Monmouth Real Estate Investment Corporation is a US$1.3b small-cap, real estate investment trust (REIT) based in Freehold, United States. REITs own and operate income-generating property and adhere to a different set of regulations. This impacts how MNR’s business operates and also how we should analyse its stock. Below, I'll look at a few important metrics to keep in mind as part of your research on MNR.
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 MNR’s daily operations. For MNR, its FFO of US$86m makes up 76% of its gross profit, which means the majority of its earnings are high-quality and recurring.
MNR'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 MNR 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 9.5%, the credit rating agency Standard & Poor would consider this as aggressive risk. This would take MNR 11 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 MNR'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 2.64x, MNR is not generating an appropriate amount of cash from its borrowings. Typically, a ratio of greater than 3x is seen as safe.
I also use FFO to look at MNR's valuation relative to other REITs in United States 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 MNR’s case its P/FFO is 14.96x, compared to the long-term industry average of 16.5x, meaning that it is slightly undervalued.
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. Monmouth Real Estate Investment 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:
- Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for MNR’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for MNR’s outlook.
- Valuation: What is MNR 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 MNR is currently mispriced by the market.
- 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.
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