On Jan 2, Zacks Investment Research upgraded PS Business Parks Inc. ( PSB) to a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The upgrade is based on the company’s recent acquisitions and improving market fundamentals.
Why the Upgrade?
In an effort to enhance its business in the California market, PS Business Parks recently announced the acquisition of Bayshore Corporate Center in San Mateo. The company shelled out $60.5 million for the purchase of this office park that spans 340,000 square foot and consists of 8 buildings. For the property, which is currently 81.8% leased, PS Business Parks plans to make cosmetic and amenity upgrades.
Apart from this, in November, PS Business Parks acquired 9 multi-tenant flex buildings in the Valwood submarket of Dallas, Texas for $12.4 million. These properties span 245,000 square feet of space and were leased 83.5% at that time. Further in October, PS Business Parks bought 4 multi-tenant flex parks with a 4-acre land parcel in Dallas, Texas. The assets, aggregating 559,000 square feet, were acquired for $27.9 million. The acquisitions enhanced PS Business Parks’ position as the submarket’s largest owner of flex space.
Going forward, we believe PS Business Parks is well positioned given its solid portfolio in diversified markets. The company aims to capitalize on opportunities present in both existing and new high growth markets through accretive acquisitions. As such, we believe that the recent acquisitions would help it to ride on the growth trajectory.
This real estate investment trust (:REIT) – PS Business Parks, in which Public Storage ( PSA) possesses a notable common equity interest – reported decent results in the third quarter. Its adjusted FFO (fund from operations) per share came in at $1.21, beating the year-ago quarter figure by 1.7%. An uptick in net operating income in Same Park as well as Non-Same Park facilities drove the year-over-year increase.
These bullish factors triggered an uptrend in the Zacks Consensus Estimates, as analysts became more constructive on the stock’s future performance. While the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 remained unchanged at $4.82 per share, the same for 2014 moved north 0.4% to $5.15 per share over the last 30 days. This reflects projected year-over-year growth of 13.6% for 2013 and nearly 7.0% for 2014.
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Note: FFO, a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs, are obtained after adding depreciation and amortization and other non-cash expenses to net income.