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Should You Invest In Warehouse REIT plc (LON:WHR)?

Simply Wall St

Warehouse REIT plc is a UK£244m small-cap, real estate investment trust (REIT) based in Chester, United Kingdom. REITs are basically a portfolio of income-producing real estate investments, which are owned and operated by management of that trust company. They have to meet certain requirements in order to become a REIT, meaning they should be analyzed a different way. Below, I'll look at a few important metrics to keep in mind as part of your research on WHR.

View our latest analysis for Warehouse REIT

Funds from Operations (FFO) is a higher quality measure of WHR's earnings compared to net income. This term is very common in the REIT investing world as it provides a cleaner look at its cash flow from daily operations by excluding impact of one-off activities or non-cash items such as depreciation. For WHR, its FFO of UK£12m makes up 143% of its gross profit, which means the majority of its earnings are high-quality and recurring.

AIM:WHR Historical Debt, April 19th 2019

In order to understand whether WHR has a healthy balance sheet, we have to look at a metric called FFO-to-total debt. This tells us how long it will take WHR to pay off its debt using its income from its main business activities, and gives us an insight into WHR’s ability to service its borrowings. With a ratio of 9.7%, the credit rating agency Standard & Poor would consider this as aggressive risk. This would take WHR 10.33 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.

I also look at WHR's interest coverage ratio, which demonstrates how many times its earnings can cover its yearly interest expense. This is similar to the concept above, but looks at the upcoming obligations. The ratio is typically calculated using EBIT, but for a REIT stock, it's better to use FFO divided by net interest. With an interest coverage ratio of 9.85x, it’s safe to say WHR is generating an appropriate amount of cash from its borrowings.

I also use FFO to look at WHR's valuation relative to other REITs in United Kingdom by using the price-to-FFO metric. This is conceptually the same as the price-to-earnings (PE) ratio, but as previously mentioned, FFO is more suitable. WHR's price-to-FFO is 19.91x, compared to the long-term industry average of 16.5x, meaning that it is slightly overvalued.

Next Steps:

In this article, I've taken a look at Funds from Operations using various metrics, but it is certainly not sufficient to derive an investment decision based on this value alone. Warehouse REIT can bring about diversification for your portfolio, but before you decide to invest, take a look at the other aspects you must consider before investing:

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

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.