American Campus Communities, Inc.
) have been rising since announcing the acquisition of student
housing properties last month. Also, this Zacks #2 Rank (Buy) REIT
currently pays a regular quarterly dividend that yields 2.9%
With a decent dividend yield and an expected long-term earnings
growth rate of 9.2%, American Campus Communities looks like a
promising pick for investors seeking both growth and income.
Acquisition and Earnings Recap
On December 3, American Campus Communities announced the completion
of the acquisition of 19 select student housing properties from
affiliates of Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, L.P for $862.8
million. The acquired portfolio spans several states and consists
of a total of 12,049 beds, including 366 beds currently under
development at an existing property. The acquisition of the
development property is expected to be completed in the third
quarter of 2013.
On October 22, American Campus reported third-quarter FFOM (funds
from operations- modified) of 32 cents per share, which fell short
of the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Though results benefited from
improved top line, it was more than offset by higher operating
Total revenue increased 24.8% year over year to $118.8 million, due
mainly to a rise in property acquisitions, completion of
development of properties and a hike in rental rates for the
2012-2013 academic year. Same store net operating income climbed
4.1% and the average rental rate rose 3.4% on a year-over-year
basis. Yet, total operating expenses advanced 30.2% to $103.3
million due to higher wholly-owned properties costs.
At the end of the quarter, American Campus had cash and cash
equivalents of $18.0 million and had $206.0 million remaining under
its unsecured revolving credit facility.
American Campus Communities is expected to release its
fourth-quarter results on February 11. The Zacks Consensus Estimate
for the quarter is 57 cents per share on revenue of $146.0 million.
Earnings Estimates Moving Up
Over the past 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2013
increased 1.3% to $2.39 per share, reflecting a year-over-year
improvement of about 23.6%.
American Campus Communities has been consistently paying a
quarterly dividend of $0.3375 per share since 2005. The current
dividend rate affirms an annual yield of 2.9%.
Shares of American Campus currently trade at 19.6x 12-month forward
earnings, a 25.6% premium to the peer group average of 15.6x. Its
price-to-book ratio of 2.0 is 9.1% below the industry median of
2.2. Given its strong fundamentals, the valuation looks reasonable.
The company has been continuously outperforming the S&P 500
since mid-October, and has also been outperforming its 200 and 50
days moving averages since the beginning of last month. The return
for the stock came in at 7.5% over the last three months compared
with the S&P 500's return of 0.6%.
With strong earnings growth projections, a sturdy dividend yield
and reasonable valuation, American Campus offers an attractive
growth and income opportunity.
American Campus Communities is a real estate investment trust that
was founded in 1993. The company is a developer and operator of
high-quality student housing communities. The company owns 160
student housing properties containing about 98,800 beds. The
company has a market cap of nearly $4.9 billion. Post Properties
) and Associated Estates Realty Corporation (
) are the other Zacks #2 Rank (Buy) stocks in the same industry.
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