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Analyst Blog

Mack-Cali Realty Corp. (CLI - Analyst Report) came up with its guidance for full-year 2014. The company expects funds from operations (FFO) in the range of $1.90 to $2.10 per share, well below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.27 per share. Shares fell 0.78% to $21.69 during the regular trading session on the New York Stock Exchange. 
 
In the midst of continued weakness in the company's core office markets, Mack-Cali has been focusing on expanding its holdings in the multi-family residential sector that has traditionally been more of a stable product type. The growth in the echo boomers population is particularly expected to drive demand for these properties. 
 
Mack-Cali has been engaged aggressively in strategic divestitures that are helping it to reap funds that can be efficiently deployed in its venture into the Multi-family sector. As part of this diversification, the company acquired Roseland Properties – the premier luxury multi-family developer, owner, and manager – in Oct 2012. 
 
The company made a series of divestitures and acquisition of multi-family properties, the most recent one being the Riverwatch Commons and Richmond Court property in New Brunswick, N.J. for $41.1 million.
 
Notably, this real estate investment trust (REIT) reported third-quarter 2013 FFO of 57 cents per share, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. However, this came below the year-ago quarterly figure by 8 cents. The quarterly results reflected the impact of a tough operating environment and declining occupancy rate. Though total revenue increased 3.6% year over year to $162.5 million, it fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $169.0 million.
 
At that time, Mack-Cali narrowed its FFO per share guidance for full-year 2013, and projected it in the range of $2.35–$2.39 per share (previous one being $2.32–$2.42). Currently, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013 FFO per share stands at $2.39.
 
Although the portfolio repositioning efforts through multifamily apartment buyouts and office assets divestiture are encouraging, we believe that the aggressive disposition efforts are continuing to have a dilutive impact on its financials in the near-to-medium term. But we believe that these strategic initiatives will benefit Mack-Cali in the long run. 
 
Mack-Cali currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). However, investors interested in the REIT industry may consider stocks like Getty Realty Corp. (GTY - Snapshot Report), Winthrop Realty Trust and Sabra Health Care REIT, Inc. (SBRA - Snapshot Report). While Getty Realty and Winthrop Realty have a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Sabra Health Care carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
 
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.