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Federal Realty's (FRT) Q1 FFO Beat, Revenues Improve

Federal Realty Investment Trust FRT posted first-quarter 2016 funds from operations (“FFO”) per share of $1.38, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny. Also, the bottom line came in higher than the year-ago tally of $1.26.

Total revenue for the quarter grew 7.3% year over year to $198.3 million. Further, the top line surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $198 million.

Inside the Headlines

During the first quarter, Federal Realty inked 92 lease deals for 419,781 square feet of retail space. As of Mar 31, 2016, the company’s overall portfolio was 94.1% leased, down 130 basis points (bps) year over year.

On a comparable-space basis (spaces for which a former tenant was there), Federal Realty leased 398,820 square feet, at an average cash-basis contractual rent escalation of 13% per square foot. Rent increases (on a GAAP basis) for comparable retail space averaged at 24% per square foot during the quarter.

Same-center property operating income (including redevelopments and expansions) improved 4.2% year over year in the quarter. As of Mar 31, 2016, Federal Realty’s same-center portfolio was 95.6% leased, down 60 bps year over year.

During the quarter, Federal Realty acquired a 70% stake in its joint venture partner for $153.7 million.

Federal Realty exited the first quarter with cash and cash equivalents of approximately $19.7 million, down from $21 million at the end of 2015.

2016 Guidance

Federal Realty has reaffirmed its FFO per share guidance for 2016 in the range of $5.65–$5.71. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the same is currently pegged at $5.70.

Dividend Update

Concurrent with the earnings release, Federal Realty declared a quarterly cash dividend of 94 cents per share. The dividend will be paid on Jul 15, 2016 to shareholders of record as of Jun 22.

Our Take

Federal Realty’s portfolio of Class A shopping centers, along with a diversified tenant base comprising grocery stores and low-end discount retailers, positions it well for growth. Additionally, the company’s focus on exploring expansion opportunities in premium markets, which generate income growth as well as long-term value, bodes well for the future.

Federal Realty currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Investors interested in the retail REIT space may consider stocks like Equinix, Inc. EQIX, Saul Centers Inc. BFS and STORE Capital Corporation STOR. All these stocks hold 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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