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HCP to Spin Off HCRMC to Create Value: Will Stock Gain?

The Board of Directors of HCP, Inc. HCP gave the green signal to the spin-off of the HCR ManorCare’s (“HCRMC”) portfolio of skilled nursing facility (“SNF”) and assisted living assets, and other skilled nursing assets, into an independent and publicly-traded real estate investment trust (“SpinCo”). Notably, in the last trading session, the stock gained handsomely by around 4.2%.

This move has been made to lower the portfolio concentration related to HCRMC and to create more value for the shareholders. The deal will enable the Irvine, CA-based healthcare REIT to enhance its portfolio quality and focus more on its core businesses of Senior Housing, Life Science and Medical Office. Notably, HCP’s core portfolio comprises diverse operators and tenants primarily from the private-pay sector.

In fact, this transaction provides HCP an opportunity to re-establish itself as a leading healthcare REIT. Post spin-off, HCP’s portfolio is likely to include over 860 properties, leading to an annual portfolio income of around $1.4 billion.

On the other hand, SpinCo’s portfolio is anticipated to include over 320 properties, led by facilities operated by HCRMC, with an in-place annual rent of around $485 million. With a flexible capital structure, SpinCo is likely to create value from post-acute/SNF properties. Post spin-off, SpinCo will be led by an experienced team with deep understanding of real estate and healthcare.

HCP currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Better-ranked stocks in the REIT space include Brookfield Canada Office Properties BOXC, Whitestone REIT WSR and Gaming and Leisure Properties, Inc GLPI. While both Brookfield Canada Office Properties and Whitestone REIT sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Gaming and Leisure Properties carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Note: FFO, a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs, is obtained after adding depreciation and amortization and other non-cash expenses to net income.

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