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What to Expect from GGP Inc's (GGP) Q3 Earnings Report?

General Growth Properties Inc. GGP is slated to report third-quarter 2017 results on Oct 31, before the market opens.

Last quarter, this retail real estate investment trust (REIT) delivered a positive surprise of 14.3% in terms of funds from operations (FFO) per share.

In the trailing four quarters, the company surpassed estimates in one occasion and met in the other three, the average positive surprise being 3.6%.

Factors to Consider

GGP Inc. has a solid portfolio of high-quality retail properties across attractive locations in the United States. Therefore, amid an improving economy, these retail properties have the capability to generate decent cash flows, given its cluster of renowned tenants.

However, the retail real estate market has been crippling with issues like bankruptcies and downsizing of retailers. This is because mall traffic continues to suffer amid rapid shift in customers’ shopping preferences to online retail, resulting in an increasing number of retailers joining the dot-com bandwagon and reconsidering their footprint.

These have emerged as serious concerns for retail REITs, as the trend is curtailing demand for the retail real estate space considerably. Moreover, the choppy retail real estate market situation is also said to have led to tenants demanding substantial lease concessions, which mall landlords are finding unjustified.

Given this, GGP Inc. has been making efforts to counter such pressure through various initiatives. However, implementation of such measures requires significant upfront costs, which might limit near-term growth in profit margins.

Amid these, the company’s revenues are expected to record modest growth. In fact, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues for the to-be-reported quarter is pegged at $565.6 million, reflecting projected growth of 2% from the year-ago period.

For third-quarter 2017, the company estimates FFO per share in the range of 35-37 cents. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the same is currently pegged at 37 cents.

However, GGP Inc.’s activities during the quarter could not gain analysts’ confidence. Consequently, the Zacks Consensus Estimate remained unchanged in a month’s time.

GGP Inc.'s shares have lost 15.0% of its value in the past three months versus the 5.7% decline of its industry.


Earnings Whispers

Our proven model does not conclusively show that GGP Inc. will likely beat FFO estimates this time around. This is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or at least 3 (Hold) for this to happen. However, that is not the case here as you will see below.

Zacks ESP: GGP Inc. has an Earnings ESP of -0.39%, representing the percentage difference between the Most Accurate estimate and the Zacks Consensus Estimate. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Zacks Rank: GGP Inc.’s Zacks Rank #3 increases the predictive power of ESP. However, we also need to have a positive ESP to be confident about an earnings surprise.

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 +1.31% 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 +1.31% and a Zacks Rank of 2.

Boston Properties, Inc. BXP, slated to release quarterly numbers on Nov 1, has an Earnings ESP of +0.50% and a Zacks Rank of 3.

Note: All EPS numbers presented in this write up represent funds from operations (FFO) per share. 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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