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Investing In Property Through Getty Realty Corp. (NYSE:GTY)

Simply Wall St

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Getty Realty Corp. is a US$1.3b small-cap, real estate investment trust (REIT) based in Jericho, 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 GTY is unique and it has to adhere to different requirements compared to other non-REIT stocks. In this commentary, I'll take you through some of the things I look at when assessing GTY.

See our latest analysis for Getty Realty

Funds from Operations (FFO) is a higher quality measure of GTY'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 GTY, its FFO of US$63m makes up 56% of its gross profit, which means the majority of its earnings are high-quality and recurring.

NYSE:GTY Historical Debt, April 9th 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 GTY 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 14%, the credit rating agency Standard & Poor would consider this as significantly high risk. This would take GTY 6.97 years to pay off using operating income alone. Given that long-term debt is a multi-year commitment this is not unusual, however, the longer it takes for a company to pay back debt, the higher the risk associated with that company.

I also look at GTY'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 2.83x, GTY is not generating an appropriate amount of cash from its borrowings. Typically, a ratio of greater than 3x is seen as safe.

In terms of valuing GTY, 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 GTY’s case its P/FFO is 20.88x, compared to the long-term industry average of 16.5x, meaning that it is overvalued.

Next Steps:

As a REIT, Getty Realty offers some unique characteristics which could help diversify your portfolio. However, before you decide on whether or not to invest in GTY, I highly recommend taking a look at other aspects of the stock to consider:

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