Iron Mountain Incorporated ( IRM Quick Quote IRM - Free Report) , with a Zacks Ranks #3 (Hold), have jumped 22.5% in the quarter-to-date period compared with its industry’s growth of 6.1%. Earlier this month, this Boston, MA-based real estate investment trust (REIT) reported third-quarter 2022 adjusted funds from operations (AFFO) per share of 98 cents, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 96 cents. This figure was 8.9% higher than the year-ago quarter. Also, total quarterly revenues of $1.29 billion increased 13.9% year over year. Iron Mountain reaffirmed its guidance for 2022. It projects AFFO per share between $3.70 and $3.82. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the same is pegged at $3.78, which lies in the company’s guided range.
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Let us decipher the factors behind the surge in the stock price.
Iron Mountain has a durable business model and derives the majority of its revenues from fixed periodic (usually earned on a monthly basis) storage rental fees charged to customers based on the volume of their records stored. This ensures a steady revenue generation for the company. Additionally, Iron Mountain’s diversified tenant and revenue base across different industries and geographical locations has paid off. The company’s third-quarter 2022 results reflected solid performances in the storage and service segments, as well as the data-center business. Storage rental revenues were $760.4 million in the third quarter, up 5.8% year over year, while service revenues amounted to $526.6 million, reflecting a rise of 28%. Organic storage rental revenues grew 9.7%, representing a sequential improvement of 150 basis points. The strength came from the continued benefit of pricing, coupled with positive volume trends and data center growth. Further, the adjusted EBITDA improved 12.4% year over year to $469.4 million in the quarter, which is an all-time high. IRM has been focusing on expanding its fast-growing businesses, especially the data center segment, to supplement its storage segment performance. It leased 7 megawatts of data center capacity in the third quarter and is well on track to achieve its projection of 130 megawatts of leasing for 2022. In November 2022, it closed the acquisition of XData Properties, one of the largest data center parks in Madrid, and expanded its data center footprint in the EMEA region. With the above-mentioned buyout, IRM will be able to support a robust ecosystem, wherein cloud, network, service providers and consumers can seamlessly connect with each other. In addition, the region has a growing demand for hyperscale cloud requirements, with several entities intending to develop a Spanish cloud region. Being centrally located within hyperscale availability zones and having an ideal position for built-to-suit deployments, IRM’s latest buyout is a strategic fit. Simultaneously, Iron Mountain bought a 10-acre land parcel and 50+ MVA (expandable to 100+ MVA) substation in Phoenix, AZ, and broadened its data center presence in North America. The land was bought to develop a 36-megawatt, 230,000 square feet data center, phase one of which is expected to be delivered in 2024. On the balance-sheet front, Iron Mountain had $1.5 billion in liquidity as of Sep 30, 2022. As of the same date, its net total lease-adjusted leverage was 5.2X, marking its lowest leverage level since 2017. The company has no significant debt maturities until 2027. IRM’s strong financial footing has enabled it to capitalize on long-term growth opportunities so far. The company’s trailing 12-month return on equity (ROE) is 73.31% compared with the industry’s average of 4.65%. This reflects that the company has been more efficient in using shareholders’ funds than its peers. Nonetheless, the fragmentation of the storage and information management services industry and a slowdown in the service business are concerning for the company. Also, rising interest rates and the strengthening of the U.S. dollar are worrisome. Stocks to Consider
Some better-ranked stocks from the REIT sector are
VICI Properties ( VICI Quick Quote VICI - Free Report) , Lamar Advertising ( LAMR Quick Quote LAMR - Free Report) and Equity Commonwealth ( EQC Quick Quote EQC - Free Report) . The Zacks Consensus Estimate for VICI Properties’ current-year FFO per share is pegged at $1.91. VICI currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see . the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Lamar Advertising’s 2022 FFO per share is pegged at $7.34. LAMR has a Zacks Rank of 2 at present. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Equity Commonwealth’s ongoing year’s FFO per share is pegged at 33 cents. EQC currently sports a Zacks Rank #1. 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.