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Investing In Mapletree Logistics Trust (SGX:M44U): What You Need To Know

Armando Maloney

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Mapletree Logistics Trust is a S$4.9b mid-cap, real estate investment trust (REIT) based in Singapore, Singapore. 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 M44U is unique and it has to adhere to different requirements compared to other non-REIT stocks. Below, I’ll look at a few important metrics to keep in mind as part of your research on M44U.

See our latest analysis for Mapletree Logistics 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 M44U’s daily operations. For M44U, its FFO of S$267m makes up 91% of its gross profit, which means the majority of its earnings are high-quality and recurring.

SGX:M44U Historical Debt, February 21st 2019

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 M44U 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 11%, the credit rating agency Standard & Poor would consider this as aggressive risk. This would take M44U 9.43 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 M44U’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 5.12x, it’s safe to say M44U is generating an appropriate amount of cash from its borrowings.

I also use FFO to look at M44U’s valuation relative to other REITs in Singapore 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. In M44U’s case its P/FFO is 18.74x, compared to the long-term industry average of 16.5x, meaning that it is slightly overvalued.

Next Steps:

Mapletree Logistics 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 M44U:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for M44U’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for M44U’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is M44U 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 M44U 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.