Acadia Realty Trust is a US$2.4b mid-cap, real estate investment trust (REIT) based in Rye, United States. 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 AKR.
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 AKR 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 AKR, its FFO of US$96m makes up 50% of its gross profit, which means over a third of its earnings are high-quality and recurring.
In order to understand whether AKR 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 AKR to pay off its debt using its income from its main business activities, and gives us an insight into AKR’s ability to service its borrowings. With a ratio of 5.9%, the credit rating agency Standard & Poor would consider this as aggressive risk. This would take AKR 17 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 AKR’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 1.37x, AKR 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 AKR, 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. AKR’s price-to-FFO is 24.72x, compared to the long-term industry average of 16.5x, meaning that it is overvalued.
Acadia Realty Trust 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 AKR:
- Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for AKR’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for AKR’s outlook.
- Valuation: What is AKR 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 AKR is currently mispriced by the market.
- 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.
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