Why You Shouldn’t Look At LTC Properties Inc’s (NYSE:LTC) Bottom Line

LTC Properties Inc is a US$1.65b small-cap, real estate investment trust (REIT) based in Westlake Village, 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. In this commentary, I’ll take you through some of the things I look at when assessing LTC.

See our latest analysis for LTC Properties

Funds from Operations (FFO) is a higher quality measure of LTC’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 LTC, its FFO of US$105.31m makes up 63.20% of its gross profit, which means the majority of its earnings are high-quality and recurring.

NYSE:LTC Historical Debt August 2nd 18
NYSE:LTC Historical Debt August 2nd 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 LTC 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 15.78%, the credit rating agency Standard & Poor would consider this as significantly high risk. This would take LTC 6.34 years to pay off using operating income alone. Given that long-term debt is a multi-year commitment this is not unusual, however, the longer it takes for a company to pay back debt, the higher the risk associated with that company.

Next, interest coverage ratio shows how many times LTC’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 3.52x, it’s safe to say LTC is generating an appropriate amount of cash from its borrowings.

In terms of valuing LTC, 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 LTC’s case its P/FFO is 15.87x, compared to the long-term industry average of 16.5x, meaning that it is fairly valued.

Next Steps:

LTC Properties 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 LTC:

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