What You Need To Know Before Investing In Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, Inc. (NYSE:SKT)

Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, Inc. is a US$2.1b mid-cap, real estate investment trust (REIT) based in Greensboro, 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 SKT.

View our latest analysis for Tanger Factory Outlet Centers

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 SKT 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 SKT, its FFO of US$253m makes up 70% of its gross profit, which means the majority of its earnings are high-quality and recurring.

NYSE:SKT Historical Debt January 9th 19
NYSE:SKT Historical Debt January 9th 19

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 SKT 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 14%, the credit rating agency Standard & Poor would consider this as significantly high risk. This would take SKT 6.97 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.

I also look at SKT’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 3.91x, it’s safe to say SKT is generating an appropriate amount of cash from its borrowings.

In terms of valuing SKT, 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 SKT’s case its P/FFO is 8.51x, compared to the long-term industry average of 16.5x, meaning that it is undervalued.

Next Steps:

As a REIT, Tanger Factory Outlet Centers offers some unique characteristics which could help diversify your portfolio. However, before you decide on whether or not to invest in SKT, I highly recommend taking a look at other aspects of the stock to consider:

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