With high-quality office properties at key locations, SL Green SLG is well poised to bank on the improving office real-estate market in the New York City. However, the rising supply of office properties remains a major concern for SLG.
SL Green has a mono-market strategy with an enviable footprint in the large and high-barrier-to-entry New York office real-estate market. In addition, the ownership of premier Manhattan office assets enabled SLG to enjoy a decent occupancy at its portfolio over the years. Also, its near-term leasing pipeline is robust with more than 450,000 square feet leased in the third quarter.
With encouraging leases executed over the past few quarters, several new names have been added to SL Green’s tenant roster. Moreover, a gradual return of the workforce to offices is likely to drive SLG's occupancy and rental revenues over the upcoming years.
SL Green also enjoys a robust balance-sheet position and has ample financial flexibility. SLG made efforts to bolster liquidity on the back of financing, refinancing, sale of real-estate assets and joint-venture stakes as well as the repayment of existing positions in the debt and preferred equity portfolio. In December, SL Green announced refinancing its corporate credit facility. With this, SLG extended the maturity date as well as reduced the borrowing cost and the overall size of its unsecured corporate credit facility.
Moreover, SL Green has been following an opportunistic investment policy to enhance its overall portfolio quality. It continues selling non-core assets and redeploy the proceeds to the development pipeline, share buybacks and debt repayment. In line with this, in December, the REIT announced the sale of its ownership interest in 707 Eleventh Avenue to a domestic buyer for a gross sale price of $95 million. It planned to use the proceeds from the sale to repay corporate debt.
Shares of this presently Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) player have appreciated 11.7% in the past six months, outperforming the industry’s growth of 3.7%. Further, the recent trends in estimate revisions for 2021 funds from operations (FFO) per share indicate a favorable outlook for the company, with estimates having moved marginally northward in the past month.
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However, though dispositions are a strategic fit for the long term, dilution in earnings is a concern for the near term.
Rising supply of office properties in SL Green’s markets also remains a woe for SL Green. SLG faces intense competition from developers, owners and operators of office properties and other commercial real estate, including the sublease space available from its tenants. This restricts its ability to attract and retain tenants at relatively higher rents than its competitors.
Stocks to Consider
Some better-ranked stocks from the REIT sector are Extra Space Storage EXR, OUTFRONT Media OUT and CubeSmart CUBE.
Extra Space flaunts a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) at present. Shares of EXR have gained 20.8% in the past six months. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Extra Space’s 2021 FFO per share has been raised marginally over the past two months. Over the last four quarters, EXR’s FFO per share surpassed the consensus mark on all occasions, the average being 5.9%.
OUTFRONT Media flaunts a Zacks Rank of 1 at present. Shares of OUT have gained 17.9% in the past six months.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for OUTFRONT Media’s 2021 FFO per share has been raised 11.2% over the past month. Over the last four quarters, OUT’s FFO per share surpassed the consensus mark on three occasions and came in line with the same in the remaining quarter, the average beat being 44.9%.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for CubeSmart’s 2021 FFO per share has been raised 2.4% in the past two months. Over the last four quarters, CUBE’s FFO per share surpassed the consensus mark on all occasions, the average being 7.1%.
Currently, CUBE sports a Zacks Rank of 1. Shares of CubeSmart have appreciated 7.6% in the past six months.
Note: Anything related to earnings presented in this write-up represents FFO — a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs.
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