Shares of SL Green Realty Corp. (SLG - Analyst Report) hit a new 52-week high, touching $109.10 toward the end of the trading session on May 12, as it gained momentum following robust first-quarter 2014 results. The closing price of this real estate investment trust (REIT) on May 12 was $108.95, representing a solid year-to-date return of 19.1%. The trading volume for the session was over 0.4 million shares.
Despite the strong price appreciation, this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock has plenty of upside left, given the improving company fundamentals, strong estimate revisions over the last 30 days and expected year-over-year funds from operations (FFO) growth of 13.1% for the current year.
Riding high on the growth trajectory, SL Green came up with yet another strong quarterly performance, driven by successful execution of strategic initiatives and notable operating portfolio performance. In particular, the company’s efforts to tap opportunities to boost its overall portfolio quality, through the acquisition of premium assets and divestiture of non-core ones bode well. Also, the company’s debt and preferred portfolio investments promise bright prospects.
On Apr 23, SL Green reported a positive earnings surprise of 11.6% for first-quarter 2014. In particular, the adjusted FFO of $1.54 per share exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 16 cents and the prior-year quarter figure by 37 cents. The 32% year-over-year increase was driven by notable top-line growth and strong portfolio enhancement activity. Also, SL Green raised its 2014 FFO per share guidance to the range of $5.90 to $5.96, up from $5.62 to $5.72 guided earlier.
In addition, SL Green had a strong balance sheet position with $447.2 million of cash and cash equivalents as of Mar 31, 2014, up from $206.7 million at the end of 2013. Notably, the company has recorded an average earnings surprise of 6.17% in the past four quarters.
Estimate Revisions Show Potency
Over the last 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2014 FFO per share climbed by 3% to $5.84 per share. Similarly, for 2015, it moved north by 1.8% to $6.15 per share.
Other Stocks to Consider
Apart from SL Green, other REITs that reached 52-week highs on May 12 include Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. (HST - Analyst Report) , Essex Property Trust Inc. (ESS - Analyst Report) and General Growth Properties, Inc (GGP - Analyst Report) . These companies reached 52-week highs of $21.75, $181.17 and $23.78, respectively.
Note: FFO, a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs, are obtained after adding depreciation, amortization and other non-cash expenses to net income.