Why You Shouldn’t Look At Host Hotels & Resorts Inc’s (NYSE:HST) Bottom Line

Host Hotels & Resorts Inc is a US$14.0b large-cap, real estate investment trust (REIT) based in Bethesda, United States. 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 HST is unique and it has to adhere to different requirements compared to other non-REIT stocks. I’ll take you through some of the key metrics you should use in order to properly assess HST.

Check out our latest analysis for Host Hotels & Resorts

Funds from Operations (FFO) is a higher quality measure of HST’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 HST, its FFO of US$1.2b makes up 80% of its gross profit, which means the majority of its earnings are high-quality and recurring.

NYSE:HST Historical Debt November 5th 18
NYSE:HST Historical Debt November 5th 18

HST’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 HST 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 31%, the credit rating agency Standard & Poor would consider this as significant risk. This would take HST 3.21 years to pay off using operating income alone, which is reasonable, given that long term debt is a multi-year commitment.

Next, interest coverage ratio shows how many times HST’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 7.37x, it’s safe to say HST is generating an appropriate amount of cash from its borrowings.

In terms of valuing HST, 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. In HST’s case its P/FFO is 11.36x, compared to the long-term industry average of 16.5x, meaning that it is undervalued.

Next Steps:

Host Hotels & Resorts 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 HST:

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