Is Warehouses Estates Belgium SCA (EBR:WEB) A Healthy REIT?

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Warehouses Estates Belgium SCA is a €163m small-cap, real estate investment trust (REIT) based in Gosselies, Belgium. 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 WEB 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 WEB.

Check out our latest analysis for Warehouses Estates Belgium

A common financial term REIT investors should know is Funds from Operations, or FFO for short, which is a REIT’s main source of income from its portfolio of property, such as rent. FFO is a cleaner and more representative figure of how much WEB actually makes from its day-to-day operations, compared to net income, which can be affected by one-off activities or non-cash items such as depreciation. For WEB, its FFO of €17m makes up 117% of its gross profit, which means the majority of its earnings are high-quality and recurring.

ENXTBR:WEB Historical Debt, June 13th 2019
ENXTBR:WEB Historical Debt, June 13th 2019

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 WEB 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 16%, the credit rating agency Standard & Poor would consider this as significantly high risk. This would take WEB 6.13 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.

Next, interest coverage ratio shows how many times WEB’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 10.29x, its safe to say WEB is producing more than enough funds to cover its upcoming payments.

I also use FFO to look at WEB’s valuation relative to other REITs in Belgium by using the price-to-FFO metric. This is conceptually the same as the price-to-earnings (PE) ratio, but as previously mentioned, FFO is more suitable. WEB’s price-to-FFO is 9.46x, compared to the long-term industry average of 16.5x, meaning that it is undervalued.

Next Steps:

Warehouses Estates Belgium 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 WEB:

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

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.