Excel Trust Owns Shopping Centers With Big Anchors


Excel Trust is a real estate investment trust (REIT) that focuses on power centers, grocery-anchored neighborhood shopping centers and freestanding retail properties.

Founder Gary Sabin started the San Diego-basedExcel Trust ( EXL ) in 1978. Through a series of mergers, acquisitions and spinoffs, Excel has emerged today with a portfolio of shopping centers that it considers to be in "vibrant communities."

Excel prefers to buy property on the West and East coasts and in Sun Belt states.

It boasts of a strong tenant base with national anchor companies such asLowe's ( LOW ),Wal-Mart Stores ( WMT ), T.J. Maxx andCVS ( CVS ). According to an Excel Trust investor presentation, other major tenants includeWhole Foods ( WFM ), HomeGoods, REI,Wells Fargo (WFC) and several national and regional restaurant chains.

In 2012, Excel purchased West Broad Village in Richmond, Va., from its developer for $161 million.

Excel went public in April 2010 and hasn't made much progress despite rising funds from operation (FFO), the REIT equivalent of earnings.

Excel's FFO has risen for five straight years, from 8 cents a share in 2008 to 90 cents in 2013. Analysts forecast a 10% drop this year but a 15% increase in 2015.

In the most recent quarter, FFO rose 9% from a year ago on a revenue increase of 14%. Hoping to grow further, the company has issued $250 million in long-term unsecured debt and raised $161 million in equity to help fund more properties.

The company's debt-to-equity ratio is 86%.

Excel pays a quarterly dividend of 17.5 cents a share, which works out to a annual yield of 5.5%. It has a three- to five-year annualized dividend growth rate of 8%.

When Excel went public, its quarterly dividend was 8 cents a share.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

This article appears in: Personal Finance , Investing Ideas

Referenced Stocks: EXL , LOW , WMT , CVS , WFM

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