Zacks
0
All posts from Zacks
Zacks in Our Research. Your Success.,

Is Essex Property (ESS) Set to Beat this Earnings Season?

Essex Property Trust Inc. ESS is slated to report first-quarter 2016 results on Apr 28, after the market closes.

This residential real estate investment trust (“REIT”) has a decent earnings surprise history. It reported a positive surprise of 3.14% in the prior quarter and has, in fact, beaten the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the trailing four quarters with an average positive surprise of 2.62%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for first quarter funds from operations (“FFO”) per share is currently pegged at $2.64.

Is the company poised for a winning quarter? Let’s see how things are shaping up prior to this announcement.

Why a Likely Positive Surprise?

Our proven model shows that Essex Property 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 #3 (Hold) to beat estimates, and Essex Property has the right mix.  

Zacks ESP: The Earnings ESP, which is the percentage difference between the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate, in this case $2.67 and $2.64, respectively, is +1.14%. This is a major indicator of a likely positive surprise.

Zacks Rank: Essex Property carries a Zacks Rank #2. The combination of Essex Property’s favorable Zacks Rank and positive ESP makes us confident of a positive surprise this season.

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



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

Essex has a strong property base and a solid balance sheet. The company’s substantial exposure to the West Coast market offers the company ample scope to enhance its top line. This is because West Coast is home to all the leading technology companies that continue to carry on with large investments. As such, the region experiences solid growth in jobs and personal income.

Apart from this, demographic growth continues to be strong in the young adult age cohort, which has a higher propensity to rent. These are expected to drive demand for apartments in the company’s markets. On the other hand, supply remains comparatively lower in the West Coast amid rising construction cost. In this favorable demand/supply environment, we expect strengthening of the rental market and better pricing power. As such, rents and occupancies are projected to trend higher in the to-be-reported quarter.

Other Stocks That Warrant a Look

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

Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. HST has an Earnings ESP of +2.63% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company will report results on Apr 29.

Vornado Realty Trust VNO has an Earnings ESP of +0.81% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company will report first-quarter 2016 results on May 2.

Taubman Centers, Inc. TCO has an Earnings ESP of +3.53% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company will release results on May 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. All earnings per share numbers presented in this write up represent FFO per share.

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 >>


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
 
TAUBMAN CENTERS (TCO): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
ESSEX PPTY TR (ESS): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
HOST HOTEL&RSRT (HST): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
VORNADO RLTY TR (VNO): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.