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REIT Stocks Q3 Earnings Queued Up for Oct 18: CCI, SLG & BDN

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The Q3 earnings season has just begun and the real estate investment trust (REIT) space is already buzzing with activity. Notably, on Oct 18, Crown Castle International Corp. CCI, SL Green Realty Corp. (SLG - Free Report) and Brandywine Realty Trust BDN are scheduled to release their quarterly results.

Admittedly, the Federal Open Market Committee meeting has affected the price performance of REITs in the quarter. However, with the economy and the job market showing signs of recovery, a number of asset categories displayed strength in third-quarter 2017.

Per a recent study from CBRE Group Inc. CBG, the U.S. office vacancy rate contracted 10 basis points (bps) in the third quarter amid growth in office-using jobs. In most of the U.S. office markets, vacancy dropped, taking the national office-vacancy rate close to its post-recession low.

The industrial asset category also grabbed attention on the back of robust demand, recovering economy and job market, strengthening e-commerce market, and a healthy manufacturing environment. Amid an e-commerce boom, growth in industries and companies opting for consolidation of operations to improve supply-chain efficiencies, demand for logistics infrastructure and efficient distribution networks has been increasing.

Nevertheless, dwindling mall traffic and store closures amid aggressive growth in online purchases have kept retail REITs on tenterhooks.

Consolidation in the wireless industry is expected to bring down demand for cell-tower deployments. Further, evolution of new technologies may reduce demand for site leases. These factors will likely impact the wireless communication tower operators.

Therefore, surprises might be in store for some REITs, while others may disappoint this earnings season. Let’s have a look at what’s in store for these three REITs set to release third-quarter figures:

Houston-based Crown Castle International Corp. (CCI) is a leading wireless communication tower operator in the United States. Crown Castle’s ongoing operation in the consolidated wireless industry has reduced demand for cell-tower deployment. This, in turn, might dent the company’s top line considerably. Also, the latest technologies have reduced demand for site leases.

In the last reported quarter, Crown Castle noted that it projects third-quarter site-rental revenues in the range of $888-$893 million. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the same is $891 million. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for net revenues from network services and other segment is currently pegged at 176 million. (Read more: Will Crown Castle Disappoint Investors in Q3 Earnings?)

The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) and an Earnings ESP of -3.52%. Over the trailing four quarters, Crown Castle beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in two occasions for as many misses, generating an average negative surprise of 0.19%. This is depicted in the graph below:

SL Green Realty Corp. (SLG - Free Report) has been boosting its capacity to offer office space through an opportunistic investment policy. This bodes well for the company amid an improving economy and job-market environment. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the third-quarter property net operating income (NOI) and net rental revenues are currently pegged at $183 million and $281 million, respectively, nearly in line with the previous quarter’s figures.  

Nonetheless, the company has been long troubled on the retail front, with an increasing number of retailers jumping on the dot-com bandwagon. This will likely create pressure on SL Green’s top-line performance. Of late, many retailers have been filing for bankruptcy and opting for store closures, as mall traffic has been shrinking owing to soaring online purchases. Although the company is aggressively taking initiatives to lure consumers, it may take a while for these efforts to reflect in its operating results. (Read more: Will Rise in Supply Impact SL Green's Q3 Earnings?)

SL Green currently has a Zacks Rank of 4 and an Earnings ESP of -1.34%. SL Green beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in two occasions and missed in the other two, over the last four quarters, witnessing an average negative beat of 0.19%. This is depicted in the graph below:

SL Green Realty Corporation Price and EPS Surprise

Brandywine Realty Trust (BDN) is active in acquiring, developing, redeveloping, leasing and managing suburban office, and industrial properties. Riding high on industry fundamentals, the company recorded growth in rental rates in the second quarter. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for third-quarter rental revenues is currently pegged at $105 million, a marginal rise from the figure reported in the prior quarter. While the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues from termination fees is pegged at $1.21 million, the same for revenues from tenant reimbursements is pegged at $18.88 million.

The company currently has a Zacks Rank of 3 (Hold) and an Earnings ESP of 0.00%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

It has surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in one occasion and met in the other three, the average positive surprise being 0.52%. This is depicted in the graph below:

Brandywine Realty Trust Price and EPS Surprise

Note: All EPS numbers presented in this write up represent funds from operations (“FFO”) per share. 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.

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