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

Fonciere Inea SA. is a €235.61M small-cap real estate investment trust (REIT) based in Gennevilliers, France. 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. I’ll take you through some of the key metrics you should use in order to properly assess INEA.

View our latest analysis for Fonciere Inea

Funds from Operations (FFO) is a higher quality measure of INEA’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 INEA, its FFO of €11.59M makes up 52.25% of its gross profit, which means over a third of its earnings are high-quality and recurring.

ENXTPA:INEA Historical Debt Apr 9th 18
ENXTPA:INEA Historical Debt Apr 9th 18

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 INEA 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 5.45%, the credit rating agency Standard & Poor would consider this as aggressive risk. This would take INEA 18 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 INEA’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 2.09x, 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. In INEA’s case its P/FFO is 20.32x, compared to the long-term industry average of 16.5x, meaning that it is overvalued.

Next Steps:

As a REIT, Fonciere Inea offers some unique characteristics which could help diversify your portfolio. However, before you decide on whether or not to invest in INEA, I highly recommend taking a look at other aspects of the stock to consider:
  1. Management: Who are the people running the company? Experienced management and board are important for setting the right strategy during a volatile market. Take a look at information on INEA’s executive and directors here.
  2. 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.