The overall Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) sector has been down a lot year to date. For example, the office sector has been down ~21.9% since the start of 2022. The REIT Industrial sector is down ~18% year to date. This decline provides long-term investors with some opportunities in the real estate sector. Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRT) is an undervalued Dividend King REIT yielding 4.7%+.
For example, Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRT) is one company and a Dividend King I have been keeping my eye on, and it looks like an excellent price to pick up some shares as it is near a support level at around $85. The chart below shows that the $80 to $85 level was once a support level two different times. In addition, the stock is trading at $90.61 per share. Thus, FRT looks like an excellent area to pick up share. Next, we will determine if the company is undervalued and deserving of our hard earn money.
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Overview of Federal Realty Investment Trust
Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRT) invests in shopping centers in the Northeastern United States, the Mid-Atlantic states, California, and South Florida.
Founded in 1962, Federal Realty’s mission is to deliver long-term, sustainable growth through investing in communities where retail demand exceeds supply. Its expertise includes creating urban, mixed-use neighborhoods like Santana Row in San Jose, California, Pike & Rose in North Bethesda, Maryland, and Assembly Row in Somerville, Massachusetts.
The company has 105 properties, including approximately 3,100 tenants, 25 million square feet, and about 3,400 residential units. The top 10 tenants are TJX, NetApp, Ahold, Splunk, CVS, GAP, LA Fitness, Albertsons, Michaels, and Home Depot, totaling ~14.77% of the base rent.
FRT is down 36% since its high in January 2022. The main driver of the stock price decrease has nothing to do with the company itself, as earnings are expected to grow 11% in 2022 and are expected to grow 3% in 2023. Instead, it has to do with the increase in interest rates, as this affected all REIT stocks in the markets.
The current stock price of $90.60 (as of this writing) is right at the lower end of the 52-week range, between $86.52 and $140.51 per share. Thus, FRT looks like a stock that seems to be in the right place to buy up shares where both the 52-week range and support line meet.
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FRT Dividend History, Growth, and Yield
We will now look at FRT’s dividend history, growth, and yield. We will then determine if it’s still a good buy at current prices.
Federal Realty is considered a Dividend King, a company that has increased its dividend for over fifty years. In this case, FRT has increased its dividend for 55 consecutive years. Federal Realty is also one of 3 Dividend Aristocrat REITs. FRT’s most recent dividend increase was 0.9%, announced in August 2022.
Additionally, according to Portfolio Insight*, FRT has a five-year dividend growth rate of about 2.10%, which is ok. However, it is not as fast as how inflation increased last year and this year. In addition, the 10-year dividend growth rate is higher at ~4.59%. Thus, the dividend growth rate has been slowing down in recent years.
Something essential to note is that FRT continued to pay its dividend during the most challenging period in the last 100 years. Many businesses and industries cut or suspended their dividend payments during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, FRT continued to pay out its dividend and increased them. That is very noteworthy. This fact alone leads me to believe in the strength of the company and the fact that management is focused and committed to the dividend policy.
The company has an excellent dividend yield of approximately 4.7%, which is more than double the average dividend yield of the S&P 500 Index. This dividend yield is a respectable initial yield for dividend growth-driven investors. Also, it may be an excellent stock for income-driven investors who want a 4.5% yield or higher. However, with the company’s increasing dividend rate, I can see over a 5% yield on cost (YOC) in the next 5 to 7 years.
FRT’s current dividend yield is higher than its own 5-year average dividend yield of 3.75%. I like to look at this metric because it gives me a good idea if a company I am researching is undervalued or overvalued based on the current and 5-year average yield. Stock price and dividend yield FRT are inversely related. If the stock price increases, the dividend yield decreases, and vice versa.
Let’s determine if the current dividend is safe. This metric is critical to look at as a dividend growth investor. Undervalued dividend stocks sometimes present a “value trap,” and the stock price can continue to decline.
We must look at two critical metrics to determine if the dividend payments FRT is safe every year. The first one is Funds From Operation per share (FFO), and then we must look into Free Cash Flow (FCF) per share or Operating Cash Flow (OCF).
Analysts predict that FRT will earn an FFO of about $6.20 per share for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. Analysts are 85% accurate when forecasting FRT’s future FFO. Also, the company misses these estimates 15% of the time. In addition, the company is expected to pay out $4.30 per share in dividends for the entire year. These numbers give a payout ratio of approximately 69.4% based on FFO, a conservative value, leaving the company with much room to continue to grow its dividend. Most REITs tend to have a payout ratio of over 80%.
I am excited by having an 80% or lower dividend coverage with a dividend yield of 4.7% for future growth. At this point, it will allow the company to continue to grow its dividend at a mid-single-digit rate without sacrificing dividend safety. In addition, FRT has a dividend payout ratio of 90.6% on an FCF basis. Thus, the dividend is well covered in both FFO and FCF.
FRT Revenue and Earnings Growth / Balance Sheet Strength
We will now look at how well FRT performed and grew its FFO and revenue throughout the years. When valuing a company, these two metrics FRT are at the top of my list to study. Without revenue growth, a company can’t have sustainable FFO growth and continue paying a growing dividend.
FRT revenues have been growing modestly at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 5.59% for the past ten years. Net income, however, did much better with a CAGR of ~7.2% over the same ten-year period.
However, according to Portfolio Insight*, FFO has grown 2.9% annually over the past ten years and has a CAGR of 0.8% over the past five years.
Since revenue, net income, and FFO did have good growth over the years, we will determine if this stock is attractive based on its valuation and dividend yield. We will talk about the company’s valuation later in this article. In the meantime, analysts predict that the company will grow FFO at a 5% rate over the next five years.
Last year’s FFO increased from $4.38 per share in FY2020 to $5.57 per share for FY2021, an increase of 27% considering the challenging two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, analysts expect FRT to make an FFO of $6.20 per share for the fiscal year 2022, which would be a ~11% increase compared to FY2021. I like to see future earnings for FRT continue to grow.
The company has a solid balance sheet. FRT does not have an S&P Global credit rating. However, the company has a debt-to-equity ratio is 1.6, which is a decent ratio. Thus, the company has a stable balance sheet to overcome significant economic downturns like the COVID-19 pandemic last two years, adding to the dividend safety.
However, there FRT still risks with an investment in FRT. For example, if there is a recession, this can continue to bring the stock price lower as it did in the Great Recession and during the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw prices decrease 42% and 80.5%, respectively. Also, since this is a retail-type REIT, the company is at risk of more tenants closing locations because more customers are shopping online.
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FRT Competitive Advantage
Management execution of new properties, either through acquisition or construction of new properties, is its most significant competitive advantage moving forward. Thus, the efficiency to scale is its most crucial growth driver.
One of the valuation metrics that I like to look for is the dividend yield compared to the past few years histories. I also want to look for a lower price-to-earnings (P/FFO) ratio based on the past 5-year or 10-year average. Lastly, I like to use the Dividend Discount Model (DDM). I use a DDM analysis because a business ultimately equals the sum of the future cash flow that that business can provide.
Let’s first look at the P/FFO ratio. FRT has a P/FFO ratio of ~15.2x based on FY 2022 FFO of $6.20 per share. The P/FFO multiple is excellent compared to the past 5-year P/FFO average of 21.9x. If FRT were to vert back to a P/FFO of 21.9X, we would obtain a price of $135.78 per share.
Now let’s look at the dividend yield. As I mentioned, the dividend yield currently is 4.7%. There is good upside potential as FRT’s 5-year dividend yield average is ~3.7%. For example, if FRT were to return to its dividend yield 5-year average, the price target would be $116.21.
The last item I like to look at to determine a fair price is the DDM analysis. I factored in an 8% discount rate and a long-term dividend growth rate of 3%. I use an 8% discount rate because of the higher-than-normal current dividend yield. In addition, the projected dividend growth rate is conservative and lower than its past 5-year average. These assumptions give a fair price target of approximately $88.58 per share.
If we average the three fair price targets of $135.78, $116.21, and $88.58, we obtain a reasonable, fair price of $113.52 per share, giving FRT a possible upside of 25.2% from the current price of $90.61 share price.
Conclusion on Federal Realty (FRT): A Dividend King REIT
Federal Realty Trust is a high-quality company and Dividend King that should meet most investors’ requirements. The company has a market-beating 4.7% yield and a long-term dividend growth history. Past earnings growth has been excellent. However, past performance does not mean it will be the same in the future. However, I think at the current price; the stock looks to be attractive.
Disclosure: I do not own shares of FRT
You can also read Alexandria Real Estate (ARE): Undervalued REIT by the same author.
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My name is Felix Martinez, and I am a Dividend Growth Investor who has invested in dividend growth stocks for the past seven years. I also run a YouTube channel called FiscalVoyage. I have written for SeekingAlpha.com as well as SureDividend.com. I focus on undervalued dividend growth stocks with capital return and dividend income potential. Make sure to follow me on my YouTube Channel. See you there.