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Will Prologis (PLD) Unlikely Q1 Earnings Beat Hit its Stock?

Prologis, Inc. PLD is slated to report first-quarter 2016 results before the market opens on Apr 19. Last quarter, the company came up with a positive earnings surprise of 3.23%. In fact, in the last four trailing quarters, the company reported in line results in three occasions and positive earnings surprise in one, with an average positive earnings surprise of 0.81%.

Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Factors to Consider

Demand for logistics infrastructure and efficient distribution networks has been increasing thanks to rising Internet retailing and supply-chain consolidation that has led to the tightening of vacancy rates. However, a slower pace of growth of new construction starts is pushing rents significantly higher in many of its markets.

In fact, according to a recent report by CBRE Group Inc. CBG, in first-quarter 2016, industrial availability was 9.2%, denoting a 20 basis points (bps) decline from the prior quarter. This also marked the lowest level since 2001.

Prologis has been capitalizing on this trend and we expect its rental rates to have experienced growth throughout the first quarter. Same store net operating income is also projected to move up.

Yet, we believe that any robust improvement in the performance of this industrial real estate investment trust (REIT) might be limited given the fact that the recovery in the industrial market has been continuing for long. The CBRE study reveals that the first-quarter 2016 decline in the availability rate marks the 24th consecutive quarter of decreasing availability. As such chances of a striking decrease in availability rates or robust growth in rents are less. Moreover, rising competition and a strong dollar add to its woes.

Earnings Whispers?

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Prologis will beat on earnings this season. This is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), #2 (Buy) or #3 (Hold) for this to happen. However, that is not the case here as you will see below.

Zacks ESP: Both the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate stand at 59 cents. This leads to an Earnings ESP of 0.00% for Prologis.

Zacks Rank: Prologis currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Though a favorable Zacks Rank increases the predictive power of ESP, the company’s ESP of 0.00% makes our surprise prediction difficult.

We caution against stocks with a Zacks Rank #4 or 5 (Sell rated) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions.

Stocks to Consider

Here are two other REITs you may want to consider as our model shows that they have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter:

SL Green Realty Corp. SLG, slated to release earnings on Apr 20, has earnings ESP of +1.82% and a Zacks Rank #2.

Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. HST, slated to release earnings on Apr 29, has an earnings ESP of +2.63% and a Zacks Rank #3.

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Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
CBRE GROUP INC (CBG): Free Stock Analysis Report
HOST HOTEL&RSRT (HST): Free Stock Analysis Report
PROLOGIS INC (PLD): Free Stock Analysis Report
SL GREEN REALTY (SLG): Free Stock Analysis Report
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