U.S. Markets closed

How To Look At Sotherly Hotels Inc (NASDAQ:SOHO)

Sotherly Hotels Inc is a US$109.6m small-cap, real estate investment trust (REIT) based in Williamsburg, United States. REITs own and operate income-generating property and adhere to a different set of regulations. This impacts how SOHO’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 SOHO.

View our latest analysis for Sotherly Hotels

Funds from Operations (FFO) is a higher quality measure of SOHO’s earnings compared to net income. This term is very common in the REIT investing world as it provides a cleaner look at its cash flow from daily operations by excluding impact of one-off activities or non-cash items such as depreciation. For SOHO, its FFO of US$15.8m makes up 38.7% of its gross profit, which means over a third of its earnings are high-quality and recurring.

NasdaqGM:SOHO Historical Debt September 28th 18

SOHO’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 SOHO 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 5.3%, the credit rating agency Standard & Poor would consider this as aggressive risk. This would take SOHO 18.87 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 SOHO’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 1x, SOHO is not generating an appropriate amount of cash from its borrowings. Typically, a ratio of greater than 3x is seen as safe.

In terms of valuing SOHO, FFO can also be used as a form of relative valuation. Instead of the P/E ratio, P/FFO is used instead, which is very common for REIT stocks. SOHO’s price-to-FFO is 6.89x, compared to the long-term industry average of 16.5x, meaning that it is undervalued.

Next Steps:

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. Sotherly Hotels 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:

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

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.