Investing In Dream Industrial Real Estate Investment Trust (TSE:DIR.UN): What You Need To Know

Dream Industrial Real Estate Investment Trust is a CA$1.1b small-cap, real estate investment trust (REIT) based in Toronto, Canada. REITs are basically a portfolio of income-producing real estate investments, which are owned and operated by management of that trust company. They have to meet certain requirements in order to become a REIT, meaning they should be analyzed a different way. Below, I’ll look at a few important metrics to keep in mind as part of your research on DIR.UN.

See our latest analysis for Dream Industrial 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 DIR.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 DIR.UN, its FFO of CA$67m makes up 57% of its gross profit, which means the majority of its earnings are high-quality and recurring.

TSX:DIR.UN Historical Debt November 16th 18
TSX:DIR.UN Historical Debt November 16th 18

In order to understand whether DIR.UN has a healthy balance sheet, we have to look at a metric called FFO-to-total debt. This tells us how long it will take DIR.UN to pay off its debt using its income from its main business activities, and gives us an insight into DIR.UN’s ability to service its borrowings. With a ratio of 7.5%, the credit rating agency Standard & Poor would consider this as aggressive risk. This would take DIR.UN 13.26 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.

I also look at DIR.UN’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 1.45x, DIR.UN is not generating an appropriate amount of cash from its borrowings. Typically, a ratio of greater than 3x is seen as safe.

In terms of valuing DIR.UN, 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 DIR.UN’s case its P/FFO is 16.43x, compared to the long-term industry average of 16.5x, meaning that it is fairly valued.

Next Steps:

As a REIT, Dream Industrial 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 DIR.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 DIR.UN’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for DIR.UN’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is DIR.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 DIR.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.