What You Need To Know Before Investing In Fonciere Inea S.A. (EPA:INEA)

Want to participate in a short research study? Help shape the future of investing tools and you could win a $250 gift card!

Fonciere Inea S.A. is a €239m small-cap, real estate investment trust (REIT) based in Gennevilliers, France. 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 INEA is unique and it has to adhere to different requirements compared to other non-REIT stocks. In this commentary, I’ll take you through some of the things I look at when assessing INEA.

View our latest analysis for Fonciere Inea

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 INEA’s daily operations. For INEA, its FFO of €11m makes up 41% of its gross profit, which means over a third of its earnings are high-quality and recurring.

ENXTPA:INEA Historical Debt February 13th 19
ENXTPA:INEA Historical Debt February 13th 19

In order to understand whether INEA 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 INEA to pay off its debt using its income from its main business activities, and gives us an insight into INEA’s ability to service its borrowings. With a ratio of 4.6%, the credit rating agency Standard & Poor would consider this as aggressive risk. This would take INEA 21.7 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 INEA’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 1.94x, INEA 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 INEA’s valuation relative to other REITs in France 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. INEA’s price-to-FFO is 21.95x, compared to the long-term industry average of 16.5x, meaning that it is overvalued.

Next Steps:

Fonciere Inea 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 INEA:

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