Tickers in this Article: VNO, JCP, BPO, VTR, STWD
As the Q3 earnings season begins to near its conclusion, there are still a number of companies left to report their quarterly results. The real estate investment trust (REIT) space is one segment of the market that has several notable names set to take the stage, in the coming days. Here are four stocks for REIT investors to keep an eye on ahead of their earnings releases. (For more, read How To Analyze Real Estate Investment Trusts.)

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Office Space
After the market close on Thursday, the commercial office space REIT Vornado Realty Trust (NYSE:VNO) will announce its Q3 results. Analysts are expecting the company to report a 2.9% decline in total revenue, when compared to the prior year quarter. The company's funds from operations (FFO) per share were $1.31 in its Q3 during 2010.

Last quarter, Vornado posted FFO of $1.27, as it benefitted from stakes that it holds in a delinquent loan servicer and a REIT that deals in single-tenant properties. These gains were partially offset by a loss on the company's investment in J. C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) and lower office space rental rates in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. VNO shares have remained fairly flat this year.

The property management company Brookfield Office Properties (NYSE:BPO) will check in with the results of its Q3 on Friday morning. Analysts are calling for the company to announce 15.6% year-over-year decline in EPS, despite a 19.2% pop in total revenue, in the current quarter. Shares of BPO have fallen 6.0% year-to-date. (To learn more, check out The REIT Way.)

Vital Signs
Prior to the opening bell on Friday, the healthcare REIT Ventas (NYSE:VTR) will release its quarterly results. Wall Street is predicting that the company will post a 101.5% gain in total revenue for the quarter, when compared to the prior year quarter. The company's FFO was 73 cents in its Q3 last year.

Last quarter, Ventas reported FFO of 80 cents, as it brought in more rental income than the year-ago quarter. The company has made progress in shoring up its balance sheet, even as it has completed $11 billion worth of acquisitions this year. VTR shares are up 7.7%, since the beginning of the year.

One other stock for investors to keep an eye on, prior to its earnings release on Friday, is the commercial mortgage REIT Starwood Property Trust (Nasdaq:STWD). The consensus among analysts is that the company will announce a 125.2% advance in total revenue on a year-over-year basis for the quarter. Shares of STWD have dropped 11.7% year-to-date.

The Bottom Line
Generally speaking, these four real estate plays should turn in respectable Q3 results, in comparison to the same quarter last year. The real estate arena is still soft in many U.S. markets, but is in much better shape than it was at the height of the credit crisis of a few years ago. There is still plenty of room for improvement by these companies, but for the most part they appear to be headed in the right direction. (For other REIT options, see 5 Types Of REITs And How To Invest In Them.)

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At the time of writing, Billy Fisher did not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

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