Why You Shouldn’t Look At Brandywine Realty Trust’s (NYSE:BDN) Bottom Line

Brandywine Realty Trust is a US$2.8b mid-cap, real estate investment trust (REIT) based in Philadelphia, United States. REITs own and operate income-generating property and adhere to a different set of regulations. This impacts how BDN’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 BDN.

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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 BDN 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 BDN, its FFO of US$227m makes up 73% of its gross profit, which means the majority of its earnings are high-quality and recurring.

NYSE:BDN Historical Debt, February 26th 2019
NYSE:BDN Historical Debt, February 26th 2019

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 BDN 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 11%, the credit rating agency Standard & Poor would consider this as aggressive risk. This would take BDN 8.92 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 BDN’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 2.82x, BDN 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 BDN’s valuation relative to other REITs in United States 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. BDN’s price-to-FFO is 12.36x, compared to the long-term industry average of 16.5x, meaning that it is undervalued.

Next Steps:

In this article, I’ve taken a look at Funds from Operations using various metrics, but it is certainly not sufficient to derive an investment decision based on this value alone. Brandywine Realty Trust can bring about diversification for your portfolio, but before you decide to invest, take a look at the other aspects you must consider before investing:

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

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