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Alexandria Real Estate, Merck Ink Long-Term Pharma Lease

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Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (ARE - Free Report) has announced its tie up with Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK - Free Report) , the global healthcare company to operate its new West Coast research facility. This move brings a top pharmaceutical company to the dynamic pharma community and strengthens Bay Area’s position as a top center for healthcare collaboration and research.

With this, Merck executed a long-term, full-building lease for a nine-story, 294,000 rentable square feet laboratory/office campus at 213 East Grand Avenue in the heart of the South San Francisco innovation cluster. The construction work for this facility is likely to begin in early 2017 and is anticipated to be placed into service in early 2019.

The state-of-the-art research center being developed by Alexandria will feature open green space to support health and wellness as well as function as space for events. An auditorium, a fitness center and a lively cafe and terrace with waterfront views have been designed to prop up research and innovation.

Currently both Alexandria Real Estate Equities and Merck carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). For the current year, Alexandria Real Estate Equities’ estimates remained unchanged at $5.52 per share. Year to date, the company’s share price surged 21.3%, whereas this rise for the Zacks categorized REIT and Equity Trust – Other industry was 1.6%.

A couple of better-ranked stocks in the REIT space include Seritage Growth Properties (SRG - Free Report) and American Tower Corporation (AMT - Free Report) . Both these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Seritage Growth Properties’ current-year funds from operations (“FFO”) estimates have moved up 0.9% over the past one month to $2.34 per share.
Current-year estimates for American Tower Corporation moved up 0.2% to $5.55 over the past month.

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. All EPS numbers presented in this write up represent FFO per share.

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