Federal Realty Investment Trust is a US$9.2b mid-cap, real estate investment trust (REIT) based in Rockville, United States. REITs are basically a portfolio of income-producing real estate investments, which are owned and operated by management of that trust company. They have to meet certain requirements in order to become a REIT, meaning they should be analyzed a different way. I’ll take you through some of the key metrics you should use in order to properly assess FRT.
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 FRT’s daily operations. For FRT, its FFO of US$459m makes up 77% of its gross profit, which means the majority of its earnings are high-quality and recurring.
In order to understand whether FRT has a healthy balance sheet, we have to look at a metric called FFO-to-total debt. This tells us how long it will take FRT to pay off its debt using its income from its main business activities, and gives us an insight into FRT’s ability to service its borrowings. With a ratio of 14%, the credit rating agency Standard & Poor would consider this as significantly high risk. This would take FRT 7.15 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 FRT’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 4.59x, it’s safe to say FRT is generating an appropriate amount of cash from its borrowings.
I also use FFO to look at FRT’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. FRT’s price-to-FFO is 19.71x, compared to the long-term industry average of 16.5x, meaning that it is slightly overvalued.
Federal Realty Investment 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 FRT:
- Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for FRT’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for FRT’s outlook.
- Valuation: What is FRT 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 FRT 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.
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.
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