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solzberg in Gainers & Losers,

Simon Property's stock to hit $250 mark in medium term

I remain upbeat about the shares of Simon Property Group, a leading global retail real estate investment trusts (REIT). Recently, the company issued decent financials for the second quarter of 2016. Revenues came in at $1.32 bn, flat y-o-y and almost in line with consensus estimate. For the US Malls and Premium Outlets portfolio, occupancy fell 20 basis points to 95.9%, and total sales per square foot moved down to $607 from $620 in the year-ago quarter. Base minimum rent per square foot rose 4.9% to $50.43, while releasing spread decreased 199 basis points to $8.88. Comparable funds from operations (FFO) rose 9.1% to $2.63 and surpassed analysts’ average projection by a penny. Concurrent with its earnings release, Simon Property declared a quarterly dividend of $1.65 per share, marking 6.5% y-o-y and 3.1% sequential increase, which offers a healthy annualized dividend yield of 3%.

During the quarter, Simon Property completed the transformation of Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, California. The REIT has also begun construction work on two new projects, the Norfolk Premium Outlets in Norfolk, Virginia, and Genting Highlands Premium Outlets in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In June, Simon Property opened a 355,000 square foot outlet center in Columbus, Ohio. Also, the company is carrying out construction activities in six new development projects, two of which are slated to open in 2016 and the rest in 2017.

I believe that strong financial as well as operational performance will continue to drive Simon Property’s growth, going forward. The gradually recovering US economy and improvement in the spending power of the customers will further aid the company’s development. To note, Simon Property raised its full-year 2016 FFO per share guidance and expects it to be in the range of $10.77-10.85 compared with the previous projection of $10.72-10.82.

In my opinion, Simon Property’s shares are well positioned to continue growth and hit $250 mark in medium term.