10-K 1 rayonier201710k.htm 10-K Document

UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
 FORM 10-K
(Mark One)
x
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017
OR
o
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 1-6780

logocolor450pxwidthpng.jpg
Incorporated in the State of North Carolina
I.R.S. Employer Identification No. 13-2607329
1 RAYONIER WAY
YULEE, FL 32097
(Principal Executive Office)
Telephone Number: (904) 357-9100
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Exchange Act,
all of which are registered on the New York Stock Exchange:
Common Shares
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  o
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 o       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  o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).
YES x       NO  o
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this
Form 10-K.  x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer  x
  
Accelerated filer  o
Non-accelerated filer  o
  
Smaller reporting company o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).
YES o        NO  x
The aggregate market value of the Common Shares of the registrant held by non-affiliates at the close of business on June 30, 2017 was $3,694,658,677 based on the closing sale price as reported on the New York Stock Exchange.
As of February 16, 2018, there were outstanding 129,084,186 Common Shares of the registrant.
Portions of the registrant’s definitive proxy statement to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with the 2018 annual meeting of the shareholders of the registrant scheduled to be held May 17, 2018, are incorporated by reference in Part III hereof.



TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
Item
  
Page
 
 
PART I
 
1.
 
1A.
 
1B.
 
2.
 
3.
 
4.
 
 
 
PART II
 
5.
 
6.
 
7.
 
7A.
 
8.
 
9.
 
9A.
 
9B.
 
 
 
PART III
 
10.
 
11.
 
12.
 
13.
 
14.
 
 
 
PART IV
 
15.
 
16.
 
 


i


PART I
When we refer to “we,” “us,” “our,” “the Company,” or “Rayonier,” we mean Rayonier Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries. References herein to “Notes to Financial Statements” or “Note” refer to the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements of Rayonier Inc. included in Item 8 of this Report.

NOTE ABOUT FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
Certain statements in this document regarding anticipated financial outcomes, including Rayonier’s earnings guidance, if any, business and market conditions, outlook, expected dividend rate, Rayonier’s business strategies, including expected harvest schedules, timberland acquisitions, sales of non-strategic timberlands, the anticipated benefits of Rayonier’s business strategies, and other similar statements relating to Rayonier’s future events, developments, or financial or operational performance or results, are “forward-looking statements” made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and other federal securities laws. These forward-looking statements are identified by the use of words such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expect,” “estimate,” “believe,” “intend,” “project,” “anticipate” and other similar language. However, the absence of these or similar words or expressions does not mean that a statement is not forward-looking. While management believes that these forward-looking statements are reasonable when made, forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or events and undue reliance should not be placed on these statements. The risk factors contained in Item 1A — Risk Factors in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and similar discussions included in other reports that we subsequently file with the SEC, among others, could cause actual results or events to differ materially from the Company’s historical experience and those expressed in forward-looking statements made in this document.
Forward-looking statements are only as of the date they are made, and the Company undertakes no duty to update its forward-looking statements except as required by law. You are advised, however, to review any subsequent disclosures the Company makes on related subjects in its subsequent reports filed with the SEC.

Item 1.
BUSINESS
GENERAL
We are a leading timberland real estate investment trust (“REIT”) with assets located in some of the most productive softwood timber growing regions in the U.S. and New Zealand. The focus of our business is to invest in timberlands and to actively manage them to provide current income and attractive long-term returns to our shareholders. As of December 31, 2017, we owned, leased or managed approximately 2.6 million acres of timberlands located in the U.S. South (1.82 million acres), U.S. Pacific Northwest (378,000 acres) and New Zealand (410,000 gross acres, or 293,000 net plantable acres). In addition, we engage in the trading of logs from New Zealand and Australia to Pacific Rim markets, primarily to support our New Zealand export operations. We have an added focus to maximize the value of our land portfolio by pursuing higher and better use (“HBU”) land sales opportunities.
We originated as the Rainier Pulp & Paper Company founded in Shelton, Washington in 1926. On June 27, 2014, Rayonier completed the tax-free spin-off of its Performance Fibers manufacturing business from its timberland and real estate operations, thereby becoming a “pure-play” timberland REIT.
Under our REIT structure, we are generally not required to pay U.S. federal income taxes on our earnings from timber harvest operations and other REIT-qualifying activities contingent upon meeting applicable distribution, income, asset, shareholder and other tests. As of December 31, 2017 and as of the date of the filing of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, we believe the Company is in compliance with all REIT tests.
Our U.S. timber operations are primarily conducted by our wholly-owned REIT subsidiaries. Our New Zealand timber operations are conducted by Matariki Forestry Group, a majority-owned joint venture subsidiary (“New Zealand JV”). Our non-REIT qualifying operations, which are subject to corporate-level tax, are held by various taxable REIT subsidiaries. These operations include our log trading business and certain real estate activities, such as the sale and entitlement of development HBU properties.
Our shares are publicly traded on the NYSE under the symbol RYN. We are a North Carolina corporation with executive offices located at 1 Rayonier Way, Yulee, Florida 32097. Our telephone number is (904) 357-9100.


1


For information on sales and operating income by reportable segment and geographic region, see Item 7 — Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and Note 4 — Segment and Geographical Information.
OUR COMPETITIVE STRENGTHS
We believe that we distinguish ourselves from other timberland owners and managers through the following competitive strengths:
Leading Pure-Play Timberland REIT. We are differentiated from other publicly-traded timberland REITs in that we are invested exclusively in timberlands and real estate and do not own any pulp, paper or wood products manufacturing assets. We are the largest publicly-traded “pure-play” timberland REIT, which provides our investors with a focused, large-scale timberland investment alternative without taking on the risks and volatility inherent in direct ownership of forest products manufacturing assets.
Located in Premier Softwood Growing Regions with Access to Strong Markets. Our geographically diverse timberland holdings are strategically located in core softwood producing regions, including the U.S. South, U.S. Pacific Northwest and New Zealand. Our most significant timberland holdings are located in the U.S. South, in close proximity to a variety of established pulp, paper and wood products manufacturing facilities, which provide a steady source of competitive demand for both pulpwood and higher-value sawtimber products. Our Pacific Northwest and New Zealand timberlands benefit from strong domestic sawmilling markets and are located near ports to capitalize on export markets serving the Pacific Rim.
Sophisticated Log Marketing Capabilities Serving Various Pacific Rim Markets. We conduct a log trading operation based in New Zealand that serves timberland owners in New Zealand and Australia, providing access to key export markets in China, South Korea and India. This operation provides us with superior market intelligence and economies of scale, both of which add value to our New Zealand timber portfolio. It also provides additional market intelligence that helps our Southern and Pacific Northwest export log marketing and contributes to the Company’s earnings and cash flows, with minimal investment.
Attractive Land Portfolio with Higher and Better Use Potential. We own approximately 200,000 acres of timberlands located in the vicinity of Interstate 95 primarily north of Daytona Beach, FL and south of Savannah, GA, some of which have the potential to transition to higher and better uses over time as market conditions support increased demand. These properties provide us with select opportunities to add value to our portfolio through real estate development activities, which we believe will allow us to periodically sell parcels of such land at favorable valuations relative to timberland values through one of our taxable REIT subsidiaries.
Dedicated HBU Platform with Established Track Record. We have a dedicated HBU platform led by an experienced team with an established track record of selling rural and development HBU properties across our U.S. South holdings at strong premiums to timberland values. We maintain a detailed land classification analysis of our portfolio, which allows us to identify the highest-value use of our lands and then capitalize on identified HBU opportunities through strategies uniquely tailored to maximize value, including selectively pursuing land-use entitlements and infrastructure improvements.
Advantageous Structure and Capitalization. Under our REIT structure, we are generally not required to pay federal income taxes on our earnings from timber harvest operations and other REIT-qualifying activities, which allows us to optimize the value of our portfolio in a tax efficient manner. We also maintain a strong credit profile and have an investment grade debt rating. As of December 31, 2017, our net debt to enterprise value was 18%. We believe that our advantageous REIT structure and conservative capitalization provide us with a competitive cost of capital and significant financial flexibility to pursue growth initiatives.


2


OUR STRATEGY
Our business strategy consists of the following key elements:
Manage our Timberlands on a Sustainable Yield Basis for Long-term Results. We generate recurring income and cash flow from the harvest and sale of timber and intend to actively manage our timberlands to maximize net present value over the long term by achieving an optimal balance among biological timber growth, generation of cash flow from harvesting activities, and responsible environmental stewardship. Our harvesting strategy is designed to produce a long-term, sustainable yield, although we may adjust harvest levels periodically in response to then-current market conditions.
Apply Advanced Silviculture to Increase the Productivity of our Timberlands. We use our forestry expertise and disciplined financial approach to determine the appropriate silviculture programs and investments to maximize returns. This includes re-planting a significant portion of our harvested acres with improved seedlings we have developed through decades of research and cultivation. Over time, we expect these improved seedlings will result in higher volumes per acre and a higher value product mix.
Increase the Size and Quality of our Timberland Holdings through Acquisitions. We intend to selectively pursue timberland acquisition opportunities that improve the average productivity of our timberland holdings and support cash flow generation from our annual harvesting activities. We expect there will be an ample supply of attractive timberlands available for sale as a result of anticipated sales from a number of Timberland Investment Management Organizations (“TIMOs”). Our acquisition strategy employs a disciplined approach with rigorous adherence to strategic and financial metrics. Generally, we expect to focus our acquisition efforts on the most commercially desirable timber-producing regions of the U.S. South, the U.S. Pacific Northwest and New Zealand, particularly on timberlands with a geographic distribution and age-class profile that are complementary to our existing timberland holdings. We acquired 90,000 acres of fee timberland in 2017, 111,000 acres in 2016, and 35,000 acres in 2015. Additionally, we acquired leases or forestry rights covering approximately 19,000 acres in 2017, 2,000 acres in 2016, and 2,000 acres in 2015.
Optimize our Portfolio Value. We continuously assess potential alternative uses of our timberlands, as some of our properties may become more valuable for development, residential, recreation or other purposes. We intend to capitalize on such higher-valued uses by opportunistically monetizing HBU properties in our portfolio. While the majority of our HBU sales involve rural and recreational land, we also selectively pursue various land-use entitlements on certain properties for residential, commercial and industrial development in order to fully realize the enhanced long-term value potential of such properties. For selected development properties, we also invest in infrastructure improvements, such as roadways and utilities, to accelerate the marketability and improve the value of such properties. We generally expect that sales of HBU property will comprise approximately 1% to 1.5% of our Southern timberland holdings on an annual basis.
Focus on Timberland Operations to Support Cash Flow Generation. As described above, we rely primarily on annual harvesting activities and ongoing sales of HBU properties to generate cash flow from our timberland holdings. However, we also periodically generate income and cash flow from the sale of non-strategic and/or non-HBU timberlands, in particular as we seek to optimize our portfolio by disposing of less desirable properties or to fund capital allocation priorities, including share repurchases, debt repayment or acquisitions. Our strategy is to limit reliance on planned sales of non-HBU timberlands to augment cash flow generation and instead rely primarily on supporting cash flow from the operation, rather than sale, of our timberlands. We believe this strategy will support the sustainability of our harvesting activities over the long term.
Promote Best-in-Class Disclosure and Responsible Stewardship. We intend to be an industry leader in transparent disclosure, particularly relating to our timberland holdings, harvest schedules, inventory and age-class profiles. In addition, we are committed to responsible stewardship and environmentally and economically sustainable forestry. We believe our continued commitment to transparency and the stewardship of our assets and capital will allow us to maintain our timberlands’ productivity, more effectively attract and deploy capital and enhance our reputation as a preferred timber supplier.


3


SEGMENT INFORMATION
Rayonier operates in five reportable business segments:
Southern Timber,
Pacific Northwest Timber,
New Zealand Timber,
Real Estate, and
Trading.
The Southern Timber, Pacific Northwest Timber and New Zealand Timber segments reflect all activities related to the harvesting of timber and other value-added activities, such as recreational licenses, within each respective geography. The New Zealand Timber segment also reflects any land sales that occur within our New Zealand portfolio.
Our Real Estate segment reflects all U.S. land sales, which are reported in five sales categories:
Improved Development,
Unimproved Development,
Rural,
Non-Strategic / Timberlands, and
Large Dispositions.
The Trading segment reflects the log trading activities that primarily support our New Zealand operations.
DISCUSSION OF TIMBER INVENTORY AND SUSTAINABLE YIELD
We define gross timber inventory as an estimate of all standing timber volume beyond the specified age at which we commence calculating our timber inventory for inclusion in our inventory tracking systems. The age at which we commence calculating our timber inventory is 10 years for our Southern timberlands, 20 years for our Pacific Northwest timberlands, and 20 years for our New Zealand timberlands. Our estimate of gross timber inventory is based on an inventory system that involves periodic statistical sampling and growth modeling. Periodic adjustments are made on the basis of growth estimates, harvest information, and environmental and operational restrictions. Gross timber inventory includes certain timber that we do not deem to be of a merchantable age as well as certain timber located in restricted, environmentally sensitive or economically inaccessible areas.
We define merchantable timber inventory as an estimate of timber volume beyond a specified age that approximates such timber’s earliest economically harvestable age. Our estimate includes certain timber located in restricted or environmentally sensitive areas based on an estimate of lawfully recoverable volumes from such areas. The estimate does not include volumes in restricted or environmentally sensitive areas that may not be lawfully harvested or volumes located in economically inaccessible areas. The merchantable age (i.e., the age at which timber moves from pre-merchantable to merchantable) is 15 years for our Southern timberlands, with the exception of Oklahoma which is 17 years, 35 years for our Pacific Northwest timberlands, 20 years for radiata pine and 30 years for Douglas-fir in our New Zealand timberlands. Our estimated merchantable timber inventory changes over time as timber is harvested, as pre-merchantable timber transitions to merchantable timber, as existing merchantable timber inventory grows, as we acquire and sell timberland and as we periodically update our statistical sampling and growth and yield models. We estimate our merchantable timber inventory annually for purposes of calculating per unit depletion rates.
Timber inventory is generally measured and expressed in short green tons (SGT) in our Southern Timberlands, in thousand board feet (MBF) or million board feet (MMBF) in our Pacific Northwest Timberlands, and in cubic meters (m3) in our New Zealand Timberlands. For conversion purposes, one MBF and one m3 is equal to approximately 8.0 and 1.12 short green tons, respectively. For comparison purposes, we provide inventory estimates for our Pacific Northwest and New Zealand timberlands in MBF and cubic meters, respectively, as well as in short green tons.


4


The following table sets forth the estimated volumes of merchantable timber inventory by location in short green tons as of September 30, 2017 for the South and Pacific Northwest and as of December 31, 2017 for New Zealand: 
(volumes in thousands of SGT)
 
 
 
Location
Merchantable Inventory (a)
 
%
South
67,737

 
74
Pacific Northwest
7,282

 
8
New Zealand
16,452

 
18
 
91,471

 
100
 
 
 
 
 
(a)
For all regions, depletion rate calculations for the upcoming year are based on estimated volumes of merchantable inventory at December 31, 2017.
We define sustainable yield as the average harvest level that can be sustained into perpetuity based on our estimates of biological growth and the expected productivity resulting from our reforestation and silvicultural efforts. Our estimated sustainable yield may change over time based on changes in silvicultural techniques and resulting timber yields, changes in environmental laws and restrictions, changes in the statistical sampling and estimates of our merchantable timber inventory, acquisitions and dispositions of timberlands, the expiration or renewal of timberland leases, casualty losses, and other factors. Moreover, our harvest level in any given year may deviate from our estimated sustainable yield due to variations in the age class of our timberlands, the product mix of our harvest (i.e., pulpwood versus sawtimber), our deliberate acceleration or deferral of harvest in response to market conditions, our thinning activity (in which we periodically remove some smaller trees from a stand to enhance long-term sawtimber potential of the remaining timber), or other factors.
We manage our U.S. timberlands in accordance with the requirements of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (“SFI”) program. The timberland holdings of the New Zealand JV are certified under the Forest Stewardship Certification® (“FSC”) program. Both programs are a comprehensive system of environmental principles, objectives and performance measures that combine the perpetual growing and harvesting of trees with the protection of wildlife, plants, soil and water quality. Through application of our site-specific silvicultural expertise and financial discipline, we manage timber in a way that is designed to optimize site preparation, tree species selection, competition control, fertilization, timing of thinning and final harvest. We also have a genetic seedling improvement program to enhance the productivity and quality of our timberlands and overall forest health. In addition, non-timber income opportunities associated with our timberlands such as recreational licenses, as well as considerations for the future higher and better uses of the land, are integral parts of our site-specific management philosophy. All these activities are designed to maximize value while complying with SFI and FSC requirements.


5


SOUTHERN TIMBER
As of December 31, 2017, our Southern timberlands acreage consisted of approximately 1.82 million acres (including approximately 191,000 acres of leased lands) located in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. Approximately two-thirds of this land supports intensively managed plantations of predominantly loblolly and slash pine. The other one-third of this land is too wet to support pine plantations, but supports productive natural stands primarily consisting of natural pine and a variety of hardwood species. Rotation ages typically range from 21 to 28 years for pine plantations and from 35 to 60 years for natural stands. Key consumers of our timber include pulp, paper, wood products and biomass facilities.
We estimate that the gross timber inventory and merchantable timber inventory of our Southern timberlands was 86 million tons and 68 million tons, respectively, as of September 30, 2017. We estimate that the sustainable yield of our Southern timberlands, including both pine and hardwoods, is approximately 5.9 to 6.3 million tons annually. We expect that the average annual harvest volume of our Southern timberlands over the next five years (2018 to 2022) will be generally within this range. For additional information, see Item 1 — Business — Discussion of Timber Inventory and Sustainable Yield and Item 1A — Risk Factors.
In 2017, we acquired approximately 101,000 acres of timberland (including 11,000 acres of leased lands) in the Southern region. For additional information, see Note 3 — Timberland Acquisitions.
The following table provides a breakdown of our Southern timberlands acreage and timber inventory by product and age class as of September 30, 2017 (inventory volumes are estimated at December 31 to calculate a depletion rate for the upcoming year):
(volumes in thousands of SGT)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Age Class
 
Acres
(000’s)
 
Pine Pulpwood
 
Pine Sawtimber
 
Hardwood Pulpwood
 
Hardwood Sawtimber
 
Total
Pine Plantation
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
0 to 4 years (a)
 
229

 

 

 

 

 

 
5 to 9 years
 
203

 

 

 

 

 

 
10 to 14 years
 
243

 
10,738

 
1,331

 
29

 

 
12,098

 
15 to 19 years
 
281

 
13,074

 
4,845

 
116

 
3

 
18,038

 
20 to 24 years
 
169

 
6,581

 
6,108

 
101

 
2

 
12,792

 
25 to 29 years
 
67

 
2,280

 
3,236

 
95

 
2

 
5,613

 
30 + years
 
46

 
1,213

 
2,798

 
92

 
3

 
4,106

Total Pine Plantation
 
1,238

 
33,886

 
18,318

 
433

 
10

 
52,647

Natural Pine (Plantable) (b)
 
47

 
507

 
906

 
895

 
207

 
2,515

Natural Mixed Pine/Hardwood (c)
 
548

 
4,278

 
6,971

 
15,186

 
3,908

 
30,343

Forested Acres and Gross Inventory
 
1,833

 
38,671

 
26,195

 
16,514

 
4,125

 
85,505

Plus: Non-Forested Acres (d)
 
68

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Gross Acres
 
1,900

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Less: Pre-Merchantable Age Class
Inventory (e)
 
(12,651
)
Less: Volume in Environmentally
Sensitive/Legally Restricted Areas
 
(5,117
)
Merchantable Timber Inventory
 
67,737

 
 
 
 
 
(a)
0 to 4 years includes clearcut acres not yet replanted.
(b)
Consists of natural stands that are convertible into pine plantations once harvested.
(c)
Consists of all non-plantable natural stands, including those that are in environmentally sensitive or economically inaccessible areas.
(d)
Includes roads, rights of way and all other non-forested areas.
(e)
Includes inventory that is less than 15 years old or less than 17 years old in Oklahoma.


6


PACIFIC NORTHWEST TIMBER
As of December 31, 2017, our Pacific Northwest timberlands consisted of approximately 378,000 acres located in Oregon and Washington, of which approximately 291,000 acres were designated as productive acres, meaning land that is capable of growing merchantable timber and where the harvesting of timber is not constrained by physical, environmental or regulatory restrictions. These timberlands primarily comprise second and third rotation western hemlock and Douglas-fir, as well as a small amount of other softwood species, such as western red cedar. A small percentage also consists of natural hardwood stands of predominantly red alder. In the Pacific Northwest, rotation ages typically range from 35 to 50 years. Our product mix in the Pacific Northwest is heavily weighted to sawtimber, which is sold to domestic wood products facilities as well as exported primarily to Pacific Rim markets.
We estimate that the gross timber inventory and merchantable timber inventory of our Pacific Northwest timberlands was 2,773 MMBF and 911 MMBF, respectively, as of September 30, 2017. We estimate that the sustainable yield of our Pacific Northwest timberlands is approximately 180 MMBF (or 1.4 million tons) annually. We expect that the average annual harvest volume of our Pacific Northwest timberlands over the next five years (2018 to 2022) will be approximately 160 MMBF (or 1.3 million tons). For additional information, see Item 1 — Business — Discussion of Timber Inventory and Sustainable Yield and Item 1A — Risk Factors.
In 2017, we acquired approximately 481 acres of timberlands in the Pacific Northwest region. For additional information, see Note 3 — Timberland Acquisitions.
The following table provides a breakdown of our Pacific Northwest timberlands acreage and timber inventory by product and age class as of September 30, 2017 (inventory volumes are estimated at December 31 to calculate a depletion rate for the upcoming year):
(volumes in MBF, except as noted)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Age Class
 
Acres (000’s)
 
Softwood
Pulpwood (e)
 
Softwood
Sawtimber (e)
 
Total
Commercial Forest
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
0 to 4 years (a)
 
36

 

 

 

 
5 to 9 years
 
41

 

 

 

 
10 to 14 years
 
41

 

 

 

 
15 to 19 years
 
25

 

 

 

 
20 to 24 years
 
23

 
29,126

 
68,060

 
97,186

 
25 to 29 years
 
36

 
67,850

 
314,490

 
382,340

 
30 to 34 years
 
43

 
100,424

 
604,403

 
704,827

 
35 to 39 years
 
21

 
51,129

 
352,134

 
403,263

 
40 to 44 years
 
8

 
20,104

 
137,970

 
158,074

 
45 to 49 years
 
4

 
11,834

 
82,347

 
94,181

 
50+ years
 
7

 
23,701

 
180,537

 
204,238

Total Commercial Forest
 
285

 
304,168

 
1,739,941

 
2,044,109

Non-Commercial Forest (b)
 
6

 
6,664

 
46,111

 
52,775

Productive Forested Acres
 
291

 

 

 

Restricted Forest (c)
 
66

 
82,508

 
593,794

 
676,302

Total Forested Acres and Gross Inventory
 
357

 
393,340

 
2,379,846

 
2,773,186

Plus: Non-Forested Acres (d)
 
21

 
 
 
 
 
 
Gross Acres
 
378

 
 
 
 
 
 
Less: Pre-Merchantable Age Class Inventory
 
(1,185,516
)
Less: Restricted Forest Inventory
 
(676,302
)
Total Merchantable Timber
 
911,368

Conversion factor for MBF to SGT
 
7.99

Total Merchantable Timber (thousands of SGT)
 
7,282

 
 
 
 
 
(a)
0 to 4 years includes clearcut acres not yet replanted.
(b)
Includes non-commercial forests with limited productivity.
(c)
Includes significant portions of riparian management zones, legally restricted forests, and environmentally sensitive areas.
(d)
Includes roads, rights of way, and all other non-forested areas.
(e)
Includes a minor component of hardwood in red alder and other hardwood species.


7


NEW ZEALAND TIMBER
As of December 31, 2017, our New Zealand timberlands consisted of approximately 410,000 acres (including approximately 231,000 acres of leased lands), of which approximately 293,000 acres (including approximately 158,000 acres of leased lands) were designated as productive or plantation acres, meaning land that is capable of growing merchantable timber and where the harvesting of timber is not constrained by physical, environmental or regulatory restrictions. The leased acres are generally leased through long-term arrangements including Crown Forest Licenses (“CFLs”), forestry rights and other leases. Our New Zealand timberlands serve a domestic sawmilling market and also export logs to Pacific Rim markets.
Our New Zealand timber operations are conducted by Matariki Forestry Group, a joint venture with Phaunos Timber Fund Limited. The Company maintains a controlling financial interest of 77% in the New Zealand JV and, accordingly, consolidates the New Zealand JV’s balance sheet and results of operations. The minority owner’s interest in the New Zealand JV and its earnings are reported as noncontrolling interest in our financial statements. Rayonier’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Rayonier New Zealand Limited (“RNZ”), serves as the manager of the New Zealand JV. For additional information, see Note 7 — Joint Venture Investment.
We estimate that the gross timber inventory and merchantable timber inventory of our New Zealand timberlands were both 14.7 million cubic meters as of December 31, 2017. We estimate that the sustainable yield of our New Zealand timberlands is approximately 2.1 million cubic meters (or 2.5 million tons) annually. We expect that the average annual harvest volume of our New Zealand timberlands over the next five years (2018 to 2022) will be generally in line with our sustainable yield. For additional information, see Item 1 — Business — Discussion of Timber Inventory and Sustainable Yield and Item 1A — Risk Factors.
The following table provides a breakdown of our New Zealand timberlands acreage and timber inventory by product and age class as of December 31, 2017 (inventory volumes at December 31 are used to calculate a depletion rate for the upcoming year):
(volumes in thousands of m3, except as noted)
 
 
 
 
 
 
Age Class
 
Acres (000’s)
 
Pulpwood
 
Sawtimber
 
Total
Radiata Pine
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
0 to 4 years (a)
 
54

 

 

 

 
5 to 9 years
 
45

 

 

 

 
10 to 14 years
 
46

 

 

 

 
15 to 19 years
 
52

 

 

 

 
20 to 24 years
 
45

 
1,652

 
7,101

 
8,753

 
25 to 29 years
 
12

 
525

 
1,987

 
2,512

 
30 + years
 
4

 
243

 
650

 
893

 
Total Radiata Pine
 
258

 
2,420

 
9,738

 
12,158

Other (b)
 
35

 
1,282

 
1,249

 
2,531

Forested Acres and Merchantable Timber Inventory
 
293

 
3,702

 
10,987

 
14,689

Conversion factor for m3 to SGT
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1.12

Total Merchantable Timber (thousands of SGT)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
16,452

Plus: Non-Productive Acres (c)
 
117

 
 
 
 
 
 
Gross Acres
 
410

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(a)
0 to 4 years includes clearcut acres not yet replanted.
(b)
Includes primarily Douglas-fir age 30 and over.
(c)
Includes natural forest and other non-planted acres.


8


REAL ESTATE
All of our U.S. land sales, including HBU and non-HBU, are reported in our Real Estate segment. We report our Real Estate sales in five categories:
Improved Development,
Unimproved Development,
Rural,
Non-Strategic / Timberlands, and
Large Dispositions.
The Improved Development category comprises properties sold for development for which Rayonier, through a taxable REIT subsidiary, has invested in site improvements such as infrastructure, roadways, utilities, amenities and/or other improvements designed to enhance marketability and create parcels, pads and/or lots for sale.
The Unimproved Development category comprises properties sold for development for which Rayonier has obtained entitlements but not invested in site improvements.
The Rural category comprises properties sold in rural markets to buyers interested in the property for rural residential or recreational use.
The Non-Strategic / Timberlands category includes: 1) sales of non-core timberlands that do not meet our strategic criteria, 2) sales of core timberlands for which we obtain attractive values, and 3) sales of properties to conservation interests that wish to preserve the land for habitat, public recreation, natural growth, buffer zones or other environmental purposes.
The Large Dispositions category includes sales of timberland that exceed $20 million in size and do not have a demonstrable premium relative to timberland value. Proceeds from Large Dispositions are generally used to fund capital allocation priorities, which include share repurchases, debt repayment or acquisitions. Sales designated as Large Dispositions are excluded from cash flow from operations and the calculation of Adjusted EBITDA and Cash Available for Distribution (“CAD”). See Item 7 — Performance and Liquidity Indicators for the definition of Adjusted EBITDA and CAD.
We maintain a detailed land classification analysis for all of our timberland and HBU acres. The vast majority of our HBU properties are managed as timberland and generate cash flow from timber operations prior to their sale or, in the case of Improved Development properties, prior to improvement.
TRADING
Our Trading segment reflects log trading activities in New Zealand and Australia conducted by our New Zealand JV. Our Trading segment complements the New Zealand Timber segment by providing added market intelligence, increasing the scale of export operations and achieving cost savings that directly benefit the New Zealand Timber segment. It also provides additional market intelligence that helps our Southern and Pacific Northwest export log marketing.
Trading activities are broadly categorized as either managed export services or procured logs. For managed export services, the New Zealand JV does not take title to the log cargo but arranges sales, shipping and export documentation services for other forest owners for an agreed commission. For procured logs, the New Zealand JV buys logs directly from other forest owners at New Zealand ports and exports them in its own name. Income from this business is generated by achieving a sales margin over the purchase price of the procured logs. The New Zealand JV also purchases standing timber from time to time, whereby it manages the harvest and sale of the logs for approximately one to three years. The Trading segment generally utilizes a managed export service arrangement for logs sourced from third parties outside of New Zealand, and generally utilizes a procured log arrangement for logs sourced from third parties within New Zealand. For managed export services, Trading segment revenues reflect only the commission earned on the sale. For procured log sales, Trading segment revenues reflect the full sales price of the logs.


9


In 2017, Trading volume from both managed export services and procured log sales was approximately 1.8 million JAS cubic meters of logs. Approximately 846,000 JAS cubic meters of logs were sourced from outside New Zealand, primarily Australia, of which 85% were undertaken through managed export service arrangements. Approximately 873,000 JAS cubic meters of logs were purchased directly from third parties in New Zealand through procured log arrangements, with 52% purchased from two key suppliers. Additionally, 105,000 JAS cubic meters were harvested from stumpage purchases. Approximately 35% of third-party purchases in New Zealand were purchased at spot prices, with the New Zealand JV thereby assuming some price risk on subsequent resale. The remaining 65% were purchased on a fixed margin basis, with the New Zealand JV thereby earning a spread on the resale price irrespective of subsequent price fluctuations. The New Zealand JV generally seeks to mitigate its risk of loss on procured logs by securing export orders prior to or concurrent with its spot purchases of logs.
FOREIGN SALES AND OPERATIONS
Sales from non-U.S. operations originate from our New Zealand Timber and Trading segments and comprised approximately 49% of consolidated 2017 sales. See Note 4 — Segment and Geographical Information for additional information.
COMPETITION
TIMBER
Timber markets in our Southern and Pacific Northwest regions are relatively fragmented with price being the principal method of competition. In New Zealand, there are four major private timberland owners accounting for approximately 37% of New Zealand planted forests.
The following table provides an overview of certain major competitors in each of our Timber segments:
Segment
Competitors
Southern Timber (a)
Weyerhaeuser Company
 
CatchMark Timber Trust
 
Hancock Timber Resource Group
 
Resource Management Service
 
Forest Investment Associates
 
Campbell Global
 
 
Pacific Northwest Timber (a)
Weyerhaeuser Company
 
Hancock Timber Resource Group
 
Green Diamond Resource Company
 
Campbell Global
 
Port Blakely Tree Farms
 
Pope Resources
 
State of Washington Department of Natural Resources
 
Bureau of Indian Affairs
 
 
New Zealand (b)
Hancock Natural Resource Group
 
Kaingaroa Timberlands
 
Ernslaw One
 
 
 
 
 
(a)    In addition to the competitors listed, we also compete with numerous other large and small privately held timber companies.
(b)
The New Zealand JV competes with these and other smaller New Zealand timber companies for supply into New Zealand domestic and export markets, predominantly China, South Korea and India. Logs supplied into Asian markets also compete with export supply from other regions, including Russia and North America.


10


REAL ESTATE
In our Real Estate business, we compete with other owners of entitled and unentitled properties. Each property has unique attributes, but overall quantity of supply and price for residential, commercial, industrial and rural properties in the geographic areas in which we operate are the most significant competitive drivers.
TRADING
Our log trading operations are based out of New Zealand and performed by our New Zealand JV. The New Zealand market remains very competitive with over 20 entities competing for export log supply at different ports across the country. We are one of the larger log trading companies in the region with access to multiple export ports and a range of different export markets.
CUSTOMERS
In 2017, no individual customer (or group of customers under common control) represented 10% or more of 2017 consolidated sales. As such, there is not a significant risk that the loss of one customer would have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.
SEASONALITY
Across all our segments, results are normally not impacted significantly by seasonal changes. However, particularly wet weather in areas of our Southern Timber operations can hinder access for harvesting, thereby temporarily reducing supply in the affected areas and generally strengthening prices. Conversely, extended dry weather in an area tends to suppress prices as timber is more accessible for harvesting.
ENVIRONMENTAL MATTERS
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
The research and development activities of our timber operations include genetic seedling improvement, growth and yield modeling, and applied silvicultural programs to identify management practices that will improve financial returns from our timberlands. We also contribute to research cooperatives that undertake forestry research and development.
EXECUTIVE OFFICERS
David L. Nunes, 56, Mr. Nunes joined the Company in June 2014 as Chief Operating Officer, and shortly thereafter assumed the role of President and CEO following the Company’s spin-off of its Performance Fibers business. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Nunes served as President and CEO of Pope Resources/Olympic Resource Management from 2002 to 2014. He joined Pope in 1997 as director of portfolio management, working with third-party investors and timberland owners to develop and manage timberland investment portfolios. The following year, he was named Vice President of portfolio development, and then served two years as Senior Vice President of acquisitions and portfolio development before being named President and COO in 2000. Previously, Mr. Nunes spent nine years with the Weyerhaeuser Company, joining the organization in 1988 as a business analyst and advancing through a number of leadership roles to become director of corporate strategic planning. During his time with Weyerhaeuser, he gained extensive experience involving export log sales and marketing, timberland acquisitions, mergers and acquisitions, and capital planning. Mr. Nunes holds a Bachelors of Arts and Economics from Pomona College and an MBA from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University.
Mark D. McHugh, 42, Mr. McHugh was appointed Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in December 2014. He was previously Managing Director in the Real Estate Investment Banking group at Raymond James, where he worked since 2008. Prior to joining Raymond James, Mr. McHugh was a Director in the Paper & Forest Products Group at Credit Suisse, where he worked from 2000 to 2008. Mr. McHugh received his B.S.B.A. in Finance from the University of Central Florida and his JD from Harvard Law School.


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Douglas M. Long, 47, Mr. Long was appointed to Senior Vice President, U.S. Operations in December 2015. He was named Vice President, U.S. Operations in November 2014. Prior to such appointment, Mr. Long served as Director, Atlantic Region, U.S. Forest Resources. He joined the Company in 1995 as a GIS Forestry Analyst and has held multiple positions of increasing responsibility within the forestry division. Mr. Long holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Forest Resources and Conservation from the University of Florida.
Christopher T. Corr, 54, Mr. Corr joined the Company in July 2013 and currently serves as Senior Vice President, Real Estate & Public Affairs and President, Raydient LLC. Prior to joining Rayonier, he served as Executive Vice President, Buildings and Places for AECOM from 2008 to 2013. Prior to that, Mr. Corr held various positions with The St. Joe Company between 1998 and 2008, most recently as Executive Vice President. From 1992 to 1998, Mr. Corr was a senior manager with The Walt Disney Company, where he was a key member of the team that developed the visionary town of Celebration near Orlando, Florida. From 1990-1992, Mr. Corr served as an elected member of the Florida House of Representatives. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Florida and has completed programs with the Harvard Real Estate Institute and the Wharton School of Business at University of Pennsylvania.
Mark R. Bridwell, 55, Mr. Bridwell was promoted to Vice President and General Counsel in June 2014 and assumed the role of Corporate Secretary in March 2015. He joined the Company in 2006 as Associate General Counsel for Performance Fibers. In 2009, he became Associate General Counsel for Timber and Real Estate and in 2012 was promoted to Assistant General Counsel for Land Resources. Prior to joining Rayonier, Mr. Bridwell served as counsel for six years at Siemens Corporation. Previously, he was an attorney for five years with the international law firms of Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue and Seyfarth, Shaw, Fairweather & Geraldson. Mr. Bridwell has a B.S.B.A. in Finance from the University of Central Florida, and an MBA and JD from Emory University.
Shelby L. Pyatt, 47, Ms. Pyatt was named Vice President, Human Resources in July 2014. Ms. Pyatt joined Rayonier in 2003 as Manager, Compensation and became Director, Compensation and Employee Services in 2006. She was named Director, Compensation, Benefits and Employee Services in 2009 before being promoted to her current position, where she now also oversees IT. Prior to joining Rayonier, Ms. Pyatt held human resources positions with CSX Corporation and Barnett Bank. Ms. Pyatt holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management.
W. Rhett Rogers, 41, Mr. Rogers was appointed to Vice President, Portfolio Management in February 2017. In this position, he oversees the Company’s acquisition and disposition activities, as well as its land information systems function. He joined Rayonier in 2001 as a District Technical Forester, and has held numerous roles of increasing responsibility, most recently as Director, Land Asset Management before being promoted to his current position. Mr. Rogers holds a BS in Forestry from Louisiana Tech University, and both an MBA and MS in Forest Resources from Mississippi State University.
EMPLOYEE RELATIONS
We currently employ approximately 334 people, of which approximately 250 are in the United States. We believe relations with our employees are satisfactory.
AVAILABILITY OF REPORTS AND OTHER INFORMATION
Our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, proxy statements and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Sections 13(a) or 14 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 are made available to the public free of charge in the Investor Relations section of our website www.rayonier.com, shortly after we electronically file such material with, or furnish them to, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Our corporate governance guidelines and charters of all committees of our board of directors are also available on our website. The information on the Company’s website is not incorporated by reference into this annual report on Form 10-K.



12


Item 1A.
RISK FACTORS
Our operations are subject to a number of risks. When considering an investment in our securities, you should carefully read and consider these risks, together with all other information in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. If any of the events described in the following risk factors actually occur, our business, financial condition or operating results, as well as the market price of our securities, could be materially adversely affected.
We are exposed to the cyclicality of the markets in which we operate and other factors beyond our control, which could adversely affect our results of operations.
Some of the industries in which our end-use customers participate, such as the construction and home building industries, the global pulp, packaging and paper industries and the real estate industry, are cyclical in nature, exposing us to risks beyond our control, including general macroeconomic conditions, both in the U.S. and globally, as well as local economic conditions.
In our Timber segments, the level of new residential construction activity and, to a lesser extent, home repair and remodeling activity, is the primary driver of sawtimber demand. In addition, demand for logs can be affected by the demand for wood chips in the pulp and paper and engineered wood products markets, as well as the bio-energy production markets. The ongoing level of activity in these markets is subject to fluctuation due to future changes in economic conditions, interest rates, credit availability, population growth, weather conditions and other factors. Changes in global economic conditions, such as new timber supply sources and changes in currency exchange rates, foreign interest rates and foreign and domestic trade policies, can also negatively impact demand for our timber and logs. In addition, the industries in which these customers participate are highly competitive and may experience overcapacity or reductions in demand, all of which may affect demand for and pricing of our products. For example, the supply of timber and logs has historically increased during favorable pricing environments, which then causes downward pressure on prices, and can have an adverse effect on our business.
In our Real Estate segment, our inability to sell our HBU properties at attractive prices could have a significant effect on our results of operations. Demand for real estate can be affected by the availability of capital, changes in interest rates, availability and terms of financing, governmental agencies, developers, conservation organizations, individuals and others seeking to purchase our timberlands, our ability to obtain land use entitlements and other permits necessary for our development activities, local real estate market economic conditions, competition from other sellers of land and real estate developers, the relative illiquidity of real estate investments, employment rates, new housing starts, population growth, demographics and federal, state and local land use, zoning and environmental protections laws or regulations (including any changes in laws or regulations). In addition, changes in investor interest in purchasing timberlands could reduce our ability to execute sales of non-strategic timberlands.
These macroeconomic and cyclical factors impacting our operations are beyond our control and, if such conditions deteriorate or do not continue to improve, could have an adverse effect on our business.
Weather and other natural conditions may limit our timber harvest and sales.
Weather conditions and extreme events, timber growth cycles and restrictions on access (for example, due to prolonged wet conditions) and other factors, including damage by fire, insect infestation, disease, prolonged drought and natural disasters such as wind storms and hurricanes, may limit harvesting of our timberlands. The volume and value of timber that can be harvested from our timberlands may be reduced by any such occurrence and other causes beyond our control. As is typical in the forestry industry, we do not maintain insurance for any loss to our timber, including losses due to fire and these other causes. These and other factors beyond our control could reduce our timber inventory and accordingly, our sustainable yield, thereby adversely affecting our financial results and cash flows.


13


Entitlement and development of real estate entail a lengthy, uncertain and costly approval process, which could adversely affect our ability to grow the businesses in our Real Estate segment.
Entitlement and development of real estate entail extensive approval processes involving multiple regulatory jurisdictions. It is common for a project to require multiple approvals, permits and consents from U.S. federal, state and local governing and regulatory bodies. For example, in Florida, real estate projects must generally comply with the provisions of the Community Planning Act and local land use, zoning and development regulations. In addition, development projects in Florida that exceed certain specified regulatory thresholds (and are not located in a jurisdiction classified as a dense urban land area) may require approval pursuant to specialized Comprehensive Plan evaluation and process standards. Compliance with these and other regulations and standards is more time intensive and costly and may require additional long range infrastructure review and approvals which can add to project cost. In addition, development of properties containing delineated wetlands may be affected by revisions to the definition of wetlands subject to state and/or federal regulation and may require one or more permits from the U.S. federal government and/or state and local governmental agencies. Any of these issues can materially affect the cost, timing and economic viability of our real estate projects.
The real estate entitlement process is frequently a political one, which involves uncertainty and often extensive negotiation and concessions in order to secure the necessary approvals and permits. In the U.S., a significant amount of our development property is located in counties in which local governments face challenging issues relating to growth and development, including zoning and future land use, public services, water availability, transportation and other infrastructure, and funding for same, and the requirements of state law, especially in the case of Florida under the Community Planning Act process standards. In addition, anti-development groups are active, especially in Florida, in filing litigation to oppose particular entitlement activities and development projects, and in seeking legislation and other anti-development limitations on real estate development activities. We expect this type of anti-development activity to continue in the future.
Issues affecting real estate development also include the availability of potable water for new development projects. For example, the Georgia Legislature enacted the Comprehensive Statewide Watershed Management Planning Act, which, among other things, created a governmental entity called the Georgia Water Council which was charged with preparing a comprehensive water management plan for the state and presenting it to the Georgia Legislature. It is unclear at this time how the plan will affect the cost and timing of real estate development along the southern Georgia coast, where the Company has significant timberland holdings with downstream real estate development potential. Concerns about the availability of potable water also exist in certain Florida counties, which could impact future growth opportunities.
Changes in the laws, or interpretation or enforcement thereof, regarding the use and development of real estate, changes in the political composition of state and local governmental bodies, and the identification of new facts regarding our properties could lead to new or greater costs and delays and liabilities that could materially adversely affect our business, profitability or financial condition.
Changes in energy and fuel costs could affect our results of operations and financial condition.
Energy costs are a significant operating expense for our logging and hauling contractors and for the contractors who support the customers of our standing timber. Energy costs can be volatile and are susceptible to rapid and substantial increases or decreases due to factors beyond our control, such as changing economic conditions, political unrest, instability in energy-producing nations, and supply and demand considerations. Although the price of oil has recently decreased, increases in the price of oil could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, an increase in fuel costs, and its impact on the cost and availability of transportation for our products, both domestically and internationally, and the cost and availability of third-party logging and hauling contractors, could have a material adverse effect on the operating costs of our contractors and our standing timber customers, as well as in defining economically accessible timber stands. Such factors could in turn have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations, particularly in our Timber segments and Trading segment.


14


We depend on third parties for logging and transportation services and increases in the costs or decreases in the availability of quality service providers could adversely affect our business.
Our Timber segments depend on logging and transportation services provided by third parties, both domestically and internationally, including by railroad, trucks, or ships. If any of our transportation providers were to fail to deliver timber supply or logs to our customers in a timely manner, or were to damage timber supply or logs during transport, we may be unable to sell it at full value, or at all. During the global financial crisis and subsequent downturn in U.S. housing starts, timber harvest volumes declined significantly. As a result, many logging contractors, particularly cable logging operators in the western U.S., permanently shut down their operations. As harvest levels have returned to higher levels with the recovery in U.S. housing starts, this shortage of logging contractors has resulted in sharp increases in logging costs and in the availability of logging contractors. It is expected that the supply of qualified logging contractors will be impacted by the availability of debt financing for equipment purchases as well as a sufficient supply of adequately trained loggers. As housing starts continue to recover, harvest levels are expected to increase, placing more pressure on the existing supply of logging contractors. Any significant failure or unavailability of third-party logging or transportation providers, or increases in transportation rates or fuel costs, may result in higher logging costs or the inability to capitalize on stronger log prices to the extent logging contractors cannot be secured at a competitive cost. Such events could harm our reputation, negatively affect our customer relationships and adversely affect our business.
We are subject to risks associated with doing business outside of the U.S.
Although the majority of our customers are in the U.S., a significant portion of our sales are to end markets outside of the U.S., including China, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, India, Vietnam and New Zealand. The export of our products into international markets results in risks inherent in conducting business pursuant to international laws, regulations and customs. We expect that international sales will continue to contribute to future growth. The risks associated with our business outside the U.S. include:
changes in and reinterpretations of the laws, regulations and enforcement priorities of the countries in which our products are sold;
responsibility to comply with anti-bribery laws such as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and similar anti-bribery laws in other jurisdictions;
trade protection laws, policies and measures and other regulatory requirements affecting trade and investment, including loss or modification of exemptions for taxes and tariffs, imposition of new tariffs and duties and import and export licensing requirements;
difficulty in establishing, staffing and managing non-U.S. operations;
product damage or losses incurred during shipping;
potentially negative consequences from changes in or interpretations of tax laws;
economic or political instability, inflation, recessions and interest rate and exchange rate fluctuations;
uncertainties regarding non-U.S. judicial systems, rules and procedures; and
uncertainties regarding changes in trade policies under consideration by the current presidential administration.
These risks could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.


15


Our estimates of timber inventories and growth rates may be inaccurate, include risks inherent to such estimates and may impair our ability to realize expected revenues.
We rely upon estimates of merchantable timber inventories (which include judgments regarding inventories that may be lawfully and economically harvested), timber growth rates and end-product yields when acquiring and managing working forests. These estimates, which are inherently inexact and uncertain in nature, are central to forecasting our anticipated timber revenues and expected cash flows. Growth rates and end-product yield estimates are developed using statistical sampling, harvest results and growth and yield modeling, in conjunction with industry research cooperatives and by in-house forest biometricians, using measurements of trees in research plots spread across our timberland holdings. The growth equations predict the rate of height and diameter growth of trees so that foresters can estimate the volume of timber that may be present in the tree stand at a given age. Tree growth varies by soil type, geographic area, and climate. Inappropriate application of growth equations in forest management planning may lead to inaccurate estimates of future volumes. If the assumptions we rely upon change or these estimates are inaccurate, our ability to manage our timberlands in a sustainable or profitable manner may be diminished, which may cause our results of operations and our stock price to be adversely affected.
Our businesses are subject to extensive environmental laws and regulations that may restrict or adversely affect our ability to conduct our business.
Environmental laws and regulations are constantly changing and are generally becoming more restrictive. Laws, regulations and related judicial decisions and administrative interpretations affecting our business are subject to change, and new laws and regulations are frequently enacted. These changes may adversely affect our ability to harvest and sell timber, remediate contaminated properties and/or entitle real estate. These laws and regulations may relate to, among other things, the protection of timberlands and endangered species, recreation and aesthetics, protection and restoration of natural resources, surface water quality, timber harvesting practices, and remedial standards for contaminated property and groundwater. Over time, the complexity and stringency of these laws and regulations have increased and the enforcement of these laws and regulations has intensified. For example, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has pursued a number of initiatives that, if implemented, could impose additional operational and pollution control obligations on industrial facilities like those of Rayonier’s customers, especially in the area of air emissions and wastewater and stormwater control. In addition, as a result of certain judicial rulings and state and federal initiatives, including some that would require timberland operators to obtain permits to conduct certain ordinary course forestry activities, silvicultural practices on our timberlands could be impacted in the future. Environmental laws and regulations will likely continue to become more restrictive and over time could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
If regulatory and environmental permits are delayed, restricted or rejected, a variety of our operations could be adversely affected. We are required to seek permission from government agencies in the states and countries in which we operate to perform certain activities related to our properties. Any of these agencies could delay review of, or reject, any of our filings. In our Southern Timber, Pacific Northwest Timber and New Zealand Timber segments, any delay associated with a filing could result in a delay or restriction in replanting, thinning, insect control, fire control or harvesting, any of which could have an adverse effect on our operating results. For example, in Washington State, we are required to file a Forest Practice Application for each unit of timberland to be harvested. These applications may be denied, conditioned or restricted by the regulatory agency. Actions by the regulatory agencies could delay or restrict timber harvest activities pursuant to these permits. Delays or harvest restrictions on a significant number of applications could have an adverse effect on our operating results.
Environmental groups and interested individuals may seek to delay or prevent a variety of operations. We expect that environmental groups and interested individuals will intervene with increasing frequency in the regulatory processes in the states and countries where we own, lease or manage timberlands. For example, in Washington State, environmental groups and interested individuals may appeal individual forest practice applications or file petitions with the Forest Practices Board to challenge the regulations under which forest practices are approved. These and other challenges could materially delay or prevent operations on our properties. For example, interveners at times may bring legal action in Florida in opposition to entitlement and change of use of timberlands to commercial, industrial or residential use. Delays or restrictions due to the intervention of environmental groups or interested individuals could adversely affect our operating results. In addition to intervention in regulatory proceedings, interested groups and individuals may file or threaten to file lawsuits that seek to prevent us from obtaining permits, implementing capital improvements or pursuing operating plans. Any threatened or actual lawsuit could delay harvesting on our timberlands, affect how we operate or limit our ability to modify or invest in our real estate. Among the remedies that could be enforced in a lawsuit is a judgment preventing or restricting harvesting on a portion of our timberlands.


16


Third-party operators may create environmental liabilities. We lease and/or grant easements across some of our properties to third-party operators for the purpose of operating communications towers, generating renewable energy (wind and solar), operating pipelines for the transport of gases and liquids, and exploring, extracting, developing and producing oil, gas, rock and other minerals. These activities are subject to federal, state and local laws and regulations. These operations may also create risk of environmental liabilities for an unlawful discharge of oil, gas, chemicals or other materials into the air, soil or water. Generally, these third-party operators indemnify us against any such liability, and we require that they maintain liability insurance. However, if for any reason our third-party operators are not able to honor their obligations to us, or if the required insurance is not in effect, then it is possible that we could be responsible for costs associated with environmental liability caused by such third-party operators.
The impact of existing regulatory restrictions on future harvesting activities may be significant. U.S. federal, state and local laws and regulations, as well as those of other countries, which are intended to protect threatened and endangered species, as well as waterways and wetlands, limit and may prevent timber harvesting, road building and other activities on our timberlands. Restrictions relating to threatened and endangered species apply to activities that would adversely impact a protected species or significantly degrade its habitat. The size of the restricted area varies depending on the protected species, the time of year and other factors, but can range from less than one acre to several thousand acres. A number of species that naturally live on or near our timberlands, including, among others, the northern spotted owl, marbled murrelet, several species of salmon and trout in the Pacific Northwest, and the red cockaded woodpecker, red hills salamander and eastern indigo snake in the Southeast, are protected under the Federal Endangered Species Act (the “ESA”) or similar U.S. federal and state laws. A significant number of other species, such as the southeastern gopher tortoise and certain species of southern pine snake are currently under review for possible protection under the ESA. As we gain additional information regarding the presence of threatened or endangered species on our timberlands, or if other regulations, such as those that require buffers to protect water bodies, become more restrictive, the amount of our timberlands subject to harvest restrictions could increase.
We formerly owned or operated or may own or acquire timberlands or properties that may require environmental remediation or otherwise be subject to environmental and other liabilities. We owned or operated manufacturing facilities and discontinued operations that we do not currently own, and we may currently own or may acquire timberlands and other properties in the future that are subject to environmental liabilities, such as remediation of soil, sediment and groundwater contamination and other existing or potential liabilities. In connection with the spin-off of our Performance Fibers business, and pursuant to the related Separation and Distribution Agreement between us and Rayonier Advanced Materials, Rayonier Advanced Materials has assumed any environmental liability of ours in connection with the manufacturing facilities and discontinued operations related to the Performance Fibers business and has agreed to indemnify and hold us harmless in connection with such environmental liabilities. However, in the event we seek indemnification from Rayonier Advanced Materials, we cannot provide any assurance that a court will enforce our indemnification right if challenged by Rayonier Advanced Materials or that Rayonier Advanced Materials will be able to fund any amounts for indemnification owed to us. In addition, the cost of investigation and remediation of contaminated timberlands and properties that we currently own or acquire in the future could increase operating costs and adversely affect financial results. We could also incur substantial costs, such as civil or criminal fines, sanctions and enforcement actions (including orders limiting our operations or requiring corrective measures, installation of pollution control equipment or other remedial actions), clean-up and closure costs, and third-party claims for property damage and personal injury as a result of violations of, or liabilities under, environmental laws and regulations related to such timberlands or properties.
The industries in which we operate are highly competitive.
The markets in which we operate are highly competitive, and we compete with companies that have substantially greater financial resources than we do in each of these businesses. The competitive pressures relating to our Timber segments are primarily driven by quantity of product supply and quality of the timber offered by competitors in the domestic and export markets, each of which may impact pricing. With respect to our Real Estate segment, we compete with other owners of entitled and unentitled properties. Each property has unique attributes, but overall quantity of supply and price for residential, commercial, industrial and rural properties in the geographic areas in which we operate are the most significant competitive drivers. The market in which our Trading segment operates remains very competitive with over 20 entities competing for export log supply at different ports across New Zealand.


17


Our strategy will be adversely affected if we are unable to make future acquisitions.
We have pursued, and intend to continue to pursue, acquisitions of timberland and real estate properties that meet our investment criteria and achieve our strategic goals of growing the size and average quality of our land base. The ability to grow through acquisitions or other investments depends upon our ability to identify, negotiate, complete and integrate suitable acquisitions or joint venture arrangements. In addition, the discount rate we use in our acquisition underwriting has to meet our internal hurdle rate while also being competitive with that of other timberland REITs and TIMOs. In particular, our future success and growth depend upon our ability to make acquisitions that increase merchantable timber inventory and complement the existing age-class structure of our ownership. If we are unable to make acquisitions on acceptable terms or that do not support our strategic goals, our revenues and cash flows may stagnate or decline.
Our inability to access the capital markets could adversely affect our business strategy and competitive position.
Due to the REIT income distribution requirements, we rely significantly on external sources of capital to finance growth and acquisitions. Both our ability to obtain financing and the related costs of borrowing are affected by a number of factors, many of which are outside of our control, including a decline in general market conditions, decreased market liquidity, a downgrade to our public debt rating, increases in interest rates, an unfavorable market perception of our growth potential, a decrease in our current or estimated future earnings or a decrease in the market price of our common stock. If capital is not available when needed, or is available only on unfavorable terms relative to other timberland REITs or TIMOs, or not at all, we may be unable to complete acquisitions or otherwise take advantage of business opportunities or respond to competitive pressures. As of December 31, 2017, our credit ratings from S&P and Moody’s Investors Service (Moody’s) were BBB- and Baa3, respectively. Any combination of the factors described above, including our failure to maintain our investment grade credit rating, could prevent us from obtaining the capital we require on terms that are acceptable to us, or at all, which could adversely affect our business, liquidity and competitive position.
We are subject to risks associated with an increase in market interest rates.
One of the factors that may influence the price of our common shares is our annual dividend yield as compared to yields on other financial instruments. Thus, an increase in market interest rates could result in higher yields on other financial instruments and could adversely affect relative attractiveness of an investment in the Company and, accordingly, the trading price of our common shares. An increase in market interest rates could cause increases in discount rates and, accordingly, a decline in property values and total returns for timberland assets. An increase in market interest rates would also negatively impact financing costs on our floating rate debt as well as any additional debt we may raise.
Investment returns on pension assets may be lower than expected or interest rates may decline, requiring us to make significant additional cash contributions to our benefit plans.
We sponsor now frozen defined benefit pension plans, which covered a portion of our salaried and hourly employees. The Federal Pension Protection Act of 2006 requires that certain capitalization levels be maintained in each of these benefit plans. At December 31, 2017, our qualified plan was underfunded by approximately $29 million. We estimate that we are subject to approximately $2.9 million of pension contribution requirements in 2018. Because it is unknown what the investment return on pension assets will be in future years or what interest rates may be at any point in time, we cannot provide any assurance that applicable law will not require us to make future material plan contributions. Any such contributions could adversely affect our financial condition. See Item 7 — Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Critical Accounting Policies and Use of Estimates for additional information about these plans, including funding status.


18


The impacts of climate-related initiatives, at the international, U.S. federal and state levels, remain uncertain at this time.
There continue to be numerous international, U.S. federal and state-level initiatives and proposals to address domestic and global climate issues. Within the U.S., most of these proposals would regulate and/or tax the production of carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse gases” to facilitate the reduction of carbon compound emissions into the atmosphere, and provide tax and other incentives to produce and use “cleaner” energy.
In late 2009, the EPA issued an “endangerment finding” under the Clean Air Act with respect to certain greenhouse gases, leading to the regulation of carbon dioxide as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act and having significant ramifications for Rayonier and the industry in general. In this regard, the EPA has published various regulations, affecting the operation of existing and new industrial facilities that emit carbon dioxide. As a result of the EPA’s decision to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, states will now have to consider them in permitting new or modified facilities.
Overall, it is reasonably likely that legislative and regulatory activity in this area will in some way affect Rayonier and the U.S. customers of our Southern Timber and Pacific Northwest Timber segments, but it is unclear at this time what the nature of the impact will be. We continue to monitor political and regulatory developments in this area, but their overall impact on Rayonier, from a cost, benefit and financial performance standpoint remains uncertain at this time. In addition, the EPA has yet to finalize the treatment of biomass under greenhouse gas regulatory schemes, leaving Rayonier’s biomass customers in a position of uncertainty.
REIT AND TAX-RELATED RISKS
Loss of our REIT status would adversely affect our cash flow and stock price.
We intend to continue to operate in accordance with REIT requirements pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), and related U.S. Treasury regulations and administrative guidance. Qualification as a REIT involves the application of highly technical and complex provisions of the Code, which are subject to change, perhaps retroactively, and which are not within our control. We cannot assure that we will remain qualified as a REIT or that new legislation, U.S. Treasury regulations, administrative interpretations or court decisions will not significantly affect our ability to remain qualified as a REIT or the U.S. federal income tax consequences of such qualification.
We continually monitor and test our compliance with all REIT requirements. In particular, we regularly test our compliance with the REIT “asset tests,” which require generally that, at the close of each calendar quarter, (1) at least 75% of the market value of our total assets must consist of REIT-qualifying interests in real property (such as timberlands), including leaseholds and options to acquire real property and leaseholds, as well as cash and cash items and certain other specified assets, (2) no more than 25% of the market value of our total assets may consist of other assets that are not qualifying assets for purposes of the 75% test in clause (1) above and (3) for calendar years prior to 2018, no more than 25% of the market value of our total assets may consist of the securities of one or more “taxable REIT subsidiaries.”
If in any taxable year we fail to qualify as a REIT, we will not be allowed a deduction for dividends paid to shareholders in computing our taxable income and we will be subject to U.S. federal income tax on our REIT taxable income. In addition, we will be disqualified from qualification as a REIT for the four taxable years following the year during which the qualification was lost, unless we are entitled to relief under certain provisions of the Code. As a result, our net income and the cash available for distribution to our shareholders could be reduced for up to five years or longer, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition.
As of December 31, 2017, Rayonier is in compliance with the asset tests described above.
If we fail to remain qualified as a REIT, we may need to borrow funds or liquidate some investments or assets to pay any resulting additional tax liability. Accordingly, cash available for distribution to our shareholders would be reduced.


19


Certain of our business activities are potentially subject to prohibited transactions tax.
As a REIT, we will be subject to a 100% tax on any net income from “prohibited transactions.” In general, prohibited transactions are sales or other dispositions of property to customers in the ordinary course of business. Sales of logs, and dealer sales of timberlands or other real estate, constitute prohibited transactions.
We intend to avoid the 100% prohibited transactions tax by conducting activities that would otherwise be prohibited transactions through one or more taxable REIT subsidiaries. We may not, however, always be able to identify timberland properties that become part of our “dealer” real estate sales business. Therefore, if we sell timberlands which we incorrectly identify as property not held for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business or which subsequently become properties held for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business, we may be subject to the 100% prohibited transactions tax.
Our cash dividends are not guaranteed and may fluctuate.
Generally, REITs are required to distribute 90% of their ordinary taxable income, but not their net capital gains income. Accordingly, we do not generally believe that we are required to distribute material amounts of cash since substantially all of our taxable income is generally treated as capital gains income. However, a REIT must pay corporate level tax on its undistributed taxable income and capital gains.
Our Board of Directors, in its sole discretion, determines the amount of quarterly dividends to be paid to our shareholders based on consideration of a number of factors. These factors include, but are not limited to, our results of operations, cash flow and capital requirements, economic conditions, tax considerations, borrowing capacity and other factors, including debt covenant restrictions that may impose limitations on cash payments, future acquisitions and divestitures, harvest levels, changes in the price and demand for our products and general market demand for timberlands, including those timberland properties that have higher and better uses. Consequently, our dividend levels may fluctuate.
Lack of shareholder ownership and transfer restrictions in our articles of incorporation may affect our ability to qualify as a REIT.
In order to qualify as a REIT, an entity cannot have five or fewer individuals who own, directly or indirectly after applying attribution of ownership rules, 50% or more of the value of its outstanding shares during the last six months in each calendar year. Although it is not required by law or the REIT provisions of the Code, almost all REITs have adopted ownership and transfer restrictions in their articles of incorporation or organizational documents which seek to assure compliance with that rule. While we are not in violation of the ownership rules, we do not have, nor do we have any current plans to adopt, share ownership and transfer restrictions. As such, the possibility exists that five or fewer individuals could acquire 50% or more of the value of our outstanding shares, which could result in our disqualification as a REIT.

Item 1B.
UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
None.




20


Item 2.
PROPERTIES

The following table provides a breakdown of our timberland holdings as of September 30, 2017 and December 31, 2017:
(acres in 000s)
As of September 30, 2017
 
As of December 31, 2017
 
Owned
 
Leased
 
Total
 
Owned
 
Leased
 
Total
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alabama
254

 
24

 
278

 
229

 
14

 
243

Arkansas

 
13

 
13

 

 
11

 
11

Florida
281

 
101

 
382

 
274

 
83

 
357

Georgia
618

 
104

 
722

 
622

 
82

 
704

Louisiana
144

 
1

 
145

 
144

 
1

 
145

Mississippi
67

 

 
67

 
67

 

 
67

Oklahoma
92

 

 
92

 
92

 

 
92

South Carolina
18

 

 
18

 
18

 

 
18

Tennessee
1

 

 
1

 
1

 

 
1

Texas
182

 

 
182

 
182

 

 
182

 
1,657


243

 
1,900

 
1,629

 
191

 
1,820

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pacific Northwest
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Oregon
61

 

 
61

 
61

 

 
61

Washington
316

 
1

 
317

 
316

 
1

 
317

 
377


1


378


377


1


378

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
New Zealand (a)
179

 
250

 
429

 
179

 
231

 
410

Total
2,213

 
494

 
2,707

 
2,185

 
423

 
2,608

 
 
 
 
 
(a)
Represents legal acres owned and leased by the New Zealand JV, in which Rayonier owns a 77% interest. As of December 31, 2017, legal acres in New Zealand were comprised of 293,000 plantable acres and 117,000 non-productive acres.


21


The following tables detail activity for owned and leased acres in our timberland holdings by state from December 31, 2016 to December 31, 2017:
(acres in 000s)
Acres Owned
 
December 31, 2016
 
Acquisitions
 
Sales
 
Other
 
December 31, 2017
Southern
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alabama
284

 

 
(55
)
 

 
229

Florida
281

 
4

 
(11
)
 

 
274

Georgia
554

 
68

 

 

 
622

Louisiana
145

 

 
(1
)
 

 
144

Mississippi
67

 

 

 

 
67

Oklahoma
92

 

 

 

 
92

South Carolina

 
18

 

 

 
18

Tennessee
1

 

 

 

 
1

Texas
187

 

 
(5
)
 

 
182

 
1,611

 
90

 
(72
)
 

 
1,629

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pacific Northwest
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Oregon
61

 

 

 

 
61

Washington
316

 

 

 

 
316

 
377








377

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
New Zealand (a)
179

 

 

 

 
179

Total
2,167

 
90

 
(72
)
 

 
2,185

 
 
 
 
 
(a)
Represents legal acres owned by the New Zealand JV, in which Rayonier has a 77% interest.
(acres in 000s)
Acres Leased
 
December 31, 2016
 
New Leases
 
Sold/Expired Leases (a)
 
Other (b)
 
December 31, 2017
Southern
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alabama
24

 

 
(10
)
 

 
14

Arkansas
14

 

 
(3
)
 

 
11

Florida
92

 
11

 
(20
)
 

 
83

Georgia
107

 

 
(20
)
 
(5
)
 
82

Louisiana
1

 

 

 

 
1

 
238

 
11

 
(53
)
 
(5
)
 
191

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pacific Northwest
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Washington
1

 

 

 

 
1

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

New Zealand (c)
254

 
8

 
(31
)
 

 
231

Total
493

 
19

 
(84
)
 
(5
)
 
423

 
 
 
 
 
(a)
Includes acres previously under lease that have been harvested and activity for the relinquishment of leased acres.
(b)
Includes leased acres purchased by Rayonier and adjustments for land mapping reviews.
(c)
Represents legal acres leased by the New Zealand JV, in which Rayonier has a 77% interest.



22


TIMBERLAND LEASES
U.S. timberland leases typically have initial terms of approximately 30 to 65 years, with renewal provisions in some cases. New Zealand timberland lease terms typically range between 30 and 99 years. New Zealand lease arrangements are generally comprised of Crown Forest Licenses (“CFLs”), forestry rights and land leases. A CFL is a license arrangement with the New Zealand government to use public or government-owned land to operate a commercial forest. CFLs generally extend indefinitely and may only be terminated upon a 35-year termination notice from the government. If no termination notice is given, the CFLs renew automatically each year for a one-year term. Alternatively, some CFLs extend for a specific term. Once a CFL is terminated, the Company may be able to obtain a forestry right from the subsequent owner. A forestry right is a license arrangement with a private entity or native tribal group to use their lands to operate a commercial forest. Forestry rights terminate either upon the issuance of a termination notice, which can last 35 to 45 years, or completion of harvest.
As of December 31, 2017, the New Zealand JV has three CFLs comprising 10,000 acres under termination notice that are currently being relinquished as harvest activities are concluding, as well as two fixed-term CFLs comprising 3,000 acres expiring in 2062. Additionally, the New Zealand JV has two forestry rights comprising 33,000 acres under termination notice, terminating in 2028 and 2031.
The following table details the Company’s acres under lease as of December 31, 2017 by type of lease and estimated lease expiration:
(acres in 000s)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Location
 
Type of Lease
 
Total
 
2018-2027
 
2028-2037
 
2038-2047
 
Thereafter
Southern U.S.
 
Fixed Term
 
170

 
120

 
44

 

 
6

 
 
Fixed Term with Renewal Option
 
21

 
21

 

 

 

Pacific Northwest
 
Fixed Term
 
1

 
1

 

 

 

New Zealand
 
CFL - Perpetual (a)
 
83

 

 

 

 
83

 
 
CFL - Fixed Term (a)
 
3

 

 

 

 
3

 
 
CFL - Terminating (a)
 
10

 

 

 
9

 
1

 
 
Forestry Right (a)
 
118

 
13

 
26

 
6

 
73

 
 
Fixed Term Land Leases
 
17

 

 
1

 

 
16

Total Acres under Long-term Leases
 
423

 
155

 
71

 
15

 
182

 
 
 
 
 
(a)
Estimated lease expiration / termination based on the earlier of: (1) the scheduled expiration / termination date, or (2) the estimated year of final harvest before such expiration / termination date.


23


The following table details the Company’s estimated leased acres, lease expirations and lease costs over the next five years:
(acres and dollars in 000s, except per acre amounts)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Location
 
 
 
2018
 
2019
 
2020
 
2021
 
2022
Southern U.S.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Leased Acres Expiring
 
19

 
12

 
7

 
6

 
11

 
 
Year-end Leased Acres
 
172

 
160

 
153

 
147

 
136

 
 
Estimated Annual Lease Cost (a)
 

$5,323

 

$4,963

 

$4,714

 

$4,558

 

$4,534

 
 
Average Lease Cost per Acre
 

$23.56

 

$24.83

 

$25.53

 

$24.89

 

$26.09

Pacific Northwest (b)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Leased Acres Expiring
 

 
1

 

 

 

 
 
Year-End Leased Acres
 
1

 

 

 

 

New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Leased Acres Expiring
 
1

 
1

 
1

 
1

 
4

 
 
Year-end Leased Acres
 
230

 
229

 
228

 
227

 
223

 
 
Estimated Annual Lease Cost (a)(d)
 

$4,375

 

$4,339

 

$4,326

 

$4,308

 

$4,283

 
 
Average Lease Cost per Acre (c)(d)
 

$25.09

 

$24.67

 

$24.67

 

$24.67

 

$25.43

 
 
 
 
 
(a)
Represents capitalized and expensed lease payments.
(b)
The 659-acre lease in the Pacific Northwest expires in 2019 and does not require a lease payment.
(c)
Excludes lump sum payments.
(d)
Translated using the year-end foreign exchange rate.

OTHER NON-TIMBERLAND LEASES
In addition to our timberland holdings, we lease properties for certain office locations. Our significant leased properties include a regional office in Lufkin, Texas; our Pacific Northwest Timber offices in Hoquiam, Washington and our New Zealand Timber and Trading headquarters in Auckland, New Zealand.

Item 3.
LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

The information set forth under Note 10 — Contingencies is incorporated herein by reference. 

Item 4.
MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
Not applicable.


24


PART II


Item 5.
MARKET FOR THE REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
MARKET PRICES OF OUR COMMON SHARES; DIVIDENDS
The table below reflects, for the quarters indicated, the dividends declared per share and the highest and lowest intraday sales prices of our common shares as reported in the consolidated transaction reporting system of the NYSE, the only exchange on which our shares are listed, under the trading symbol RYN.
 
High
 
Low
 
Dividends
2017
 
 
 
 
 
Fourth Quarter

$31.91

 

$28.78

 

$0.25

Third Quarter

$29.75

 

$27.71

 

$0.25

Second Quarter

$29.47

 

$26.85

 

$0.25

First Quarter

$29.86

 

$26.54

 

$0.25

2016
 
 
 
 
 
Fourth Quarter

$28.47

 

$25.24

 

$0.25

Third Quarter

$28.16

 

$25.50

 

$0.25

Second Quarter

$26.37

 

$24.01

 

$0.25

First Quarter

$24.80

 

$17.85

 

$0.25

The table below summarizes the tax characteristics of the dividend paid to shareholders on a percentage basis for the three years ended December 31, 2017:
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
Total cash dividend per common share

$1.00

 

$1.00

 

$1.00

Tax characteristics:
 
 
 
 
 
Capital gain
100.00
%
 
100.00
%
 
90.47
%
Qualified

 

 

Non-dividend distribution

 

 
9.53
%
HOLDERS
There were approximately 5,970 shareholders of record of our Common Shares on February 16, 2018.
SECURITIES AUTHORIZED FOR ISSUANCE UNDER EQUITY COMPENSATION PLANS
See Note 16 — Incentive Stock Plans for information on securities that are authorized for issuance under The Rayonier Incentive Stock Plan (“the Stock Plan”).
SHELF REGISTRATIONS
In May 2004, we completed a Form S-4 acquisition shelf registration to offer and issue 7.0 million common shares for the acquisition of other businesses, assets or properties. As of December 31, 2017, no common shares have been offered or issued under the Form S-4 shelf registration. In April 2015, we filed a universal shelf registration giving us the ability to issue and sell an indeterminate amount of various types of debt and equity securities. In March 2017, 5.75 million common shares were offered and sold under the universal shelf registration to finance a portion of the company’s acquisition of approximately 95,100 acres of timberlands in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. As of December 31, 2017, no other securities have been offered or issued under the universal shelf registration.


25


ISSUER REPURCHASES
In February 2016, the Board of Directors approved the repurchase of up to $100 million of Rayonier’s common shares (the “share repurchase program”) to be made at management’s and the Board of Directors’ discretion. The program has no time limit and may be suspended or discontinued at any time. There were no shares repurchased under this program in the fourth quarter of 2017. As of December 31, 2017, there was $99.3 million, or approximately 3,139,754 shares based on the period-end closing stock price of $31.63, remaining under the program.
In 1996, we began a Common Share repurchase program (the “anti-dilutive program”) to minimize the dilutive effect of our employee incentive stock plans on earnings per share. This program limits the number of shares that may be purchased each year to the greater of 1.5% of outstanding shares at the beginning of the year or the number of incentive shares issued to employees during the year. In October 2000, July 2003 and October 2011, our Board of Directors authorized the purchase of shares under the program totaling 2.1 million shares. The anti-dilutive program does not have an expiration date. There were no shares purchased under this program in the fourth quarter of 2017 and there were 3,778,625 shares available for purchase at December 31, 2017.
The following table provides information regarding our purchases of Rayonier common stock during the quarter ended December 31, 2017:
Period
 
Total Number of Shares Purchased (a)
 
Average Price Paid per Share
 
Total Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Plans or Programs
 
Maximum Number of Shares that May Yet Be Purchased Under the Plans or Programs (b)
October 1 to October 31
 

 

 

 
6,918,379
November 1 to November 30
 

 

 

 
6,918,379
December 1 to December 31
 
5,608

 
31.41

 

 
6,918,379
 
Total
 
5,608

 
 
 

 
6,918,379
 
 
 
 
 
(a)
Includes 5,608 shares of the Company’s common stock purchased in December from employees in non-open market transactions. The shares of stock were sold by employees of the Company in exchange for cash that was used to pay withholding taxes associated with the vesting of restricted stock awards under the Company’s stock incentive plan. The price per share surrendered is based on the closing price of the company’s stock on the respective vesting dates of the awards.
(b)
Maximum number of shares authorized to be purchased as of December 31, 2017 include 3,778,625 under the 1996 anti-dilutive program.



26


STOCK PERFORMANCE GRAPH
The following graph compares the performance of Rayonier’s Common Shares (assuming reinvestment of dividends) with a broad-based market index (Standard & Poor’s (“S&P”) 500), and two industry-specific indices (the S&P Global Timber and Forestry Index and the S&P 1500 Real Estate Index).1 This graph has been adjusted to reflect the spin-off of the Performance Fibers business in 2014.
The table and related information shall not be deemed to be “filed” with the SEC, nor shall such information be incorporated by reference into any future filing under the Securities Act of 1933 or Securities Exchange Act of 1934, each as amended, except to the extent that the Company specifically incorporates it by reference into such filing.
a10kchartreviseda10.jpg
The data in the following table was used to create the above graph as of December 31:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2012
 
2013
 
2014
 
2015
 
2016
 
2017
Rayonier Inc.
$100
 
$84
 
$79
 
$66
 
$82
 
$101
S&P 500® Index
100
 
132
 
151
 
153
 
171
 
208
S&P® Global Timber and Forestry Index
100
 
117
 
118
 
107
 
118
 
155
S&P® 1500 Real Estate Sector Index1
100
 
105
 
137
 
146
 
155
 
177
 
 
 
 
 
1 Based on constituents as of December 31, 2017 and excludes entities that were not publicly traded for the entire comparative period.


27


Item 6.
SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
The following financial data should be read in conjunction with our Consolidated Financial Statements.
 
 
At or For the Years Ended December 31,
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
 
(dollar amounts in millions, except per share data)
Profitability:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sales (a)

$819.6

 

$815.9

 

$568.8

 

$624.0

 

$682.8

Operating income (a)(b)
215.5

 
255.8

 
77.8

 
98.3

 
108.7

Income from continuing operations attributable to Rayonier Inc. (a)(b)
148.8

 
212.0

 
46.2

 
55.9

 
103.9

Diluted earnings per common share from continuing operations
1.16

 
1.73

 
0.37

 
0.43

 
0.80

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Financial Condition:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total assets (a)

$2,858.5

 

$2,685.8

 

$2,315.9

 

$2,449.9

 

$3,680.1

Total debt (a)
1,025.4

 
1,061.9

 
830.6

 
748.3

 
1,568.8

Shareholders’ equity
1,693.0

 
1,496.9

 
1,361.7

 
1,575.2

 
1,755.2

Shareholders’ equity — per share
13.13

 
12.18

 
11.09

 
12.51

 
13.90

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash Flows:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash provided by operating activities

$256.3

 

$203.8

 

$177.2

 

$320.4

 

$546.8

Cash used for investing activities
223.2

 
283.2

 
166.3

 
196.7

 
470.5

Cash used for (provided by) for financing activities
6.9

 
(114.4
)
 
116.5

 
161.4

 
157.1

Depreciation, depletion and amortization
127.6

 
115.1

 
113.7

 
120.0

 
116.9

Cash dividends paid
127.1

 
122.8

 
124.9

 
257.5

 
237.0

Dividends paid — per share

$1.00

 

$1.00

 

$1.00

 

$2.03

 

$1.86

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Non-GAAP Financial Measures:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Adjusted EBITDA (c)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Southern Timber

$91.6

 

$92.9

 

$101.0

 

$97.9

 

$87.2

Pacific Northwest Timber
33.1

 
21.2

 
21.7

 
50.8

 
54.1

New Zealand Timber
109.0

 
58.3

 
33.0

 
46.0

 
38.3

Real Estate
71.6

 
84.7

 
70.8

 
48.4

 
57.8

Trading
4.6

 
2.0

 
1.2

 
1.7

 
1.8

Corporate and other
(19.4
)
 
(19.4
)
 
(19.7
)
 
(31.3
)
 
(45.3
)
Total Adjusted EBITDA (c)

$290.5

 

$239.7

 

$208.0

 

$213.5

 

$193.9

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Timberland and real estate acres — owned, leased, or managed, in millions of acres
2.6

 
2.7

 
2.7

 
2.7

 
2.7



28


 
For the Years Ended December 31,
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
Selected Operating Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Timber
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sales volume (thousands of tons)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Southern
5,314

 
5,317

 
5,492

 
5,296

 
5,292

Pacific Northwest (d)
1,247

 
1,195

 
1,243

 
1,664

 
1,979

New Zealand Domestic (e)
1,300

 
1,204

 
1,346

 
1,462

 
1,271

New Zealand Export (e)
1,239

 
1,017

 
1,065

 
898

 
651

Total Sales Volume
9,100

 
8,733

 
9,146

 
9,320

 
9,193

Real Estate — acres sold
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Improved Development
23

 
47

 
74

 

 
45

Unimproved Development
1,449

 
206

 
699

 
852

 
281

Rural
6,344

 
6,684

 
8,754

 
18,077

 
13,833

Non-Strategic / Timberlands
16,007

 
28,743

 
23,602

 
6,363

 
13,360

Large Dispositions (f)(g)
49,599

 
92,434

 

 
19,556

 
149,428

Total Acres Sold
73,422

 
128,114

 
33,129

 
44,848

 
176,947

 
 
 
 
 
(a)
In April 2013, the Company increased its interest in the New Zealand JV to 65% and began consolidating the New Zealand JV's results of operations and balance sheet.
(b)
The 2017, 2016 and 2014 results included $67.0 million, $143.9 million and $21.4 million, respectively, related to Large Dispositions. The 2013 results included a $16.2 million gain related to the consolidation of the New Zealand JV and $25.7 million related to Large Dispositions.
(c)
Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure and is defined as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, depletion, amortization, the non-cash cost of land and real estate sold, costs related to shareholder litigation, gain on foreign currency derivatives, costs related to the spin-off of the Performance Fibers business, internal review and restatement costs, Large Dispositions, discontinued operations, and the gain related to the consolidation of the New Zealand joint venture. A reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to Operating Income (Loss) and Net Income, respectively, is included in the following pages and Item 7 — Performance and Liquidity Indicators.
(d)
2013 results include sales volumes from New York timberlands.
(e)
New Zealand sales volume for 2013 includes volumes sold subsequent to the April 2013 consolidation.
(f)
Large Dispositions are defined as transactions involving the sale of timberland that exceed $20 million in size and do not have a demonstrable premium relative to timberland value. Sales designated as Large Dispositions are excluded from our calculation of Adjusted EBITDA and CAD. 
(g)
The 2013 results included a fourth quarter sale of approximately 128,000 acres of New York timberlands.



29


Reconciliation of Operating Income (Loss) by Segment to Adjusted EBITDA by Segment
(dollars in millions)
 
 
Southern Timber
 
Pacific Northwest Timber
 
New Zealand Timber
 
Real Estate
 
Trading
 
Corporate
and
other
 
Total
2017
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Operating income

$42.2

 

$1.1

 

$72.5

 

$116.0

 

$4.6

 

($20.9
)
 

$215.5

Add:
Depreciation, depletion and amortization
49.4

 
32.0

 
36.4

 
9.0

 

 
0.8

 
127.6

Add:
Non-cash cost of land and improved development

 

 
0.1

 
13.6

 

 

 
13.7

Add:
Costs related to shareholder litigation (a)

 

 

 

 

 
0.7

 
0.7

Less:
Large Dispositions

 

 

 
(67.0
)
 

 

 
(67.0
)
Adjusted EBITDA

$91.6

 

$33.1

 

$109.0

 

$71.6

 

$4.6

 

($19.4
)
 

$290.5

2016
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Operating income (loss)

$43.1

 

($4.0
)
 

$33.1

 

$202.4

 

$2.0

 

($20.8
)
 

$255.8