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Is Hold Strategy Apt for Mack-Cali Realty (CLI) Stock Now?

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The new variant of COVID-19 is becoming a concern for the office real-estate market fundamentals. In fact, it already made investors skeptical about the office REIT.  However, Mack-Cali Realty Corporation , with its superior quality of office assets, is poised to beat the blues with a strong presence in the high barrier-to-entry markets and cater to growing demand for highly-amenitized office assets. Also, focus on multi-family assets acts as a tailwind.

Mack-Cali’s redevelopment efforts and investments in the high barrier-to-entry Hudson River waterfront assets are a strategic fit as such measures will enhance the quality of its office offering and help capture the demand surge for the highly-amenitized office space in business districts outside Manhattan. During the third quarter, CLI signed 8,600 square feet of new leases.

However, Mack-Cali has a substantially leveraged balance sheet. This limits CLI’s strength to withstand any credit crisis and the unexpected negative externalities in the future.

Also, Mack-Cali has a concentration of assets in the Northeastern markets of New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts. This raises its risks because any adverse economic and geopolitical situations in the region can significantly affect its operations and financial conditions.

Shares of this Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) company have gained 2.7% over the past six months, underperforming the industry's growth of 6.3%.Additionally, the trend in estimate revisions for 2021 funds from operations (FFO) per share does not indicate a favorable outlook for CLI as the same has been revised 4.8%downward over the past two months.

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Key Picks

Some better-ranked stocks from the REIT sector are OUTFRONT Media (OUT - Free Report) , Cedar Realty Trust and Apple Hospitality REIT (APLE - Free Report) .

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for OUTFRONT Media’s 2021 FFO per share has been raised 13.8% over the past month. OUT flaunts a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), currently. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Over the last four quarters, OUTFRONT Media’s fund from operations (FFO) per share surpassed the consensus estimate thrice and reported in-line results once, the average surprise being44.87%. Shares of OUT have appreciated 9.1% in the past six months, outperforming the industry’s rally of 6.3%.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Cedar Realty Trust’s current-year FFO per share has been raised 2.6% in the past month. CDR currently holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Over the last four quarters, Cedar Realty’s FFO per share surpassed the consensus estimate on two occasions and missed the mark on the remaining two, the average surprise being 6.40%. Shares of CDR have appreciated 57.1% in the past six months, outperforming the industry’s rally of 6.3%.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Apple Hospitality REIT’s 2021 FFO per share has moved 4.9% north in the past month. APLE currently carries a Zacks Rank of 2.

Over the last four quarters, Apple Hospitality’s FFO per share surpassed the consensus mark thrice and missed the same once, the negative surprise being 14.2%. Shares of APLE have inched up 3.5% in the past three months against the industry’s decline of 0.9%.

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

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