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How To Look At CyrusOne Inc. (NASDAQ:CONE)

Simply Wall St

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CyrusOne Inc. is a US$6.5b mid-cap, real estate investment trust (REIT) based in Dallas, United States. REITs own and operate income-generating property and adhere to a different set of regulations. This impacts how CONE’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 CONE.

See our latest analysis for CyrusOne

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 CONE’s daily operations. For CONE, its FFO of US$309m makes up 58% of its gross profit, which means the majority of its earnings are high-quality and recurring.

NasdaqGS:CONE Historical Debt, July 2nd 2019

In order to understand whether CONE 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 CONE to pay off its debt using its income from its main business activities, and gives us an insight into CONE’s ability to service its borrowings. With a ratio of 11%, the credit rating agency Standard & Poor would consider this as aggressive risk. This would take CONE 9 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.

Next, interest coverage ratio shows how many times CONE’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 3.27x, it’s safe to say CONE is generating an appropriate amount of cash from its borrowings.

I also use FFO to look at CONE'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. CONE's price-to-FFO is 21x, compared to the long-term industry average of 16.5x, meaning that it is overvalued.

Next Steps:

As a REIT, CyrusOne offers some unique characteristics which could help diversify your portfolio. However, before you decide on whether or not to invest in CONE, 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 CONE’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for CONE’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is CONE 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 CONE 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.