Why You Shouldn’t Look At Crombie Real Estate Investment Trust’s (TSE:CRR.UN) Bottom Line

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Crombie Real Estate Investment Trust is a CA$2.1b small-cap, real estate investment trust (REIT) based in New Glasgow, Canada. REITs own and operate income-generating property and adhere to a different set of regulations. This impacts how CRR.UN’s business operates and also how we should analyse its stock. Below, I’ll look at a few important metrics to keep in mind as part of your research on CRR.UN.

See our latest analysis for Crombie Real Estate Investment Trust

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 CRR.UN 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 CRR.UN, its FFO of CA$91m makes up 31% of its gross profit, which means over a third of its earnings are high-quality and recurring.

TSX:CRR.UN Historical Debt February 11th 19
TSX:CRR.UN Historical Debt February 11th 19

CRR.UN’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 CRR.UN 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 3.6%, the credit rating agency Standard & Poor would consider this as aggressive risk. This would take CRR.UN 27.45 years to pay off using just operating income, which is a long time, and risk increases with time. But realistically, companies have many levers to pull in order to pay back their debt, beyond operating income alone.

Next, interest coverage ratio shows how many times CRR.UN’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 0.85x, CRR.UN is not generating an appropriate amount of cash from its borrowings. Typically, a ratio of greater than 3x is seen as safe.

I also use FFO to look at CRR.UN’s valuation relative to other REITs in Canada 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. In CRR.UN’s case its P/FFO is 22.7x, compared to the long-term industry average of 16.5x, meaning that it is overvalued.

Next Steps:

As a REIT, Crombie Real Estate Investment Trust offers some unique characteristics which could help diversify your portfolio. However, before you decide on whether or not to invest in CRR.UN, I highly recommend taking a look at other aspects of the stock to consider:

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