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Is SL Green (SLG) Poised for a Beat this Earnings Season?

Real estate investment trust (“REIT”) SL Green Realty Corp. SLG is expected to report first-quarter 2016 results on Apr 20, after the market closes.

Last quarter, the New York-based REIT reported a positive surprise of 0.62%, with an average beat of 4.33% for the trailing four quarters. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for first-quarter funds from operations (“FFO”) per share is currently pegged at $1.65.

Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Why a Likely Positive Surprise?

Our proven model shows that SL Green 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 SL Green has the right mix.  

Zacks ESP: The Earnings ESP, which represents the percentage difference between the Most Accurate estimate of $1.68 and the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.65, is +1.82%. This is a major indicator of a likely positive surprise.

Zacks Rank: SL Green carries a Zacks Rank #2.

The combination of SL Green’s Zacks Rank #2 and positive ESP makes us reasonably confident of a positive surprise this season.

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

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

SL Green has been following an opportunistic investment policy to boost its overall portfolio. This includes investment in long-term core properties, opportunistic assets, and debt & preferred equities. Also, in order to facilitate such investments, SL Green continues to divest non-core assets. In sync with this strategy, the company completed several transactions in 2015 and continued with such activities in the first-quarter 2016 as well.

Notably, on Feb 18, 2016, SL Green and its JV partner, Renaissance Office Partners, LLC, inked a deal to sell an office property at 7 Renaissance Square which will fetch a gross price of $20.7 million. Again, on Feb 9, 2016, SL Green closed the disposition of two properties for $508 million.

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:

Taubman Centers, Inc. TCO has an Earnings ESP of +3.53% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company will release results on May 2.

Vornado Realty Trust VNO has an Earnings ESP of +1.61% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company will report first-quarter 2016 results on May 2.

Regency Centers Corporation REG has an Earnings ESP of +1.27% and a Zacks Rank #3. The company will report results on May 3.

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.

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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
 
REGENCY CTRS CP (REG): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
VORNADO RLTY TR (VNO): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
SL GREEN REALTY (SLG): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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