Investing In Property Through Realty Income Corporation (NYSE:O)

Realty Income Corporation is a US$15.81b large-cap, real estate investment trust (REIT) based in San Diego, United States. 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 O is unique and it has to adhere to different requirements compared to other non-REIT stocks. Below, I’ll look at a few important metrics to keep in mind as part of your research on O.

Check out our latest analysis for Realty Income

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 O’s daily operations. For O, its FFO of US$875.85m makes up 76.41% of its gross profit, which means the majority of its earnings are high-quality and recurring.

NYSE:O Historical Debt July 25th 18
NYSE:O Historical Debt July 25th 18

O’s financial stability can be gauged by seeing how much its FFO generated each year can cover its total amount of debt. The higher the coverage, the less risky O is, broadly speaking, to have debt on its books. The metric I’ll be using, FFO-to-debt, also estimates the time it will take for the company to repay its debt with its FFO. With a ratio of 14.32%, the credit rating agency Standard & Poor would consider this as significantly high risk. This would take O 6.98 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 O’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 3.54x, it’s safe to say O is generating an appropriate amount of cash from its borrowings.

In terms of valuing O, 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 O’s case its P/FFO is 17.88x, compared to the long-term industry average of 16.5x, meaning that it is slightly overvalued.

Next Steps:

Realty Income 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 O:

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