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Investing In Physicians Realty Trust (NYSE:DOC): What You Need To Know

Physicians Realty Trust is a US$3.1b mid-cap, real estate investment trust (REIT) based in Milwaukee, United States. REITs own and operate income-generating property and adhere to a different set of regulations. This impacts how DOC’s business operates and also how we should analyse its stock. In this commentary, I’ll take you through some of the things I look at when assessing DOC.

View our latest analysis for Physicians Realty Trust

A common financial term REIT investors should know is Funds from Operations, or FFO for short, which is a REIT’s main source of income from its portfolio of property, such as rent. FFO is a cleaner and more representative figure of how much DOC actually makes from its day-to-day operations, compared to net income, which can be affected by one-off activities or non-cash items such as depreciation. For DOC, its FFO of US$180m makes up 73% of its gross profit, which means the majority of its earnings are high-quality and recurring.

NYSE:DOC Historical Debt November 2nd 18

DOC’s financial stability can be gauged by seeing how much its FFO generated each year can cover its total amount of debt. The higher the coverage, the less risky DOC is, broadly speaking, to have debt on its books. The metric I’ll be using, FFO-to-debt, also estimates the time it will take for the company to repay its debt with its FFO. With a ratio of 12%, the credit rating agency Standard & Poor would consider this as significantly high risk. This would take DOC 8.19 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 DOC’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 3.83x, it’s safe to say DOC is generating an appropriate amount of cash from its borrowings.

In terms of valuing DOC, 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. DOC’s price-to-FFO is 17.43x, compared to the long-term industry average of 16.5x, meaning that it is fairly valued.

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. Physicians Realty Trust 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 DOC’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for DOC’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is DOC 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 DOC 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.