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Key Factors to Impact Duke Realty (DRE) This Earnings Season

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Duke Realty Corp. (DRE - Free Report) is scheduled to report second-quarter 2021 earnings on Jul 28, after the market closes. The company’s results are likely to reflect year-over-year growth in both its funds from operations (FFO) per share and revenues.

In the last reported quarter, this industrial real estate investment trust (REIT) delivered an in-line performance in terms of FFO per share. Results reflected improved occupancy, rental rate growth and new developments being placed into service and leased up.

Over the preceding four quarters, the company beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate on two occasions, for as many in-line performances. It has a trailing four-quarter surprise of 1.32%, on an average. The graph below depicts this surprise history:

Duke Realty Corporation Price and EPS Surprise

Duke Realty Corporation Price and EPS Surprise

Duke Realty Corporation price-eps-surprise | Duke Realty Corporation Quote

Factors to Note

The industrial real estate market is still firing on all cylinders even mid-year with robust demand, rents and pipeline that are scaling new records. What is encouraging is that demand in the U.S. industrial market outpaced supply for the second straight quarter, per a report from Cushman & Wakefield (CWK - Free Report) .

There was a net absorption of 110.2 million square feet (msf) of space in the June-end quarter, marking the most space ever absorbed in a single quarter of any year, as reported by Cushman & Wakefield. The tally is 96.7% higher than the 56 msf reported in second-quarter 2020. Warehouse/distribution space emerged as the strongest secondary property type. For the 22nd consecutive quarter, new leasing activity exceeded 100 msf and came in at 212.5 msf. This highlights the surge in digital sales, driving e-commerce leasing, together with third-party logistics providers, which helped warehouses/distribution spaces.

The U.S. industrial vacancy rate came in at 4.5% at the end of second-quarter 2021, shrinking 40 basis points (bps) quarter over quarter and 60 bps, year on year. Continued tight market conditions and solid demand aided rent growth during the June-end quarter, which increased 6.8% year on year. Asking rent of $7.03 per square foot during the period in discussion turned out to be another record high rental rate for the U.S. industrial market.

Duke Realty’s capacity to bank on this favorable trend is likely to have helped the company witness active leasing and healthy rent levels across a number of properties during the April-June quarter. Its diversified portfolio of roughly 162 million rentable square feet, positioned in 20 major U.S. logistics markets, is anticipated to have witnessed encouraging demand from e-commerce and traditional distribution customers for its industrial properties. As such, the company’s performance is expected to have been aided by continued rental rate growth during the quarter under review.

The REIT has been seeing solid demand for its industrial real estates and announced a number of leasing activities in the second quarter. This included signing a lease for a 112,000-square-foot build-to-suit facility near Tampa, FL, securing a full building prelease of its under-construction logistics facility in Rancho Cucamonga in the Inland West submarket, among others.

Amid stellar demand, Duke Realty is also like to have progressed well with its development activities, both build-to-suit and speculative ones. Moreover, the company enjoys a strong balance sheet, ample liquidity and easy access to capital. This trend is also likely to have continued in the second quarter.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate of $256.3 million for second-quarter revenues indicates growth of 13.2% year on year.

Prior to the quarterly earnings release, analysts seem to be optimistic about the company’s prospects as the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the April-June quarter FFO per share moved a cent north to 43 cents over the past month. It also suggests a year-over year improvement of 13.2%.

What Our Quantitative Model Unveils:

Our proven model predicts a positive surprise in terms of FFO per share for Duke Realty this season. The combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the chances of a FFO beat. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Duke Realty currently carries a Zacks Rank of 2 and has an Earnings ESP of +0.47%.

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 these have the right combination of elements to report a positive surprise this quarter:

American Tower Corporation (AMT - Free Report) , scheduled to report quarterly numbers on Jul 29, currently has an Earnings ESP of +1.67% and carries a Zacks Rank of 3. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Digital Realty Trust, Inc. (DLR - Free Report) , slated to release quarterly numbers on Jul 29, has an Earnings ESP of +0.63% and carries a Zacks Rank of 3, at present.

Note: Anything related to earnings presented in this write-up represents funds from operations (FFO) — a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs.