In the first quarter of 2014, Kimco built on the momentum from a strong 2013 to begin shaping the year ahead. Our progress, achievements and groundbreaking initiatives have earned coverage in more than 250 national and regional media features already this year.

“A year of transformation”

Several outlets offered accolades for our transformation, simplification and redevelopment strategy that was unveiled during the company’s 2013 Investor Day in December.

Key to our success, Zacks explained, has been the divestiture of non-strategic assets, the acquisition of high-quality properties (deals worth $479.9 million in the fourth quarter), and the activation of several redevelopment projects throughout Q4. The report was an affirmation of our strategy to generate shareholder return by transforming our portfolio, simplifying our business model and redeveloping our properties. We continued to acquire high-quality shopping centers during the first quarter, including Crossroads Plaza, one of the largest open-air shopping centers in North Carolina, and Quail Corners in Charlotte.

Our Q4 quarterly results also earned Kimco a high spot on Investor’s Watch List. “If you are on the hunt for yield,” reported, “take a closer look at Kimco Realty’s preferred shares.” The article cited stats showing Kimco’s neighborhood shopping center occupancy has been well above industry averages for over 5 years, and echoed the sentiment that our retail portfolio is 92 percent “Internet resistant,” a reference to our emphasis on tenants in necessity-based goods and services such as Whole Foods, Starbucks, Home Depot and Wal-Mart.

A February headline on The Street trumpeted, “Kimco Realty Stock Storming The Castle Today,” indicating our bullish crossing above a 200-day moving average. Mad Money’s Jim Cramer (CNBC) voted for Kimco stock as his favorite in the real estate space during one of his famed Lightning Rounds, and we captured the lead recommendation from Daily Finance in their feature “With Real Estate Prices Rising, Which REIT Should You Buy?”

CFO Glenn Cohen was interviewed for Real Estate Forum’s January feature on capital markets and how deep the lending pool is in 2014. Glenn noted that investors are seeking out properties with attractive yields and low opportunity costs.

See our CEO

Always in demand for his insights, and warmly received for his candor, Kimco CEO Dave Henry acknowledged in a Wall Street Journal interview that it had been disappointing to see REIT stocks behaving poorly in 2013. However, “the fundamentals of our business are very strong and getting stronger,” he clarified, noting improvements in occupancies, rents, leasing spreads and other critical measures.

Appearing on CNBC’s “Street Signs,” Dave explained that the industry should be cautiously optimistic for retailers given hopeful projections from the National Retail Federation and the current six-year high in consumer daily spending. Retailers are expected to hit a five-year high for new store openings, he added, with about 40,000 openings planned over the next 12 months.

Dave’s comments turned into headlines for CNBC after another appearance, this time on the show “Squawk Box.” Noting the positive impact Apple’s brick and mortar presence has had on the tech giant, Dave predicted that Amazon would one day want to showcase their Kindles and Fires in stores. His comments were the basis of CNBC’s feature “Amazon stores? 3 reasons strip malls won’t die.” Dave appeared on “Squawk Box”again in February to discuss the month’s retail sales and assure viewers that consumers’ shopping habits are getting back on track.

Growing on grocery

We received a nice tip of the hat last month from The Motley Fool under the heading “5 Dividend Payers Finding Creative Ways to Grow.” Writer Reuben Brewer zeroed in our deepened commitment to the grocery business, which has proven to be an exciting growth opportunity. Together with our partners at Cerberus Capital Management, Kimco plans to participate in the purchase of Safeway supermarkets — a milestone in our long-term goal of creating value through investments in real-estate-rich retailers.

Greener pastures

Our position as a leader in sustainability continues to be cemented. We’re very happy with our progress to date and thrilled to share the benefits with our shareholders and tenants. Will Teichman, Director of Sustainability, was interviewed on camera for, who wanted to understand what differentiates Kimco after we won NAREIT’s Leader in the Light award last November. Will also pointed out that the Gateway program is geared towards identifying energy-efficient improvements.

GreenTech Efficiency gave us two green thumbs up for reaching efficiency milestones outlined in the Better Buildings Challenge, which was issued by Presidents Obama and Clinton in 2011. Kimco was recognized for working with Pacific Gas & Electric to identify energy improvements at the Westlake Shopping Center in Daly City, California.

That’s a wrap for this quarter’s media report. Check back in June for another quarter’s worth of media coverage regarding Kimco’s activity.