange

0.875% Senior Notes due 2032

PSA32

New York Stock Exchange

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.

Yes [X]No [ ]

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act.

Yes [ ]No [X]

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.

Yes [X]No [ ]

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).

Yes [X]No [ ]

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

Large accelerated filer

Accelerated filer

Non-accelerated filer

Smaller reporting company

Emerging growth company

[X]

[ ]

[ ]

[ ]

[ ]

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If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. [ ]

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. [X]

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).

Yes [ ]No [X]

The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common shares held by non-affiliates of the Registrant as of June 30, 2020:

Common Shares, $0.10 Par Value Per Share – $29,116,505,000 (computed on the basis of $191.89 per share, which was the reported closing sale price of the Company's Common Shares on the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) on June 30, 2020).

As of February 19, 2021, there were 174,912,175 outstanding Common Shares, $.10 par value per share.


DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of the definitive proxy statement to be filed in connection with the Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held in 2021 are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K to the extent described therein.

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PART I

ITEM 1.Business

Forward Looking Statements

This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements in this document, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements which may be identified by the use of the words "expects,"  "believes,"  "anticipates," "should," "estimates" and similar expressions.

These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, which may cause our actual results and performance to be materially different from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Factors and risks that may impact future results and performance include, but are not limited to, those described in Part 1, Item 1A, "Risk Factors" and in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”).  These include general risks associated with the ownership and operation of real estate, including changes in demand, risk related to development, expansion and acquisition of self-storage facilities, potential liability for environmental contamination, natural disasters and adverse changes in laws and regulations governing property tax, real estate and zoning; risks associated with economic downturns in the national and local markets in which we operate; risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic (the “COVID Pandemic”) or similar events, including negative economic impacts which could reduce the demand for our facilities or increase tenant delinquencies and regulatory actions to close or limit access to our facilities, limit our ability to set rents or limit our ability to collect rent or evict delinquent tenants; the risk that there could be an out-migration of population from our markets which would reduce demand for our facilities; risks related to increased reliance on Google as a customer acquisition channel; risks associated with international operations including, but not limited to, unfavorable foreign currency rate fluctuations and changes in tax laws; the impact of the legal and regulatory environment, as well as national, state and local laws and regulations including, without limitation, those governing environmental issues, taxes, our tenant reinsurance business, and labor; risks due to ballot initiatives or other actions that could remove the protections of Proposition 13 with respect to our real estate and result in substantial increases in our assessed values and property tax bills in California; changes in United States federal or state tax laws related to the taxation of real estate investment trusts (“REITs”) and other corporations; security breaches or a failure of our networks, systems or technology could adversely impact our operations or our business, customer and employee relationships or result in fraudulent payments; risks associated with the self-insurance of certain business risks; and delays and cost overruns on our projects to develop new facilities or expand our existing facilities.

These forward looking statements speak only as of the date of this report or as of the dates indicated in the statements. All of our forward-looking statements, including those in this report, are qualified in their entirety by this statement. We expressly disclaim any obligation to update publicly or otherwise revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, new estimates, or other factors, events or circumstances after the date of these forward looking statements, except when expressly required by law. Given these risks and uncertainties, you should not rely on any forward-looking statements in this report, or which management may make orally or in writing from time to time, neither as predictions of future events nor guarantees of future performance.

General Discussion of our Business

Public Storage (referred to herein as “the Company”, “we”, “us”, or “our”), a Maryland REIT, was organized in 1980. Our principal business activities include the ownership and operation of self-storage facilities and other related operations including tenant reinsurance and third-party self-storage management. We are the industry leading owner and operator of self-storage properties with a recognizable brand, including the ubiquitous orange color, which is one of the most recognizable within the industry.

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Self-storage Operations:

We acquire, develop, own and operate self-storage facilities, which offer storage spaces for lease on a month-to-month basis, for personal and business use. We are the largest owner and operator of self-storage facilities in the U.S. with physical presence in most major markets and 38 states. We believe our scale, brand name and technology platform afford us competitive advantages. At December 31, 2020, we held interests in and consolidated 2,548 self-storage facilities (an aggregate of 175 million net rentable square feet of space) operating under the “Public Storage” brand name. We own all of the economic interest in these facilities, except for 21 of these facilities held with other noncontrolling interests.

Ancillary and Other Operations:

We reinsure policies held by tenants against losses to goods stored at the self-storage facilities we own, as well as those we manage for third parties. These policies cover claims for losses related to specified events up to a maximum limit of $5,000 per storage unit. We reinsure all risks in this program, but purchase insurance from an independent third party insurer to cover this exposure for a limit of $15.0 million for losses in excess of $5.0 million per occurrence. At December 31, 2020, there were approximately 990,000 certificates held by our self-storage customers, representing aggregate coverage of approximately $3.9 billion.

At December 31, 2020, we managed 92 facilities for third parties, and are under contract to manage 25 additional facilities including 24 facilities that are currently under construction. In addition, we sell merchandise, primarily locks and cardboard boxes at our self-storage facilities.

We hold a 42% equity interest in PS Business Parks, Inc. (“PSB”) and a 35% interest in Shurgard Self Storage SA (“Shurgard”). PSB is a publicly held REIT that owns, operates, acquires and develops commercial properties, primarily multi-tenant flex, office, and industrial parks. At December 31, 2020, PSB owned and operated 27.7 million rentable square feet of commercial space. Shurgard is a public company traded on Euronext Brussels under the “SHUR” symbol and owns 241 self-storage facilities (13.2 million net rentable square feet) located in seven countries in Western Europe operated under the “Shurgard” brand name.

For all periods presented herein, we have elected to be treated as a REIT, as defined in the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). For each taxable year in which we qualify for taxation as a REIT, we will not be subject to U.S. federal corporate income tax on our “REIT taxable income” (generally, taxable income subject to specified adjustments, including a deduction for dividends paid and excluding our net capital gain) that is distributed to our shareholders. We believe we met these requirements in all periods presented herein and we expect to continue to qualify as a REIT.

We report annually to the SEC on Form 10-K, which includes financial statements certified by our independent registered public accountants. We also report quarterly to the SEC on Form 10-Q, which includes unaudited financial statements. We expect to continue such reporting.

On our website, www.publicstorage.com, we make available, free of charge, our Annual Reports on Form 10- K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and all amendments to those reports as soon as reasonably practicable after the reports and amendments are electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC. The information contained on our website is not a part of, or incorporated by reference into, this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Competition

Ownership and operation of self-storage facilities is highly fragmented. As the largest owner of self-storage facilities, we believe that we own approximately 7% of the self-storage square footage in the U.S. and that collectively the five largest self-storage owners in the U.S. own approximately 16%, with the remaining 84% owned by regional and local operators.

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We generally own facilities in major markets. We believe that we have market share and concentration in major metropolitan centers, with approximately 70% of our 2020 same-store revenues generated in the 20 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (each, an “MSA”, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau) with the highest population levels. We believe this is a competitive advantage relative to other self-storage operators, which do not have our geographic concentration and market share in the major MSAs.

The high level of ownership fragmentation in the industry is partially attributable to the relative simplicity of managing a local self-storage facility, such that small-scale owners can operate self-storage facilities at a basic level of profitability without significant managerial or operational infrastructure. Our facilities compete with nearby self-storage facilities owned by other operators using marketing channels, including Internet advertising, signage, and banners and offering services similar to ours. As a result, competition is significant and affects the occupancy levels, rental rates, rental income and operating expenses of our facilities. However, we believe that the economies of scale inherent in this business result in our being able to operate self-storage facilities at a materially higher level of cash flow per square foot than other operators without our scale.

Recently, larger national operators (including ourselves) are offering to manage facilities owned by third parties on their platform for a fee, and Google is offering a more convenient platform for small operators to compete with larger operators in paid search bidding campaigns to drive web traffic and increase reservations. Depending upon how many smaller operators avail themselves of these management services and Google’s platform, these two developments may potentially diminish the competitive advantage we have versus smaller owner/operators.

Newly developed facilities compete with many of the facilities we own, negatively impacting our occupancies, rental rates, and rental growth, particularly as newly developed facilities fill up. The level of new construction varies in each market over time, depending upon many factors such as the cost and availability of land, construction costs, zoning limitations, and the availability of capital, as well as local demand and economic conditions. Currently, we are affected by newly developed facilities in markets such as Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Miami, Minneapolis, New York and Portland. We expect development of new self-storage facilities to continue to impact our results for the foreseeable future.

Technology

We believe technology enables revenue optimization and cost efficiencies. Over the past few years we have invested in technologies that we believe have enabled us to operate and compete more effectively.

Centralized information networks: Our centralized reporting and information network enables us to identify changing market conditions and operating trends as well as analyze customer data and, on an automated basis, quickly change each of our individual properties’ pricing and promotions, as well as to drive marketing spending such as the relative level of bidding for various paid search terms on paid search engines.

Convenient shopping experience: Customers can conveniently shop for available storage space, reviewing attributes such as facility location, size, amenities such as climate-control, as well as pricing, through the following marketing channels:

Our Desktop and Mobile Websites: The online marketing channel is a key source of customers. Approximately 76% of our move-ins in 2020 were sourced through our website and we believe that many of our other customers who reserved directly through our call center or arrived at a facility and moved in without a reservation, have reviewed our pricing and availability online through our websites. We seek to regularly update the structure, layout, and content of our website in order to enhance our placement in “unpaid” search in Google and related websites, to improve the efficiency of our bids in “paid” search campaigns, and to maximize users’ likelihood of reserving space on our website.

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Our Call Center: Our call center is staffed by skilled sales specialists. Customers reach our call center by calling our advertised toll-free telephone numbers provided on search engines or our website. We believe giving customers the option to interact with a call center agent, despite the higher marginal cost relative to a reservation made on our website, enhances our ability to close sales with potential customers.

Our Properties: Customers can also shop at any one of our facilities. Property managers access the same information that is available on our website and to our call center agents, and can inform the customer of available space at that site or our other nearby storage facilities. Property managers are trained to maximize the conversion of such “walk in” shoppers into customers.

To further enhance the move-in experience, in 2020 we initiated our “eRental®” process whereby prospective tenants (including those who initially reserved a space) expedite the move-in process by executing a lease agreement from their smartphone or computer and then going directly to their space on the move-in date. Approximately half of customers elected this “eRental®” process during the fourth quarter of 2020.

In addition, in 2020 we have implemented technology solutions in the area of labor scheduling, an integrated customer smartphone application, automated and centralized property access systems, and website customer chat functions.

Growth and Investment Strategies

Our ongoing growth strategies consist of: (i) improving the operating performance of our existing self-storage facilities, (ii) acquiring and developing facilities, (iii) growing ancillary business activities including tenant reinsurance and third-party management services, and (iv) leveraging the growth of our investment in PSB and Shurgard. While our long-term strategy includes each of these elements, in the short run the level of growth in our asset base in any period is dependent upon the cost and availability of capital, as well as the relative attractiveness of available investment alternatives.

From time to time we explore expansion of our activities to other countries. Any such strategic expansion would most likely involve acquiring an interest in an existing operator’s platform. There can be no assurance that any such expansion will occur in the future or the timing thereof.

Improve the operating performance of existing facilities: We regularly update and enhance our strategies to increase the net cash flow of our existing self-storage facilities through maximizing revenues and controlling operating costs. We maximize revenues through striking the appropriate balance between occupancy and rates to new and existing tenants, by regularly adjusting (i) our promotional and other discounts, (ii) the rental rates we charge to new and existing customers, and (iii) our marketing spending and intensity. We inform these pricing and marketing decisions by observing their impact on web and call center traffic, reservations, move-ins, move-outs, tenant length of stay, and other indicators of response. The size and scope of our operations have enabled us to achieve high operating margins and a low level of administrative costs relative to revenues through the centralization of many functions, such as facility maintenance, employee compensation and benefits programs, revenue management, as well as the development and documentation of standardized operating procedures.

Acquire existing properties in the U.S.: We seek to capitalize on the fragmentation of the self-storage business through acquiring attractively priced, well-located existing self-storage facilities. We believe our presence in and knowledge of substantially all of the major markets in the U.S. enhances our ability to identify attractive acquisition opportunities. Data on the rental rates and occupancy levels of our existing facilities provide us an advantage in evaluating the potential of acquisition opportunities. Our aggressiveness in bidding for particular marketed facilities depends upon many factors including the potential for future growth, the quality of construction and location, the cash flow we expect from the facility when operated on our platform, how well the facility fits into our current geographic footprint, as well as our return on capital expectations.

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Develop new self-storage facilities and expand existing facilities: The development of new self-storage locations and the expansion of existing facilities has been an important source of our growth. Our operating experience in major markets and experience in stabilizing new properties provides us advantages in developing new facilities. We plan to increase our development activity given attractive risk adjusted return profile with yields above those of acquisitions. However, our level of development is dependent upon many factors, including the cost and availability of land, the cost and availability of construction materials and labor, zoning and permitting limitations, our cost of capital, the cost of acquiring facilities relative to developing new facilities, as well as local demand and economic conditions.

Grow ancillary business activities: We pursue growth initiatives providing attractive insurance offerings for tenants who choose to protect their stored items against loss and desire to maximize their storage experience. As we grow our self-storage portfolio we have the opportunity to increase the growth profile of our tenant reinsurance business.

Our third party management business enables us to generate revenues through management fees, expand our presence, increase our economies of scale, promote our brand and enhance our ability to acquire additional facilities over the medium and long-term as a result of strategic relationships forged with third-party owners.

Participate in the growth of PS Business Parks, Inc.: We hold a 42% equity interest in PSB. Our investment in PSB provides diversification into another asset type. PSB seeks to grow its asset base in its existing markets as well as increase the cash flows from its owned portfolio. As of December 31, 2020, PSB owned and operated approximately 27.7 million rentable square feet of commercial space.

Participate in the growth of Shurgard: We hold a 35% interest in Shurgard. We believe Shurgard is the largest self-storage company in Western Europe. Customer awareness and availability of self-storage is significantly lower in Europe than in the U.S. However, with more awareness and product supply, we believe there is potential for increased demand for storage space in Europe. We believe Shurgard can capitalize on potential increased demand through the development of new facilities and acquiring existing facilities. From January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2020, Shurgard acquired 17 facilities from third parties for approximately $187.7 million, and has opened six development properties at a total cost of approximately $66.9 million. At December 31, 2020, Shurgard had ten properties in their development pipeline.

Compliance with Government Regulations

We are subject to various laws, ordinances and regulations, including various federal, state and local regulations that apply generally to the ownership of real property and the operation of self-storage properties. These include various laws and government regulations concerning environmental matters, labor matters and employee safety and health matters. Further, our insurance activities are subject to state insurance laws and regulations as determined by the particular insurance commissioner for each state in accordance with certain federal regulations.

We are not aware of any government regulations that have resulted or that we expect will result in compliance costs that had or will have a material effect on our capital expenditures, earnings or competitive position. See “We have significant exposure to real estate risk.” and “We are subject to new and changing legislation and regulations, including the California’s Consumer Privacy Act” in Item 1A. “Risk Factors” for further information regarding our risks related to government regulations. In addition, during public health crises, such as the COVID Pandemic, or in response to natural disasters, such as wildfires in California in recent years, our properties and our tenants have been subject to emergency government regulations that have impacted our operations and our business. See “We are subject to risks from the COVID Pandemic and we may in the future be subject to risks from other public health crises” and “We have been and may in the future be adversely impacted by emergency regulations adopted in response to significant events, such as natural disasters or public health crises, that could adversely impact our operations.” in Item 1A. “Risk Factors”.

We are committed to a long-term environmental stewardship program that reduces emissions of hazardous materials into the environment and the remediation of identified existing environmental concerns, including

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environmentally-friendly capital initiatives and building and operating properties with a high structural resilience and low obsolescence. We accrue environmental assessments and estimated remediation costs when it is probable that such efforts will be required and the related costs can be reasonably estimated. Our current practice is to conduct environmental investigations in connection with property acquisitions. Although there can be no assurance, we are not aware of any environmental contamination of any of our facilities, which individually or in the aggregate would be material to our overall business, financial condition, or results of operations.

Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic

During a significant portion of the year ended December 31, 2020, the COVID Pandemic has resulted in restrictions on business activities in most sectors of the economy in virtually all markets we operate in, due to governmental “stay at home” orders, risk mitigation procedures, closure of businesses not considered to be “essential,” as well as other direct and indirect impacts, including a significant increase in unemployment in the U.S.

The impact of the COVID Pandemic on our business is described more fully in “Overview” and the various sections of our Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations which follows.

Human Capital Resources

The Company’s key human capital management objectives are to attract, develop and retain the highest quality talent. We seek to earn the commitment of employees by making a strong commitment to them. While most join without experience in the self-storage industry, many find career success with us given our emphasis on training, development and promotion from within.

Doing the right thing and integrity are core values we live by at Public Storage and the cornerstone to our culture. Acting with the highest integrity is imperative to our success, our customer’s satisfaction and our employee’s engagement.

We have approximately 5,400 employees, including 4,700 customer facing roles (such as property level and call center personnel), 380 field management employees, and 320 employees in our corporate operations.

Diversity and Inclusion

At Public Storage, we are united under one common goal – creating a diverse and inclusive environment where all employees feel valued, included, and excited to be part of a best-in-class team. With over 5,400 team members from all different races, backgrounds, and life experiences, we celebrate inclusion and value the diversity each person brings to Public Storage. This commitment drives everything we do, from the people we hire, to the business decisions we make.

Public Storage hires based on character, skills, and experience without regard to age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or other protected characteristic. Adherence to this practice has resulted in a diverse and inclusive employee base that reflects the diversity of customers we serve. We maintain policies regarding diversity, equal opportunity, pay-for-performance, discrimination, harassment, and labor (e.g., child, forced, and compulsory). Our employee population is approximately 70% female and approximately 51% have self-identified as people of color; Black or African American (23%), Hispanic or Latino (18%), Asian (4%), of two or more races (4%), Native American (1%), and Pacific Islander (1%).

Diversity is an important factor in all levels of the organization. Our executive team is 25% female and 25% people of color and 38% of our leadership roles are held by women. In 2020, 54% of employees promoted to leadership roles were diverse. Additionally, by having a balanced mix of generations in the organization, we gain from the experiences each age group brings - our employees are 16% Boomer, 28% Gen X, 47% Gen Y and 9% Gen Z.

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Some examples of key programs and initiatives that are focused to attract, develop and retain our diverse workforce include:

Compensation, Health and Wellness

Public Storage believes in aligning employee compensation with our short- and long-term performance goals and providing compensation and incentives needed to attract, motivate and retain employees who are crucial to our success. We tailor our compensation programs to each employee group to ensure competitiveness in the market and to drive employee engagement.

Public Storage is also committed to our employees and their overall health and well-being. We want to help them feel happy, healthy, socially connected, and purposeful. Our goal is to provide tools and resources to help empower our employees to explore what they need and to evaluate for themselves what makes sense in achieving a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

We offer benefits to virtually all our employees. Anyone working 20 hours or more is eligible to participate in our health benefit offerings which include medical, dental, vision, flexible and health savings accounts, discount and income protection plans. We also offer a 401(k) plan with matching employer contributions to help our employees prepare for retirement.

Our dedicated health and wellness website is designed to provide educational and motivational content that help our employees focus on their well-being. We also host individual and team contests to promote goal setting, action and monitoring.

Additionally, employee support programs are available with access to free counseling services through various channels (web, phone, in person), life planning tools and other discount programs for legal services, pet insurance, home and auto, and more.

The COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID Pandemic brought varying challenges to each of our employee groups. We took a multipronged approach in providing resources, tools and added protocols that focused on employees and their families while still allowing us to support the customers we serve during these unprecedented times.

Our field operations and store protocols were quickly modified to ensure a safe workspace for our employees and our customers. We implemented a policy of allowing only one customer in office at a time, required mandatory face coverings, and installed Plexiglass protection. We also sought to reduce in person touchpoints with various initiatives, most notably our newly-launched “eRental®” program described above.

Additionally, we had a swift transition to work-from-home for our corporate and call center operations by utilizing new operating and call center technology platforms that were put in place prior to prepare for these types of situations.

We established the PS Cares Fund which was designed to support our employees that may be directly impacted by COVID-19. We provided additional incentive pay for property personnel and district managers, opened personal paid time off policies for full use and provided extended paid time to ensure employees had time off assistance when and if needed. Childcare assistance and online educational content was made available to help employees balance the need to work and care for children impacted by school closures. Additionally, mental well-being offerings were provided for those struggling during these unique times.

Training, Development and Recognition

We provide robust training programs for our new hires in our field and call center operations to help them quickly learn and operate in the self-storage business. We also offer ongoing training and development programs for

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our workforce. We are able to accomplish this by utilizing an online platform that provides a one-stop shop for accessing training courses and relevant reference materials. Public Storage employees completed more than 367,000 formal training hours in 2020.

The online training and development platform also allows us to reinforce our culture of ongoing recognition by providing a means to show appreciation to others across all levels of the business by awarding employee recognition badges such as team player or appreciation badge. Over 54,000 badges were awarded in 2020.

Communication and Engagement

Given the geographically dispersed nature of our business, it is important for us to ensure that employees feel they are informed and included. We communicate through various channels such as monthly meetings or “touch bases”, frequent email communications and updates from corporate, company intranet postings, engagement surveys and monthly newsletters. Our monthly newsletter is an additional way to keep up with company information and each other. It contains a CEO message and provides company strategy and performance updates, employee achievements and promotions, health and wellness tips, and other pertinent information that helps keep us connected.

Employee engagement is instrumental in understanding the effectiveness of our strategies. We conduct various engagement surveys through the year to help us measure commitment, motivation and engagement, as well as gain employee feedback that helps us improve.

Seasonality

We experience minor seasonal fluctuations in the demand for self-storage space, with demand and rental rates generally higher in the summer months than in the winter months. We believe that these fluctuations result in part from increased moving activity during the summer months.

ITEM 1A. Risk Factors

In addition to the other information in our Annual Report on Form 10-K, you should consider the risks described below that we believe may be material to investors in evaluating the Company. This section contains forward-looking statements, and in considering these statements, you should refer to the qualifications and limitations on our forward-looking statements that are described in Item 1, “Business.”

Risks Related to Our Business

We have significant exposure to real estate risk.

Since our business consists primarily of acquiring, developing, and operating real estate, we are subject to risks related to the ownership and operation of real estate that could result in reduced revenues, increased expenses, increased capital expenditures, or increased borrowings, which could negatively impact our operating results, cash flow available for distribution or reinvestment, and our stock price:

Natural disasters or terrorist attacks could cause damage to our facilities, resulting in increased costs and reduced revenues. Natural disasters, such as earthquakes, fires, hurricanes and floods, or terrorist attacks could cause significant damage to our facilities and require significant repair costs, and make facilities temporarily uninhabitable, thereby reducing our revenues. Damage and business interruption losses could exceed the aggregate limits of our insurance coverage. In addition, because we self-insure a portion of our risks, losses below a certain level may not be covered by insurance. See Note 13 to our December 31, 2020 financial statements for a description of the risks of losses that are not covered by third-party insurance contracts. We may not have sufficient insurance coverage for losses caused by a terrorist attack, or such insurance may not be maintained, available or cost-effective. In addition, significant natural disasters, terrorist attacks, threats of future terrorist attacks, or resulting wider armed conflicts could have negative impacts on self-storage demand and/or our revenues.

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Consequences of climate change, including severe weather events, and the steps taken to prevent climate change, could result in increased capital expenditures, increased expenses, and reduced revenues: Direct and indirect impacts of climate change, such as increased destructive weather events, fires, reduced lifespans and population reduction, reduced natural habitats, water, food, arable land, and other resources, as well as resulting armed conflicts, could increase our costs or reduce demand for our self-storage facilities. Governmental, political, and societal pressure could (i) require costly changes to future newly developed facilities, or require retrofitting of our existing facilities, to reduce carbon emissions through multiple avenues including changes to insulation, space configuration, lighting, heating, and air conditioning, (ii) increase energy costs as a result of switching to less carbon-intensive, but more expensive, sources of energy to operate our facilities, and (iii) result in consumers reducing their individual carbon footprints by owning fewer durable material consumer goods, collectibles, and other such items requiring storage, resulting in a reduced demand for our self-storage space.

Operating costs, including property taxes, could increase. We could be subject to increases in insurance premiums, property or other taxes, repair and maintenance costs, payroll, utility costs, workers compensation, and other operating expenses due to various factors such as inflation, labor shortages, commodity and energy price increases, weather, increases to minimum wage rates, changes to governmental safety and real estate use limitations, as well as other governmental actions. Our property tax expense, which totaled approximately $297.8 million during the year ended December 31, 2020, generally depends upon the assessed value of our real estate facilities as determined by assessors and government agencies, and accordingly could be subject to substantial increases if such agencies changed their valuation approaches or opinions or if new laws are enacted, especially if new approaches are adopted or laws are enacted that result in increased property tax assessments in states or geographies where we have a high concentration of facilities. See also “We have exposure to increased property tax in California” below.

The acquisition of existing properties or self-storage operating companies is subject to risks that may adversely affect our growth and financial results. We have acquired self-storage facilities from third parties in the past, and we expect to continue to do so in the future. We face significant competition for suitable acquisition properties from other real estate investors. As a result, we may be unable to acquire additional properties we desire or the purchase price for desirable properties may be significantly increased. Failures or unexpected circumstances in integrating facilities that we acquire directly or via the acquisition of operating companies into our operations, or circumstances we did not detect or anticipate during due diligence, such as environmental matters, needed repairs or deferred maintenance, customer collection issues, assumed liabilities, turnover of critical personnel involved in acquired operating companies, or the effects of increased property tax following reassessment of a newly-acquired property, as well as the general risks of real estate investment and mergers and acquisitions, could jeopardize realization of the anticipated earnings from an acquisition.

Development of self-storage facilities can subject us to risks.  At December 31, 2020, we had a pipeline of development projects totaling $561.4 million (subject to contingencies), and we expect to continue to seek additional development projects. There are significant risks involved in developing self-storage facilities, such as delays or cost increases due to changes in or failure to meet government or regulatory requirements, failure of revenue to meet our underwriting estimates, weather issues, unforeseen site conditions, or personnel problems. Self-storage space is generally not pre-leased, and rent-up of newly developed space can be delayed or ongoing cash flow yields can be reduced due to competition, reductions in storage demand, or other factors.

There is significant competition among self-storage operators and from other storage alternatives.  Our self-storage facilities generate most of our revenue and earnings. Significant competition from self-storage operators, property developers, and other storage alternatives may adversely impact our ability to attract and retain customers and may negatively impact our ability to generate revenue. Competition in the local market areas in which many of our properties are located is significant and has affected our occupancy levels, rental rates, and operating expenses. There is also an increasing influx of capital from outside financing sources driving more money, development, and supply into the industry. Development of self-storage facilities has increased in recent years, which has intensified competition and will continue to do so as newly developed facilities are opened. Development of self-storage facilities by other operators could continue to increase, due to increases in availability of funds for investment or other reasons, and further intensify competition.

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Demand for self-storage facilities may be affected by customer perceptions and factors outside of our control. Significantly lower logistics costs could introduce new competitors such as valet-style storage services and reduce the demand for traditional self-storage. Customer preferences and/or needs for self-storage could change, decline, or shift to other product types thereby impacting our business model and ability to grow and/or generate revenues. Shifts in population and demographics could cause the geographical distribution of our portfolio to be suboptimal and affect our ability to maintain occupancy and attract new customers. Security incidents could result in the perception that our properties are not safe. If our customers do not feel our properties are safe, they may select competitors for their self-storage needs, or if there is an industry perception of inadequate security customer use of self-storage could be negatively impacted.

Our newly developed and expanded facilities, and facilities that we manage for third party owners, may negatively impact the revenues of our existing facilities. We continue to develop new self-storage facilities and expand our existing self-storage facilities. In addition, we are seeking to increase the number of self-storage facilities that we manage for third party owners in exchange for a fee, many of which are in the process of stabilization and are in proximity to our existing stabilized self-storage facilities. In order to hasten the fill-up of these new facilities, we aggressively price such space during the fill-up period. While we believe that this aggressive pricing allows us to increase our market share relative to our competitors and increase the cash flows of these properties, such pricing and the added capacity may also negatively impact our existing stabilized self-storage facilities that are in proximity to these unstabilized facilities.

Many of our existing self-storage facilities may be at a competitive disadvantage to newly developed facilities. There is a significant level of development of new self-storage facilities, by us and other operators. These newly developed facilities are generally of high quality, with a more fresh and vibrant appearance, more amenities such as climate control, more attractive office configurations, newer elements, and a more imposing and attractive retail presence as compared to many of our existing stabilized self-storage facilities, some of which were built as much as 50 years ago. Such qualitative differentials may negatively impact our ability to compete with these facilities for new tenants and our existing tenants may move to newly developed facilities.

We may incur significant liabilities from environmental contamination or moisture infiltration.   Existing or future laws impose or may impose liability on us to clean up environmental contamination on or around properties that we currently or previously owned or operated, even if we were not responsible for or aware of the environmental contamination or even if such environmental contamination occurred prior to our involvement with the property. We have conducted preliminary environmental assessments on most of our properties, which have not identified any material liabilities. These assessments, commonly referred to as “Phase 1 Environmental Assessments,” include an investigation (excluding soil or groundwater sampling or analysis) and a review of publicly available information regarding the site and other nearby properties.

We are also subject to potential liability relating to moisture infiltration, which can result in mold or other damage to our or our customers’ property, as well as potential health concerns. When we receive a complaint or otherwise become aware that an air quality concern exists, we implement corrective measures and seek to work proactively with our customers to resolve issues, subject to our contractual limitations on liability for such claims.

We are not aware of any environmental contamination or moisture infiltration related liabilities that could be material to our overall business, financial condition, or results of operation. However, we may not have detected all material liabilities, we could acquire properties with material undetected liabilities, or new conditions could arise or develop at our properties, any of which could result in a cash settlement or adversely affect our ability to sell, lease, operate, or encumber affected facilities.

Economic conditions can adversely affect our business, financial condition, growth and access to capital.

Economic downturns or adverse economic or industry conditions could adversely impact our financial results, growth, and access to capital.

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Our revenues and operating cash flow can be negatively impacted by reductions in employment and population levels, household and disposable income, and other general economic factors that lead to a reduction in demand for rental space in each of the markets in which we operate.

Our ability to raise capital to fund our activities may be adversely affected by challenging market conditions. In periods when the capital and credit markets experience significant volatility, the amounts, sources, and cost of capital available to us may be adversely affected. If we were unable to raise capital at reasonable rates, prospective earnings growth through expanding our asset base could be limited.

We have exposure to European operations through our ownership in Shurgard.

We own approximately 35% of the common shares of Shurgard, and this investment has a $341.1 million book value and a $1.4 billion market value (based upon the closing trading price of Shurgard’s common stock) at December 31, 2020. We recognized $15.7 million in equity in earnings, and received $34.9 million in dividends, in 2020, with respect to Shurgard.

Shurgard, as an owner, operator, and developer of self-storage facilities, is subject to many of the same risks we are with respect to self-storage. However, through our investment in Shurgard, we are exposed to additional risks unique to the various European markets Shurgard operates in which may adversely impact our business and financial results, many of which are referred to in Shurgard’s public filings. These risks include the following:

Currency risks: Currency fluctuations can impact the fair value of our investment in Shurgard, our equity earnings, our ongoing dividends, and any other related repatriations of cash.

Legislative, tax, and regulatory risks: Shurgard is subject to a variety of local, national, and pan European laws and regulations related to permitting and land use, the environment, labor, and other areas, as well as income, property, sales, value added and employment tax laws. These laws can be difficult to apply or interpret and can vary in each country or locality, and are subject to unexpected changes in their form and application due to regional, national, or local political uncertainty and other factors. Such changes, or Shurgard’s failure to comply with these laws, could subject it to penalties or other sanctions, adverse changes in business processes, as well as potentially adverse income tax, property tax, or other tax burdens.

Impediments to capital repatriation could negatively impact the realization of our investment in Shurgard: Laws in Europe and the U.S. may create, impede, or increase our cost to repatriate distributions received from Shurgard or proceeds from the sale of Shurgard’s shares.

Risks of collective bargaining and intellectual property: Collective bargaining, which is prevalent in certain areas in Europe, could negatively impact Shurgard’s labor costs or operations. Many of Shurgard’s employees participate in various national unions.

Potential operating and individual country risks: Economic slowdowns or extraordinary political or social change in the countries in which it operates have posed, and could continue to pose, challenges or result in future reductions of Shurgard’s operating cash flows.

Liquidity of our ownership stake: We have no plans to liquidate our interest in Shurgard. However, while Shurgard is a publicly held entity, if we chose to, our ability to liquidate our shares in Shurgard in an efficient manner could be limited by the level of Shurgard’s public “float” relative to any ownership stake we sought to sell. Our existing relationship with our legacy joint venture partner may place further contractual limitations on our ability to sell all of the shares we own if we desired to do so.

Impediments of Shurgard’s public ownership structure: Shurgard’s strategic decisions, involving activities such as borrowing money, capital contributions, raising capital from third parties, as well as

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selling or acquiring significant assets, are determined by its board of directors. As a result, Shurgard may be precluded from taking advantage of opportunities that we would find attractive but that we may not be able to pursue economically separately, or it could take actions that we do not agree with.

We have exposure to commercial property risk through our ownership in PSB.

We own approximately 42% of the common equity of PSB, and this investment has a $432.0 million book value and a $1.9 billion market value (based upon the closing trading price of PSB’s common stock) at December 31, 2020. We recognized $64.8 million in equity in earnings, and received $60.7 million in dividends, in 2020, with respect to PSB.

PSB, as an owner, operator, and developer of real estate, is subject to many of the same risks we are with respect to real estate. However, we may be exposed to other risks as a result of PSB’s ownership specifically of commercial facilities. These risks are set forth in PSB’s Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, under “Item 1A. Risk Factors.”

We are subject to risks from the COVID Pandemic and we may in the future be subject to risks from other public health crises.

Since being reported in December 2019, the COVID Pandemic has spread globally, including to every state in the United States, adversely affecting public health and economic activity. Our business is subject to risks from the COVID Pandemic, including, among others:

risk of illness or death of our employees or customers;

continuing negative impacts on the economic conditions in our markets which have reduced and we expect will continue to reduce the demand for self-storage;

risk that there could be an out-migration of population from certain high-cost major markets, if it is determined that the ability to “work from home,” which has become more prominent during the COVID Pandemic, could allow certain workers to live in less expensive localities, which could negatively impact the occupancies and revenues of our properties in such high-cost major markets;

continuing, new or reinstituted government restrictions that (i) limit or prevent use of our facilities, (ii) limit our ability to increase rent or otherwise limit the rent we can charge, (iii) limit our ability to collect rent or evict delinquent tenants, or (iv) limit our ability to complete development and redevelopment projects;

risk that even after the initial restrictions due to the COVID Pandemic ease, they could be reinstituted in case of future waves of infection or if additional pandemics occur;

risk that we could experience a change in the move-out patterns of our long-term customers due to economic uncertainty and increases in unemployment as a result of the COVID Pandemic. This could lead to lower occupancies and rent “roll down” as long-term customers are replaced with new customers at lower rates; and

risk of negative impacts on the cost and availability of debt and equity capital as a result of the COVID Pandemic, which could have a material impact upon our capital and growth plans.

We believe that the degree to which the COVID Pandemic adversely impacts our business, operating results, cash flows and/or financial condition will be driven primarily by the duration, spread and severity of the pandemic itself, the speed and effectiveness of vaccine and treatment developments, as well as the duration of indirect economic impacts such as recession, dislocation in capital markets, and job loss, as well as potential longer term changes in

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consumer behavior, all of which are uncertain and difficult to predict. As a result, we are not able at this time to estimate the effect of these factors on our business, but the adverse impact on our business, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows could be material. Future pandemics or public health crises could have similar impacts.

We have been and may in the future be adversely impacted by emergency regulations adopted in response to significant events, such as natural disasters or public health crises, that could adversely impact our operations.

In response to significant events, local, state and federal governments have and may in the future adopt regulations that could impact our operations. For example, in response to wildfires in 2018 and 2019, the State of California and some localities in California adopted temporary regulations that imposed certain limits on the rents we could charge at certain of our facilities and the extent to we could increase rents to existing tenants. As noted above, in response to the COVID Pandemic, certain localities adopted restrictions on the use of certain of our facilities, limited our ability to increase rents, limited our ability to collect rent or evict delinquent tenants, and limited our ability to complete development and redevelopment projects. Similar restrictions could be imposed in the future in response to significant events and these restrictions could adversely impact our operations.

Our marketing and pricing strategies may fail to be effective or may be constrained by factors outside of our control.

Marketing initiatives, including our increasing dependence on Google to source customers, may fail to be effective and could negatively impact financial performance. Approximately 64% of our new storage customers in 2020 were sourced directly or indirectly through “unpaid” search and “paid” search campaigns on Google. We believe that the vast majority of customers searching for self-storage use Google at some stage in their shopping experience. Google is providing tools to allow smaller and less sophisticated operators to bid for search terms, increasing competition for self-storage search terms. The predominance of Google in the shopping experience, as well as Google’s enabling of additional competitors to bid for placements in self-storage search terms, may reduce the number of new customers that we can procure, and/or increase our costs to obtain new customers.

In addition, the inability to utilize our pricing methodology due to regulatory or market constraints could also significantly impact our financial results.

We are exposed to ongoing litigation and other legal and regulatory actions, which may divert management’s time and attention, require us to pay damages and expenses or restrict the operation of our business.

We have over 5,400 employees, more than 1.6 million customers, and we conduct business at facilities with 175 million net rentable square feet of storage space. As a result, we are subject to the risk of legal claims and proceedings (including class actions) and regulatory enforcement actions in the ordinary course of our business and otherwise, and we could incur significant liabilities and substantial legal fees as a result of these actions. Resolution of these claims and actions may divert time and attention by our management could involve payment of damages or expenses by us, all of which may be significant, and could damage our reputation and our brand. In addition, any such resolution could involve our agreement to terms that restrict the operation of our business. The results of legal proceedings cannot be predicted with certainty. We cannot guarantee losses incurred in connection with any current or future legal or regulatory proceedings or actions will not exceed any provisions we may have set aside in respect of such proceedings or actions or will not exceed any available insurance coverage. The impact of any such legal claims, proceedings, and regulatory enforcement actions and could negatively impact our operating results, cash flow available for distribution or reinvestment, and/or the price of our common shares.

In addition, through exercising their authority to regulate our activities, governmental agencies can otherwise negatively impact our business by increasing costs or decreasing revenues.

Our failure to modernize and adopt advancements in information technology may hinder or prevent us from achieving strategic objectives.

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Our inability to adapt and deliver new capabilities in time with strategic requirements may cause the organization to miss market competitive timing, first mover position, or to suffer material loss due to failed technology choices or implementation.

We are heavily dependent on computer systems, telecommunications and the Internet to process transactions, make payments, summarize results and manage our business. The failure or disruption of our computer and communications systems could significantly harm our business.

We are heavily dependent upon automated information technology and Internet commerce, with more than half of our new customers coming from the telephone or over the Internet. We centrally manage significant components of our operations with our computer systems, including our financial information, and we also rely extensively on third-party vendors to retain data, process transactions and provide other systems services. These systems are subject to damage or interruption from power outages, computer and telecommunications failures, hackers, computer worms, viruses and other destructive or disruptive security breaches and catastrophic events. Such incidents could also result in significant costs to repair or replace such networks or information systems, as well as actual monetary losses in case of a breach that resulted in fraudulent payments or other cash transactions. As a result, our operations could be severely impacted by a natural disaster, terrorist attack, attack by hackers, acts of vandalism, data theft, misplaced or lost data, programming or human error, or other circumstance that results in a significant outage of our systems or those of our third party providers, despite our use of back up and redundancy measures.

If our confidential information is compromised or corrupted, including as a result of a cybersecurity breach, our reputation and business relationships could be damaged, which could adversely affect our financial condition and operating results.

In the ordinary course of our business we acquire and store sensitive data, including personally identifiable information of our prospective and current customers and our employees. The secure processing and maintenance of this information is critical to our operations and business strategy. Although we believe we have taken commercially reasonable steps to protect the security of our confidential information, information security risks have generally increased in recent years due to the rise in new technologies and the increased sophistication and activities of perpetrators of cyberattacks. Despite our security measures, we have experienced security breaches due to cyberattacks and additional breaches could occur in the future. In these cases, our information technology and infrastructure could be vulnerable and our or our customers’ or employees’ confidential information could be compromised or misappropriated. Any such breach could result in serious and harmful consequences for us or our tenants.

Our confidential information may also be compromised due to programming or human error or malfeasance. We must continually evaluate and adapt our systems and processes to address the evolving threat landscape, and therefore there is no guarantee that they will be adequate to safeguard against all data security breaches or misuses of data. In addition, as the regulatory environment related to information security, data collection and use, and privacy becomes increasingly rigorous, with new and changing requirements applicable to our business from multiple regulatory agencies at the local, state, federal, or international level, compliance with those requirement could also result in additional costs, or we could fail to comply with those requirements due to various reasons such as not being aware of them.

Any such access, disclosure or other loss of information could result in legal claims or proceedings, liability under laws that protect the privacy of personal information, regulatory penalties, disruption to our operations and the services we provide to customers or damage our reputation, any of which could adversely affect our results of operations, reputation and competitive position. In addition, our customers could lose confidence in our ability to protect their personal information, which could cause them to discontinue leasing our self-storage facilities. Such events could lead to lost future revenues and adversely affect our results of operations and could result in remedial and other costs, fines or lawsuits, which could be in excess of any available insurance that we have procured.

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Ineffective succession planning for our CEO and executive management, as well as for our other key employees, may impact the execution of our strategic plan.

We may not effectively or appropriately identify ready-now succession candidates for CEO and executive management team which may negatively impact our ability to meet key strategic goals. Failure to implement succession plan for other key employees may leave us vulnerable to retirements and turnover.

We may fail to adequately protect our trademarks.

Our trademark and trade dress could be deemed generic and indistinct and lose protection. We could lose rights to our other intellectual property and trade secrets. Competitor use of our trademarks and trade names could lead to likelihood of confusion, tarnishment of our brand, and loss of legal protection for our marks.

Risks Related to Our Ownership, Organization and Structure

The Hughes Family could significantly influence us and take actions adverse to other shareholders.  

At December 31, 2020, B. Wayne Hughes, our former Chairman and his family, which includes his daughter, Tamara Hughes Gustavson, a current member of our Board of Trustees (our “Board”), and his son, B. Wayne Hughes, Jr., a former member of the Board who retired effective December 31, 2020, (collectively, the “Hughes Family”), owned approximately 13.0% of our aggregate outstanding common shares. Our declaration of trust permits the Hughes Family to own up to 35.66% of our outstanding common shares while it generally restricts the ownership by other persons and entities to 3% of our outstanding common shares unless our Board grants an ownership waiver, as has occurred in certain cases for large mutual fund companies. Consequently, the Hughes Family may significantly influence matters submitted to a vote of our shareholders, including electing trustees, amending our organizational documents, dissolving and approving other extraordinary transactions, such as a takeover attempt, which may result in an outcome that may not be favorable to other shareholders.

Takeover attempts or changes in control could be thwarted, even if beneficial to shareholders.

In certain circumstances, shareholders might desire a change of control or acquisition of us, in order to realize a premium over the then-prevailing market price of our shares or for other reasons. However, the following could prevent, deter, or delay such a transaction:

Provisions of Maryland law may impose limitations that may make it more difficult for a third party to negotiate or effect a business combination transaction or control share acquisition with Public Storage. Currently, the Board has opted not to subject the Company to these provisions of Maryland law, but it could choose to do so in the future without shareholder approval.

To protect against the loss of our REIT status due to concentration of ownership levels, our declaration of trust generally limits the ability of a person, other than the Hughes Family or “designated investment entities” (each as defined in our declaration of trust), to own, actually or constructively, more than 3% of our outstanding common shares or 9.9% of the outstanding shares of any class or series of preferred or equity shares. Our Board may grant, and has previously granted, a specific exemption. These limits could discourage, delay or prevent a transaction involving a change in control of the Company not approved by our Board.

Similarly, current provisions of our declaration of trust and powers of our Board could have the same effect, including (1) limitations on removal of trustees, (2) restrictions on the acquisition of our shares of beneficial interest, (3) the power to issue additional common shares, preferred shares or equity shares on terms approved by the Board without obtaining shareholder approval, (4) the advance notice provisions of our bylaws and (5) the Board’s ability under Maryland law, without obtaining shareholder approval, to implement takeover defenses that we may not yet have and to

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take, or refrain from taking, other actions that could have the effect of delaying, deterring or preventing a transaction or a change in control.

Holders of our preferred shares have dividend, liquidation and other rights that are senior to the rights of the holders of shares of our common stock.

Holders of our preferred shares are entitled to cumulative dividends before any dividends may be declared or set aside on our common stock. Upon liquidation, holders of our preferred shares will receive a liquidation preference of $25,000 per share (or $25.00 per depositary share) plus any accrued and unpaid distributions before any payment is made to the common shareholders. These preferences may limit the amount received by our common shareholders either from ongoing distributions or upon liquidation. In addition, our preferred shareholders have the right to elect two additional directors to our Board whenever dividends are in arrears in an aggregate amount equivalent to six or more quarterly dividends, whether or not consecutive.

Preferred Shareholders are subject to certain risks.

Holders of our preferred shares have preference rights over our common shareholders with respect to liquidation and distributions, which give them some assurance of continued payment of their stated dividend rate, and receipt of their principal upon liquidation of the Company or redemption of their securities. However, holders of our Preferred Shares should consider the following risks:

The Company has in the past, and could in the future, issue or assume additional debt. Preferred shareholders would be subordinated to the interest and principal payments of such debt, which would increase the risk that there would not be sufficient funds to pay distributions or liquidation amounts to the preferred shareholders.

The Company has in the past, and could in the future, issue additional preferred shares that, while pari passu to the existing preferred shares, increases the risk that there would not be sufficient funds to pay distributions to the preferred shareholders.

While the Company has no plans to do so, if the Company were to lose its REIT status or no longer elect REIT status, it would no longer be required to distribute its taxable income to maintain REIT status. If, in such a circumstance, the Company ceased paying dividends, unpaid distributions to the preferred shareholders would continue to accumulate. The preferred shareholders would have the ability to elect two additional members to serve on our Board of Trustees until the arrearage was cured. The preferred shareholders would not receive any compensation (such as interest) for the delay in the receipt of distributions, and it is possible that the arrearage could accumulate indefinitely.

Risks Related to Government Regulations and Taxation

We would incur adverse tax consequences if we failed to qualify as a REIT, and we would have to pay substantial U.S. federal corporate income taxes.

REITs are subject to a range of complex organizational and operational requirements. A qualifying REIT does not generally incur U.S. federal corporate income tax on its “REIT taxable income” (generally, taxable income subject to specified adjustments, including a deduction for dividends paid and excluding net capital gain) that it distributes to its shareholders. Our REIT status is also dependent upon the ongoing REIT qualification of PSB as a result of our substantial ownership interest in it. We believe we have qualified as a REIT and we intend to continue to maintain our REIT status.

However, there can be no assurance that we qualify or will continue to qualify as a REIT, because of the highly technical nature of the REIT rules, the ongoing importance of factual determinations, the possibility of

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unidentified issues in prior periods, or changes in our circumstances, as well as share ownership limits in our articles of incorporation that do not necessarily ensure that our shareholder base is sufficiently diverse for us to qualify as a REIT. For any year we fail to qualify as a REIT, unless certain relief provisions apply (the granting of such relief could nonetheless result in significant excise or penalty taxes), we would not be allowed a deduction for dividends paid, we would be subject to U.S. federal corporate income tax on our taxable income, and generally we would not be allowed to elect REIT status until the fifth year after such a disqualification. Any taxes, interest, and penalties incurred would reduce our cash available for distributions to shareholders and could negatively affect our stock price. However, for years in which we failed to qualify as a REIT, we would not be subject to REIT rules that require us to distribute substantially all of our taxable income to our shareholders.

Changes in tax laws could negatively impact us.

The United States Treasury Department and Congress frequently review federal income tax legislation, regulations and other guidance. We cannot predict whether, when, or to what extent new federal tax laws, regulations, interpretations or rulings will be adopted. Any legislative action may prospectively or retroactively modify our tax treatment and, therefore, may adversely affect taxation of us or our shareholders.

Changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law on December 22, 2017, limit our ability to deduct compensation in excess of $1 million paid to certain senior executives. This could require us to increase distributions to our shareholders in the future in order to avoid paying tax and to maintain our REIT status.

We may pay some taxes, reducing cash available for shareholders.

Even if we qualify as a REIT for U.S. federal corporate income tax purposes, we may be subject to some federal, foreign, state and local taxes on our income and property. Since January 1, 2001, certain consolidated corporate subsidiaries of the Company have elected to be treated as taxable REIT subsidiaries (“TRSs”) for U.S. federal corporate income tax purposes, and are taxable as regular corporations and subject to certain limitations on intercompany transactions. If tax authorities determine that amounts paid by our TRSs to us are not reasonable compared to similar arrangements among unrelated parties, we could be subject to a 100% penalty tax on the excess payments, and ongoing intercompany arrangements could have to change, resulting in higher ongoing tax payments. To the extent the Company is required to pay federal, foreign, state or local taxes or federal penalty taxes due to existing laws or changes thereto, we will have less cash available for distribution to shareholders.

In addition, certain local and state governments have imposed taxes on self-storage rent. While in most cases those taxes are paid by our customers, they increase the cost of self-storage rental to our customers and can negatively impact our revenues. Other local and state governments may impose self-storage rent taxes in the future.

We have exposure to increased property tax in California.

Approximately $583 million of our 2020 net operating income is from our properties in California, and we incurred approximately $44 million in related property tax expense. Due to the impact of Proposition 13, which generally limits increases in assessed values to 2% per year, the assessed value and resulting property tax we pay is less than it would be if the properties were assessed at current values. From time to time, proposals have been made to reduce the beneficial impact of Proposition 13, most recently in the November 2020 ballot. While this ballot initiative failed, there can be no assurance that future initiatives or other legislative actions will not eliminate or reduce the benefit of Proposition 13 with respect to our properties. If the beneficial effect of Proposition 13 were ended for our properties, our property tax expense could increase substantially, adversely affecting our cash flow from operations and net income.

We are subject new and changing legislation and regulations, including the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA).

We are subject to new and changing legislation or regulations, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and legislation regarding property taxes, income taxes, REIT status, labor and employment, privacy and, lien

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sales, at the city, county, state, and federal level, which could materially impact our business and operations. Failure to comply with applicable laws, regulations, and policies may subject us to increased litigation and regulatory actions and negatively affect our business and operations or reputation.

On November 3, 2020, Californians passed a ballot measure that creates the California Privacy Rights Act (“CPRA”). The CPRA amends and expands the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which went into effect on January 1, 2020. The CPRA, which goes into effect on January 1, 2023, provides new rights and amends existing rights found in the CCPA. It also creates a new privacy enforcement authority, the California Privacy Protection Agency (“CalPPA”). The CPRA grants the Attorney General and the CalPPA the authority to issue regulations on a wide range of topics. It therefore remains unclear what, if any, modifications will be made to the CPRA or how it will be interpreted. While we believe we have developed processes to comply with current privacy requirements, a regulatory agency may not agree with certain of our implementation decisions, which could subject us to litigation, regulatory actions or changes to our business practices that could increase costs or reduce revenues. Other states have also considered or are considering privacy laws similar to those passed in California. Similar laws may be implemented in other jurisdictions in which we do business and in ways that may be more restrictive than those in California, increasing the cost of compliance, as well as the risk of noncompliance, on our business.

Our tenant reinsurance business is subject to governmental regulation which could reduce our profitability or limit our growth.

We hold Limited Lines Self-Service Storage Insurance Agent licenses from a number of individual state departments of insurance and are subject to state governmental regulation and supervision.  Our continued ability to maintain these Limited Lines Self-Service Storage Insurance Agent licenses in the jurisdictions in which we are licensed depends on our compliance with related rules and regulations.  The regulatory authorities in each jurisdiction generally have broad discretion to grant, renew and revoke licenses and approvals, to promulgate, interpret, and implement regulations, and to evaluate compliance with regulations through periodic examinations, audits and investigations of the affairs of insurance agents. As a result of regulatory or private action in any jurisdiction, we may be temporarily or permanently suspended from continuing some or all of our reinsurance activities, or otherwise fined or penalized or suffer an adverse judgment, which could reduce our net income. 

ITEM 1B.Unresolved Staff Comments

None.


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ITEM 2.Properties

At December 31, 2020, we had controlling ownership interests in 2,548 self-storage facilities located in 38 states within the U.S.:

At December 31, 2020

Number of Storage Facilities

Net Rentable Square Feet (in thousands)

California

Southern

253

18,661

Northern

179

11,271

Texas

315

24,115

Florida

301

21,006

Illinois

130

8,361

Georgia

116

7,820

Washington

101

7,042

North Carolina

93

6,833

Virginia

104

6,455

Colorado

78

5,739

New York

69

4,817

Minnesota

61

4,721

Maryland

63

3,878

New Jersey

58

3,863

Ohio

55

3,692

South Carolina

63

3,668

Michigan

50

3,496

Arizona

49

3,311

Missouri

41

2,752

Indiana

40

2,570

Pennsylvania

33

2,415

Tennessee

37

2,363

Oregon

40

2,127

Massachusetts

28

1,976

Nevada

28

1,915

Oklahoma

23

1,644

Kansas

21

1,268

Other states (12 states)

119

7,272

Total (a)

2,548

175,051

(a)See Schedule III: Real Estate and Accumulated Depreciation in the Company’s 2020 financials, for a summary of land, building, accumulated depreciation, square footage, and number of properties by market.

At December 31, 2020, 27 of our facilities with a net book value of $102 million were encumbered by an aggregate of $25 million in mortgage notes payable.

The configuration of self-storage facilities has evolved over time. The oldest facilities are comprised generally of multiple single-story buildings, and have on average approximately 500 primarily “drive up” spaces per facility, and a small rental office. The most prevalent recently constructed facilities have higher density footprints with large, multi-story buildings with climate control and 1,000 or more self-storage spaces, a more imposing and visible retail presence, and a prominent and large rental office designed to appeal to customers as an attractive and retail-focused “store.” Our self-storage portfolio includes facilities with characteristics of the oldest facilities, characteristics of the most recently constructed facilities, and those with characteristics of both older and recently

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constructed facilities. Most spaces have between 25 and 400 square feet and an interior height of approximately eight to 12 feet.

ITEM 3.Legal Proceedings

For a description of the Company’s legal proceedings, see “Note 13. Commitments and Contingencies” to our consolidated financial statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

ITEM 4.Mine Safety Disclosures

Not applicable.


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PART II

ITEM 5.Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Shareholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Our Common Shares of beneficial interest (the “Common Shares”) (NYSE: PSA) have been listed on the NYSE since October 19, 1984. As of February 19, 2021, there were approximately 11,158 holders of record of our Common Shares.

Our Board has authorized management to repurchase up to 35,000,000 of our common shares on the open market or in privately negotiated transactions. From the inception of the repurchase program through February 24, 2021, we have repurchased a total of 23,721,916 common shares (all purchased prior to 2010) at an aggregate cost of approximately $679.1 million. Our common share repurchase program does not have an expiration date and there are 11,278,084 common shares that may yet be repurchased under our repurchase program as of December 31, 2020. We have no current plans to repurchase shares; however, future levels of common share repurchases will be dependent upon our available capital, investment alternatives, and the trading price of our common shares.

Refer to Item 12. “Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Shareholder Matters” for information about our equity compensation plans.

ITEM 6.Selected Financial Data

Not applicable

ITEM 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (“MD&A”) should be read in conjunction with our financial statements and notes thereto.

Critical Accounting Policies

Our MD&A discusses our financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”), and are affected by our judgments, assumptions and estimates. The notes to our December 31, 2020 financial statements, primarily Note 2, summarize our significant accounting policies.

We believe the following are our critical accounting policies, because they have a material impact on the portrayal of our financial condition and results, and they require us to make judgments and estimates about matters that are inherently uncertain.

Income Tax Expense: We have elected to be treated as a REIT, as defined in the Code. For each taxable year in which we qualify for taxation as a REIT, we will not be subject to U.S. federal corporate income tax on our “REIT taxable income” (generally, taxable income subject to specified adjustments, including a deduction for dividends paid and excluding our net capital gain) that is distributed to our shareholders. We believe we have met these REIT requirements for all periods presented herein. Accordingly, we have recorded no U.S. federal corporate income tax expense related to our REIT taxable income.

Our evaluation that we have met the REIT requirements could be incorrect, because compliance with the tax rules requires factual determinations, and circumstances we have not identified could result in noncompliance with the tax requirements in current or prior years. For any taxable year that we fail to qualify as a REIT and for which applicable statutory relief provisions did not apply, we would be taxed at the regular corporate rates on all of our taxable income for at least that year and the ensuing four years, we could be subject to penalties and interest, and our net income would be materially different from the amounts estimated in our financial statements.

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In addition, certain of our consolidated corporate subsidiaries have elected to be treated as TRSs for U.S. federal corporate income tax purposes, which are taxable as regular corporations and subject to certain limitations on intercompany transactions. If tax authorities determine that amounts paid by our TRSs to us are not reasonable compared to similar arrangements among unrelated parties, we could be subject to a 100% penalty tax on the excess payments. Such a penalty tax could have a material adverse impact on our net income.

Impairment of Long-Lived Assets: The analysis of impairment of our long-lived assets involves identification of indicators of impairment, projections of future operating cash flows, and estimates of fair values, all of which require significant judgment and subjectivity. Others could come to materially different conclusions. In addition, we may not have identified all current facts and circumstances that may affect impairment. Any unidentified impairment loss, or change in conclusions, could have a material adverse impact on our net income.

Accrual for Uncertain and Contingent Liabilities: We accrue for certain contingent and other liabilities that have significant uncertain elements, such as property taxes, workers compensation claims, tenant reinsurance claims, as well as other legal claims and disputes involving customers, employees, governmental agencies and other third parties. We estimate such liabilities based upon many factors such as assumptions of past and future trends and our evaluation of likely outcomes. However, the estimates of known liabilities could be incorrect or we may not be aware of all such liabilities, in which case our accrued liabilities and net income could be misstated.

Allocating Purchase Price for Acquired Real Estate Facilities: We estimate the fair values of land and buildings for purposes of allocating the aggregate purchase price of acquired properties. The related estimation processes involve significant judgment. We estimate the fair value of acquired buildings by determining the current cost to build new purpose-built self-storage facilities in the same location, and adjusting those costs for the actual age, quality, condition, amenities, and configuration of the buildings acquired. We estimate the fair value of acquired land by considering the most directly comparable recently transacted land sales (“Land Comps”) and adjusting the transacted values for differentials to the acquired land such as location quality, parcel size, and date of sale, in order to derive the estimated value of the underlying acquired land. These adjustments to the Land Comps require significant judgment, particularly when there is a low volume of Land Comps or the available Land Comps lack similarity to the acquired property in proximity, date of sale, or location quality. Others could come to materially different conclusions as to the estimated fair values, which would result in different depreciation and amortization expense, gains and losses on sale of real estate assets, as well as the level of land and buildings on our balance sheet.

Overview

During a significant portion of 2020, the COVID Pandemic has resulted in cessation, severe curtailment, or impairment of business activities in most sectors of the economy in virtually all markets we operate in, due to governmental “stay at home” orders, risk mitigation procedures, closure of businesses not considered to be “essential,” as well as other direct and indirect impacts, including a rapid and dramatic increase in unemployment in the U.S. While in certain markets, initial government restrictions were eased in response to reductions in the rate of new infections, there have been increases in the rate of infection in certain markets from time to time and re-imposition of certain restrictions. These restrictions as well as public concerns about the COVID Pandemic continue to have an ongoing negative impact the economy, with unemployment continuing to be at high levels.

Our self-storage facilities have been classified as “essential” businesses under all applicable business closure orders and thus remained open to all customer activity. We consider the safety of our employees and customers as our first priority, and have accordingly taken significant steps to ensure safety while keeping our services available to the public. These steps include initiating our touchless eRental® leasing platform, touchless mobile app allowing customer access to our properties, enforcing social distancing requirements in our property offices and grounds, and providing protective equipment, including face coverings, gloves, and plastic barriers.

Our corporate offices as well as our call centers migrated to a “work from home” environment during the COVID Pandemic. We expect our corporate employees to return to the corporate office assuming the risk of the COVID Pandemic continues to recede. However, we expect that our call centers will remain in a “work from home”

25


environment due to certain favorable aspects of a distributed call center team. We believe these changes have not resulted in any significant negative impacts to our operations or decision making.

It is possible that stricter government restrictions, including stay at home orders, could be instituted or reinstituted in response to increases in infections, the aggregate effect of the COVID Pandemic and seasonal influenza infections, or if additional pandemics occur. We cannot estimate the extent of the COVID Pandemic’s future negative impacts.

The negative impacts of the COVID Pandemic are described more fully below, as well as throughout our MD&A which follows.

Our self-storage operations generate most of our net income. Our earnings growth is most impacted by the level of organic growth in our Same Store Facilities’ revenues. Accordingly, a significant portion of management’s time is devoted to maximizing cash flows from our existing self-storage facilities.

During the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, revenues generated by our Same Store Facilities decreased by 1.0% and increased by 1.5%, respectively, as compared to the previous year. Revenue growth in each year was impacted by increased competition from newly developed facilities. The decrease in revenue in the year ended December 31, 2020 included the negative impact caused by the COVID Pandemic including restrictions on rate increases to tenants imposed by local government due to “States of Emergency.” Our trends in revenue have improved in the last half of 2020, with revenues from our Same Store Facilities increasing 0.8% during the three months ended December 31, 2020 as compared to the three months ended December 31, 2019. At December 31, 2020, as compared to December 31, 2019, occupancies for our Same Store Facilities was 2.7% higher, while the contract rent per occupied foot was essentially flat, suggesting continued revenue growth into early 2021.

See “Self-storage Operations – Same Store Operations” for further information with respect to our same-store operations, including potential downside risks to our expectations.

In addition to managing our existing facilities for organic growth, we have grown and plan to continue to grow through the acquisition and development of new facilities and expanding our existing self-storage facilities. In the three years ended December 31, 2020, we acquired a total of 131 facilities with 9.9 million net rentable square feet from third parties for approximately $1.4 billion, and we opened newly developed and expanded self-storage space for a total cost of $866.1 million, adding approximately 7.9 million net rentable square feet.

In order to enhance the competitive position of certain of our facilities relative to local competitors (including newly developed “fifth generation” facilities), we have embarked on a multi-year program to rebrand our properties, in order to develop more pronounced, attractive, and clearly identifiable color schemes and signage, as well as to upgrade the configuration and layout of the offices and other customer zones to improve the customer experience. The timing and scope of the program will evolve as the work is executed and we evaluate its impact. The cost of this program is included in “capital expenditures to maintain our real estate facilities” on our statements of cash flow, and the program is discussed more fully in “Liquidity and Capital Resources – Capital Expenditure Requirements” below.

See “Liquidity and Capital Resources” for further information regarding our capital requirements and anticipated sources of capital to fund such requirements.

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Results of Operations

Operating results for 2020 and 2019

In 2020, net income allocable to our common shareholders was $1,098.3 million or $6.29 per diluted common share, compared to $1,272.8 million or $7.29 per diluted common share in 2019 representing a decrease of $174.4 million or $1.00 per diluted common share. The decrease is due primarily to (i) a $105.8 million decrease due to the impact of foreign currency exchange gains and losses associated with our Euro denominated debt, (ii) a $40.3 million increase in depreciation and amortization expense, (iii) a $21.1 million increase in general and administrative expense, (iv) a $15.6 million decrease due to the impact of allocations to preferred shareholders with respect to redemption of preferred shares, and (v) a $8.0 million decrease in self-storage net operating income.

The $8.0 million decrease in self-storage net operating income is a result of a $41.7 million decrease in our Same Store Facilities (as defined below), offset partially by a $33.7 million increase in our non-Same Store Facilities (as defined below). Revenues for the Same Store Facilities decreased 1.0% or $23.7 million in 2020 as compared to 2019, due primarily to reduced late charges and administrative fees. Cost of operations for the Same Store Facilities increased by 2.7% or $18.1 million in 2020 as compared to 2019, due primarily to a 22.5% ($11.0 million) increase in marketing expenses, a 3.1% ($7.4 million) increase in property tax expense, and a 2.5% ($3.1 million) increase in on-site property manager payroll expense. The increase in net operating income of $33.7 million for the non-Same Store Facilities is due primarily to the impact of facilities acquired in 2020 and 2019 and the fill-up of recently developed and expanded facilities.

Operating results for 2019 and 2018

In 2019, net income allocable to our common shareholders was $1,272.8 million or $7.29 per diluted common share, compared to $1,488.9 million or $8.54 per diluted common share in 2018 representing a decrease of $216.1 million or $1.25 per diluted common share. The decrease is due primarily to (i) $183.1 million in aggregate gains due to Shurgard’s initial public offering and the sale of our facility in West London to Shurgard in October 2018, (ii) our $37.7 million equity share of gains recorded by PS Business Parks during 2018, (iii) a $10.3 million decrease due to the impact of foreign currency exchange gains associated with our euro denominated debt and (iv) a $32.7 million allocation to our preferred shareholders associated with our preferred share redemption activities in 2019. These impacts were offset partially by a $34.3 million increase in self-storage net operating income (described below) and a reduction in general and administrative expense attributable to $30.7 million in incremental share-based compensation expense in 2018 for the planned retirement of our former CEO and CFO.

The $34.3 million increase in self-storage net operating income is a result of a $9.9 million increase in our Same Store Facilities and $24.4 million increase in our non-Same Store Facilities. Revenues for the Same Store Facilities increased 1.5% or $36.7 million in 2019 as compared to 2018, due primarily to higher realized annual rent per occupied square foot. Cost of operations for the Same Store Facilities increased by 4.2% or $26.9 million in 2019 as compared to 2018, due primarily to a 47.1% ($15.7 million) increase in marketing expenses and increased property taxes. The increase in net operating income of $24.4 million for the non-Same Store Facilities is due primarily to the impact of facilities acquired in 2019 and 2018 and the fill-up of recently developed and expanded facilities.

Funds from Operations and Core Funds from Operations

Funds from Operations (“FFO”) and FFO per share are non-GAAP measures defined by the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts and are considered helpful measures of REIT performance by REITs and many REIT analysts. FFO represents net income before depreciation and amortization, which is excluded because it is based upon historical costs and assumes that building values diminish ratably over time, while we believe that real estate values fluctuate due to market conditions. FFO also excludes gains or losses on sale of real estate assets and real estate impairment charges, which are also based upon historical costs and are impacted by historical depreciation. FFO and FFO per share are not a substitute for net income or earnings per share. FFO is not a substitute for net cash flow in evaluating our liquidity or ability to pay dividends, because it excludes investing and financing

27


activities presented on our statements of cash flows. In addition, other REITs may compute these measures differently, so comparisons among REITs may not be helpful.

For the year ended December 31, 2020, FFO was $9.75 per diluted common share, as compared to $10.58 and $10.45 per diluted common share for the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018, respectively, representing a decrease in 2020 of 7.8%, or $0.83 per diluted common share, as compared to 2019. The following tables reconcile diluted earnings per share to FFO per share and set forth the computation of FFO per share:

Year Ended December 31,

2020

2019

2018

(Amounts in thousands, except per share data)

Reconciliation of Diluted Earnings per Share to

FFO per Share:

Diluted Earnings per Share

$

6.29

$

7.29

$

8.54

Eliminate amounts per share excluded from FFO:

Depreciation and amortization

3.53

3.32

3.21

Gains on sale of real estate investments and

Shurgard IPO, including our equity share

from investments

(0.07)

(0.03)

(1.30)

FFO per share

$

9.75

$

10.58

$

10.45

Computation of FFO per Share:

Net income allocable to common shareholders

$

1,098,335

$

1,272,767

$

1,488,900

Eliminate items excluded from FFO:

Depreciation and amortization

549,975

511,413

483,646

Depreciation from unconsolidated

real estate investments

70,681

71,725

79,868

Depreciation allocated to noncontrolling

interests and restricted share unitholders

(3,850)

(4,208)

(3,646)

Gains on sale of real estate investments and

Shurgard IPO, including our equity share

from investments and other

(12,791)

(5,896)

(227,332)

FFO allocable to common shares

$

1,702,350

$

1,845,801

$

1,821,436

Diluted weighted average common shares

174,642

174,530

174,297

FFO per share

$

9.75

$

10.58

$

10.45

We also present “Core FFO per share,” a non-GAAP measure that represents FFO per share excluding the impact of (i) foreign currency exchange gains and losses, (ii) EITF D-42 charges related to the redemption of preferred securities, and (iii) certain other significant non-cash and/or nonrecurring income or expense items such as loss contingency accruals, casualties, transactional due diligence, and advisory costs. We review Core FFO per share to evaluate our ongoing operating performance and we believe it is used by investors and REIT analysts in a similar manner. However, Core FFO per share is not a substitute for net income per share. Because other REITs may not compute Core FFO per share in the same manner as we do, may not use the same terminology or may not present such a measure, Core FFO per share may not be comparable among REITs.

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The following table reconciles FFO per share to Core FFO per share:

Year Ended December 31,

Year Ended December 31,

Percentage

Percentage

2020

2019

Change

2019

2018

Change

FFO per share

$

9.75

$

10.58

(7.8)%

$

10.58

$

10.45

1.2%

Eliminate the per share impact of items

excluded from Core FFO, including

our equity share from investments:

Foreign currency exchange loss (gain)

0.56

(0.04)

(0.04)

(0.10)

Application of EITF D-42

0.28

0.21

0.21

-

Shurgard - IPO costs and casualty loss

-

-

-

0.03

(Forfeiture)/Acceleration of share-

based compensation expense due

to the departure of senior executives

-

(0.01)

(0.01)

0.18

Other items

0.02

0.01

0.01

-