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Taubman Centers (TCO) Misses on Q1 FFO: Will Stock Rise?

Retail real estate investment trust (“REIT”) Taubman Centers Inc.’s TCO first-quarter 2016 funds from operations (“FFO”) per share of 84 cents missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny. We expect the earnings release to lead to stock movement.

However, the figure was up 3.7% from 81 cents earned a year ago. Results were driven by an increase in occupancy and average rent at its centers.

Revenues came in at $139.5 million, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $136 million and improving from around $129.0 million in the year-ago quarter.

Quarter in Detail

Comparable center net operating income (“NOI”), excluding lease cancellation income, rose 5.8% year over year; while average rent per square foot was $60.80, up 2.7% year over year. For the period ended Mar 31, 2016, trailing 12-month releasing spreads per square foot were 25.2%.

For the first quarter, mall tenant sales per square foot decreased 2.9% year over year. Results reflect the adverse impact on the tourist-oriented centers that were affected by the strong dollar, particularly in South Florida.

As of Mar 31, 2016, the comparable centers’ portfolio was 95.9% leased, denoting a 0.4% year-over-year increase; while ending occupancy was 93.2%, up 0.8% year over year.


Taubman Centers exited first-quarter 2016 with cash and cash equivalents of $172.9 million, down from $206.6 million recorded at year-end 2015.

2016 Guidance

Taubman Centers has raised its guidance for 2016. The company now expects 2016 FFO per share in the range of $3.75–$3.95, against the prior outlook of $3.45–$3.65. Adjusted FFO per share is projected in the range of $3.50–$3.70. The Zacks Consensus Estimate currently stands at $3.66.

The guidance includes $2–$2.5 million of net service fee income for the year along with a payment to the company of around $21 million slated to be received in the second quarter, both an outcome of the termination of the company’s leasing services agreement at The Shops at Crystals in Las Vegas, NV.

Moreover, the updated outlook incorporates the positive impact of Country Club Plaza and an assumption of 5% growth for the year in comparable center NOI, excluding lease cancellation income.

Our Viewpoint

Taubman Centers is expected to grow on the back of a solid retail portfolio and a strong tenant base, going forward. Yet, stiff competition and growing online sales remain as concerns.

Taubman currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Investors interested in the retail REIT industry may consider stocks like The Macerich Company MAC, Realty Income Corporation O and STORE Capital Corporation STOR. Each of these stocks 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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