Investing is all about finding profits, and investors have long seen two main paths toward that goal. Growth stocks, equities that will give a return based mainly on share price appreciation, are one route.
The second route lies through dividend stocks. These are stocks that pay out a percentage of profits back to shareholders – a dividend, usually sent out quarterly. The payments vary widely, from less than 1% to more than 10%, but the average, among stocks listed on the S&P 500, is about 2%. Dividends are a nice addition for a patient investor, as they provide a steady income stream.
Goldman Sachs analyst Caitlin Burrows has been looking into the real estate trust segment, a group of stocks long-known for dividends that are both high and reliable – and she sees plenty of reason to expect strong growth in three stocks in particular.
Running the trio through TipRanks’ database, we learned that all three have been cheered by the rest of the Street as well, as they boast a “Strong Buy” analyst consensus.
Broadstone Net Lease (BNL)
First up, Broadstone Net Lease, is an established REIT that went public this past September in an IPO that raised over $533 million. The company put 33.5 million shares on the market, followed by another 5 million-plus picked up by the underwriters. It was considered a successful opening, and BNL now boasts a market cap over $2.63 billion.
Broadstone’s portfolio includes 628 properties across 41 US states plus the Canadian province of British Columbia. These properties host 182 tenants and are worth an aggregate of $4 billion. The best feature here is the long-term nature of the leases – the weighted average remaining lease is 10.8 years.
During the third quarter, the most recent with full financials available, BNL reported a net income of $9.7 million, or 8 cents per share. The income came mainly from rents, and the company reported collecting 97.9% of rents due during the quarter. Looking ahead, the company expects $100.3 million in property acquisitions during Q4, and an increased rent collection rate of 98.8%.
Broadstone’s income and high rent collections are supporting a dividend of 25 cents per common share, or $1 annually. It’s a payment affordable for the company, and offering investors a yield of 5.5%.
Goldman’s Burrows sees the company’s acquisition moves as the most important factor here.
“Accretive acquisitions are the key earnings driver for Broadstone… While management halted acquisitions following COVID-induced market uncertainty (BNL did not complete any acquisitions in 1H20) and ahead of its IPO, we are confident acquisitions will ramp up in 2021, and saw the beginning of this with 4Q20 activity… We estimate that BNL achieves a positive investment spread of 1.8%, leading to 0.8% of earnings growth (on 2021E FFO) for every $100mn of acquisitions (or 4.2% on our 2021E acquisition volumes),” Burrows opined.
To this end, Burrows rates BNL a Buy, and her $23 price target implies an upside of ~27% for the year ahead. (To watch Burrow’s track record, click here)
Wall Street generally agrees with Burrows on Broadstone, as shown by the 3 positive reviews the stock has garnered in recent weeks. These are the only reviews on file, making the analyst consensus rating a unanimous Strong Buy. The shares are currently priced at $18.16, and the average price target of $21.33 suggests a one-year upside of ~17%. (See BNL stock analysis on TipRanks)
Realty Income Corporation (O)
Realty Income is a major player in the REIT field. The company holds a portfolio worth more than $20 billion, with more than 6,500 properties located in 49 states, Puerto Rico, and the UK. Annual revenue exceeded $1.48 billion in fiscal year 2019 (the last with complete data), and has kept up a monthly dividend for 12 years.
Looking at current data, we find that O posted 7 cents per share income in 3Q20, along with $403 million in total revenue. The company collected 93.1% of its contracted rents in the quarter. While relatively low, a drill-down to the monthly values shows that rent collection rates have been increasing since July.
As noted, O pays out a monthly dividend, and has done so regularly since listing publicly in 1994. The company raised its payout in September 2020, marking the 108th increase during that time. The current payment is 23.45 cents per common share, which annualizes to $2.81 cents – and gives a yield of 4.7%.
Based on the above, Burrows put this stock on her Americas Conviction List, with a Buy rating and a $79 price target for the next 12 months. This target implies a 32% upside from current levels.
Backing her stance, Burrows noted, “We estimate 5.3% FFO growth per year over 2020E-2022E, versus an average of 3.1% fo rour full REIT coverage. We expect key earnings drivers will include a continued recovery in acquisition volumes and a gradual improvement in theater rents (in 2022).”
The analyst added, “We assume O makes $2.8 billion of acquisitions in each of 2021 and 2022, versus the consensus expectation of $2.3 billion. [We] believe our acquisition volume assumptions could in fact turn out to be conservative as, eight days into 2021, the company has already made or agreed to make $807.5 mn of acquisitions (or 29% of our estimate for 2021).”
Overall, Wall Street takes a bullish stance on Realty Income shares. 5 Buys and 1 Hold issued over the previous three months make the stock a Strong Buy. Meanwhile, the $69.80 average price target suggests ~17% upside from the current share price. (See O stock analysis on TipRanks)
Essential Properties Realty Trust (EPRT)
Last up, Essential Properties, owns and manages a portfolio of single-tenant commercial properties across the US. There are 214 tenants across more than 1000 properties in 16 industries, including car washes, convenience stores, medical services, and restaurants. Essential Properties boasts a high occupancy rate of 99.4% for its properties.
In 3Q20, the company saw revenue increase of 18.2% year-over-year, reaching $42.9 million. Essential Properties finished the quarter with an impressive $589.4 million in available liquidity, including cash, cash equivalents, and available credit. The strong cash position and rising revenues had the company confident enough to raise the dividend in going into Q4.
The new dividend payment is 24 cents per common share, up 4.3% from the previous payment. The current rate annualizes to 96 cents, and gives a yield of 4.6%. The company has been raising its dividend regularly for the past two years.
In her review for Goldman, Burrows focuses on the recovery that Essential Properties has made since the height of the COVID panic last year.
“When shelter in place mandates went into effect in early 2020, only 71% of EPRT’s properties were open (completely or on a limited basis). This situation has improved in the intervening months and now just 1% of EPRT’s portfolio is closed… We expect EPRT’s future earnings growth to be driven by acquisition accretion and estimate 2.8% potential earnings growth from $100 mn of acquisitions,” Burrows wrote.
In line with her optimistic approach, Burrows gives EPRT shares a Buy rating, along with a $26 one-year price target, suggesting a 27% upside.
All in all, EPRT has 9 recent analyst reviews, and the breakdown of 8 Buys and 1 Sell gives the stock a Strong Buy consensus rating. Shares are priced at $20.46 and have an average price target of $22.89, giving ~12% upside potential from current levels. (See EPRT stock analysis on TipRanks)
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.