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Boston Properties (BXP) Q3 Earnings: Is a Beat in Store?

Boston Properties, Inc. BXP is likely to beat expectations in the third quarter. The company is scheduled to release its quarterly numbers on Nov 1, after the market closes.

Last quarter, this REIT, which mainly owns and develops Class A office real estates in the United States, delivered better-than-expected performance in terms of funds from operations (FFO) per share, witnessing a positive surprise of 3.09%. Results indicated an improvement in portfolio revenues, as well as development and management services revenues.
However, Boston Properties has a mixed surprise history. In fact, the company exceeded estimates in two occasions for as many misses, over the trailing four quarters, resulting in an average positive surprise of 0.93%. This is depicted in the graph below:

Boston Properties, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

Boston Properties, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise | Boston Properties, Inc. Quote

Note: The EPS numbers presented in the above chart represent funds from operations (“FFO”) per share.

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

Why a Likely Positive Surprise?

Our proven model shows that Boston Properties is likely to beat estimates because it has the right combination of two key ingredients. A stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or at least 3 (Hold) to beat estimates, and Boston Properties has the right mix.

You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.
Zacks ESP: The Earnings ESP, which represents the percentage difference between the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate, is +0.50%. This is a meaningful and leading indicator of a likely positive surprise.

Zacks Rank: Boston Properties’ Zacks Rank #3, when combined with a positive ESP, makes us reasonably confident of a positive surprise this season.

What's Driving the Better-than-Expected Earnings?

Boston Properties, based out of Massachusetts, concentrates on a few select high-rent, high barrier-to-entry geographic markets. The company’s solid tenant and industry base, including several bellwethers, ensure steady rental revenue growth. Over the past five years, it recorded annual revenue growth rate of 8.17%. This trend is likely to have continued in the third quarter as well.

Notably, per a study by the commercial real estate services’ firm, CBRE Group Inc. CBG, the U.S. office vacancy rate declined to 12.9% in the third quarter amid growth in office-using jobs. In most of the U.S. office markets, vacancy declined, taking the national office vacancy rate close to its post-recession low.

In fact, with economic improvement and recovery in the job market, healthy growth in demand for office spaces is likely to have continued in the company’s markets in the quarter under review. Particularly, growth in demand for office space is anticipated to have been fueled by technology and life sciences businesses in the to-be-reported quarter.

Amid these, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for third-quarter revenues is currently pegged at $631.5 million, indicating estimated growth of 1% year over year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for base rent is $512 million.

The company projects third-quarter FFO per share in the range of $1.52-$1.54. Also, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the same is currently pegged at the high end of this range at $1.54.

Shares of Boston Properties have inched up 0.2% in the past three months, outperforming the 1.4% loss incurred by its industry.

Stocks That Warrant a Look

Here are a few stocks in the REIT sector that you may want to consider, as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to report a positive surprise this quarter:

Regency Centers Corporation REG, slated to release third-quarter results on Nov 1, has an Earnings ESP of +2.96% and a Zacks Rank of 2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Extra Space Storage Inc. EXR, scheduled to release earnings on Nov 1, has an Earnings ESP of +1.19% and a Zacks Rank of 2.

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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