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What You Need To Know Before Investing In Frasers Centrepoint Trust (SGX:J69U)

Simply Wall St

Frasers Centrepoint Trust is a S$2.3b small-cap, real estate investment trust (REIT) based in Singapore, Singapore. 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 J69U 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 J69U.

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View our latest analysis for Frasers Centrepoint Trust

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 J69U’s daily operations. For J69U, its FFO of S$137m makes up 103% of its gross profit, which means the majority of its earnings are high-quality and recurring.

SGX:J69U Historical Debt, May 17th 2019

J69U'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 J69U 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 17%, the credit rating agency Standard & Poor would consider this as significantly high risk. This would take J69U 5.94 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.

Next, interest coverage ratio shows how many times J69U’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 6.96x, it’s safe to say J69U is generating an appropriate amount of cash from its borrowings.

I also use FFO to look at J69U's valuation relative to other REITs in Singapore 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 J69U’s case its P/FFO is 16.64x, compared to the long-term industry average of 16.5x, meaning that it is fairly valued.

Next Steps:

Frasers Centrepoint 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 J69U:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for J69U’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for J69U’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is J69U 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 J69U 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.