U.S. Markets closed

Investing In Property Through Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc (NYSE:SKT)

Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc is a US$2.1b mid-cap, real estate investment trust (REIT) based in Greensboro, 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 SKT is unique and it has to adhere to different requirements compared to other non-REIT stocks. I’ll take you through some of the key metrics you should use in order to properly assess SKT.

See our latest analysis for Tanger Factory Outlet Centers

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 SKT’s daily operations. For SKT, its FFO of US$253m makes up 70% of its gross profit, which means the majority of its earnings are high-quality and recurring.

NYSE:SKT Historical Debt October 18th 18

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 SKT 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 SKT 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 SKT’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 3.91x, it’s safe to say SKT is generating an appropriate amount of cash from its borrowings.

I also use FFO to look at SKT’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. SKT’s price-to-FFO is 8.41x, compared to the long-term industry average of 16.5x, meaning that it is undervalued.

Next Steps:

Tanger Factory Outlet Centers 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 SKT:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for SKT’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for SKT’s outlook.
  2. Management: Who are the people running the company? Experienced management and board are important for setting the right strategy during a volatile market. Take a look at information on SKT’s executive and directors here.
  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.