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Simon Property - growth trend continues

I remain upbeat about the shares of Simon Property Group, a leading global retail real estate investment trusts (REIT). The company’s financials for the fourth quarter of 2015 were solid, both revenues and adjusted funds from operations (FFO) per share were up year over year and exceeded consensus estimates. Simon Property’s US Malls and Premium Outlets portfolio experienced a somewhat decline in occupancy that fell 100 basis points to 96.1%. However, the figure remained one of the highest in the industry. Besides, total sales per square foot moved up driven by base minimum rent per square foot growth.

Concurrent with its earnings release, Simon Property declared a quarterly dividend of $1.60 per share, up 14.3% y-o-y, which offers a healthy annualized dividend yield of 3.2%. Besides, the company introduced 2016 FFO per share guidance in the range of $10.7-10.8, which implies a 9% growth from the 2015 figure.

In Q4, Simon Property completed several development and redevelopment projects. In particular, the company opened Tucson Premium Outlets, a 367,000-square foot center, and Tampa Premium Outlets, a 441,000 square feet name brand stores. The REIT also completed a 260,000 square foot expansion at Del Amo Fashion Center, and a 56,000 square foot expansion at Sawgrass Mills. Construction is also underway at other important expansion projects including Roosevelt Field, King of Prussia Mall, Stanford Shopping Center, The Galleria in Houston and Woodbury Common Premium Outlets. At the end of the fourth quarter, Simon Property had redevelopment and expansion projects in progress at 29 properties across the US and Europe.

With the US economy showing signs of recovery, spending power of richer consumers is improving, and the company looks well positioned to leverage this trend, I think. 

I expect that shares of Simon Property will continue to go up and reach a $215 mark in medium term.