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Boston Properties Announces Lease With Shearman & Sterling

Zacks Equity Research

Boston Properties BXP recently announced a new 20-year lease with the reputed global elite law firm — Shearman & Sterling — at 599 Lexington Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. The move marks an early renewal of Shearman & Sterling’s lease scheduled to expire in August 2022. It reflects the solid demand for this office property from tenants looking for high-quality space in transit-oriented location and modern amenities.

This 47-story, 653 foot high Class A multi-tenant office building is part of Boston Properties’ 4.5-million-square-foot Midtown Campus. Situated in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, 599 Lexington Avenue is adjacent to the company’s 601 Lexington Avenue and 399 Park Avenue properties.

The property offers direct access to two subway lines and is also closer to shopping, restaurants and hotels. Moreover, Boston Properties has been making strategic efforts to improve its Midtown Campus with new retail and place-making enhancements. These comprise addition of a new food and entertainment experience at the base of 601 Lexington Avenue that includes restaurants, amenities and entertainment options.

Notably, Boston Properties’ high-quality properties in select high-rent, high barrier-to-entry geographic markets enable it to enjoy strong leasing volumes amid healthy job-market environment, which supports its profitability. Also, its focus on opportunistic acquisitions and development projects are expected to contribute to cash flow over the long term.

The company is scheduled to report fourth-quarter and full-year 2019 results on Jan 28, after the market closes. The company’s results will likely reflect year-over-year growth in funds from operations (FFO) per share and revenues.

The U.S. office market continued to register growth in the December-end quarter, backed by sturdy hiring levels in the labor market. Amid this favorable condition in the office real estate sector, Boston Properties’ portfolio of premium office assets is anticipated to have enabled the company to enjoy higher rents.

Shares of this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company have gained 7.4% in the past three months, as against the industry’s loss of 0.5%.

Other Stocks to Consider

Prologis, Inc. PLD currently carries a Zacks Rank of 2. The company’s FFO per share estimate for 2020 has been revised marginally upward to $3.66 in a month’s time. The stock has rallied 4% in three months’ time. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Medical Properties Trust, Inc.’s MPW Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current-year FFO per share moved 2.5% upward to $1.66 over the past month. Shares of this Zacks Rank #2 company have gained 9.1% over the past three months.

Lamar Advertising Company LAMR also carries a Zacks Rank of 2, currently. The company’s ongoing-year FFO per share estimate moved marginally north to $6.15 in two months’ time. The stock has rallied 14.8% in three months’ time.

Note: Anything related to earnings presented in this write-up represents funds from operations (FFO) — a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs.

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