Ingenia Communities Group is a AU$768m small-cap, real estate investment trust (REIT) based in Sydney, Australia. 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 INA is unique and it has to adhere to different requirements compared to other non-REIT stocks. Below, I'll look at a few important metrics to keep in mind as part of your research on INA.
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 INA’s daily operations. For INA, its FFO of AU$47m makes up 44% of its gross profit, which means over a third of its earnings are high-quality and recurring.
Robust financial health can be measured using a common metric in the REIT investing world, FFO-to-debt. The calculation roughly estimates how long it will take for INA to repay debt on its balance sheet, which gives us insight into how much risk is associated with having that level of debt on its books. With a ratio of 20%, the credit rating agency Standard & Poor would consider this as aggressive risk. This would take INA 4.94 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.
I also look at INA'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 7.61x, it’s safe to say INA is generating an appropriate amount of cash from its borrowings.
In terms of valuing INA, 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. INA's price-to-FFO is 16.27x, compared to the long-term industry average of 16.5x, meaning that it is fairly valued.
Ingenia Communities Group 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 INA:
- Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for INA’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for INA’s outlook.
- Valuation: What is INA 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 INA is currently mispriced by the market.
- 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.
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