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Should You Invest In Industrial Logistics Properties Trust (NASDAQ:ILPT)?

Industrial Logistics Properties Trust is a US$1.4b small-cap, real estate investment trust (REIT) based in Newton, United States. REIT shares give you ownership of the company than owns and manages various income-producing property, whether it be commercial, industrial or residential. The structure of ILPT is unique and it has to adhere to different requirements compared to other non-REIT stocks. I’ll take you through some of the key metrics you should use in order to properly assess ILPT.

View our latest analysis for Industrial Logistics Properties Trust

REIT investors should be familiar with the term Fund from Operations (FFO) – a REIT’s main source of cash flow from its day-to-day business activities. FFO is a higher quality measure of earnings because it takes out the impact of non-recurring sales and non-cash items such as depreciation. These items can distort the bottom line and not necessarily reflective of ILPT’s daily operations. For ILPT, its FFO of US$103m makes up 75% of its gross profit, which means the majority of its earnings are high-quality and recurring.

NasdaqGS:ILPT Historical Debt October 19th 18
NasdaqGS:ILPT Historical Debt October 19th 18

Robust financial health can be measured using a common metric in the REIT investing world, FFO-to-debt. The calculation roughly estimates how long it will take for ILPT to repay debt on its balance sheet, which gives us insight into how much risk is associated with having that level of debt on its books. With a ratio of 13%, the credit rating agency Standard & Poor would consider this as significantly high risk. This would take ILPT 7.73 years to pay off using just operating income, which is a long time, and risk increases with time. But realistically, companies have many levers to pull in order to pay back their debt, beyond operating income alone.

Next, interest coverage ratio shows how many times ILPT’s earnings can cover its annual interest payments. Usually the ratio is calculated using EBIT, but for REITs, it’s better to use FFO divided by net interest. This is similar to the above concept, but looks at the nearer-term obligations. With an interest coverage ratio of 42.42x, its safe to say ILPT is producing more than enough funds to cover its upcoming payments.

In terms of valuing ILPT, FFO can also be used as a form of relative valuation. Instead of the P/E ratio, P/FFO is used instead, which is very common for REIT stocks. In ILPT’s case its P/FFO is 13.69x, compared to the long-term industry average of 16.5x, meaning that it is slightly undervalued.

Next Steps:

Industrial Logistics Properties Trust can bring diversification into your portfolio due to its unique REIT characteristics. Before you make a decision on the stock today, keep in mind I’ve only covered one metric in this article, the FFO, which is by no means comprehensive. I’d strongly recommend continuing your research on the following areas I believe are key fundamentals for ILPT:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for ILPT’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for ILPT’s outlook.

  2. Valuation: What is ILPT worth today? Is the stock undervalued, even when its growth outlook is factored into its intrinsic value? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether ILPT is currently mispriced by the market.

  3. Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.