General Growth Properties, Inc.
) reached a new 52-week high, touching $23.87 during the trading
session on May 13, as it gained momentum after reporting strong
first-quarter 2014 results. The closing price of $23.49 of this
retail real estate investment trust (REIT) reflected a strong
year-to-date return of 18.0%. The trading volume for the session
was around 3.1 million shares.
Despite its strong price appreciation, this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy)
stock has plenty of upside left, given the improving retail market
fundamentals, uptick in 2014 guidance and its expected
year-over-year funds from operations (FFO) per share growth of
12.9% for 2014.
Consistent with its winning streak, General Growth Properties
came up with encouraging results yet again in the first quarter on
the back of improved operational performances. Particularly, the
company's focus on owning high-quality retail properties in the
U.S. bodes well for its long-term growth. Also, General Growth
Properties' efforts to combat the competitive pressure arising from
increasing online shopping promises bright prospects.
Notably, in April, the company collaborated with
) for availing digital coupon facilities across its properties,
which is encouraging. Also, in December, General Growth Properties
teamed up with Deliv to offer same-day delivery service to
retailers. These deals are poised to boost the company's top-line
growth, going forward.
On Apr 28, 2014, General Growth Properties reported
first-quarter 2014 FFO per share of 31 cents, which exceeded the
Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny and the year-ago quarter figure
by 6 cents. This was mainly driven by rise in same store net
operating income and increase in initial rental rates.
Encouragingly, the company raised its 2014 FFO per share guidance
to the range of $1.30 - $1.32, up from $1.27 - $1.31 guided
Over the last 7 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for full-year
2014 and 2015 FFO per share remained stable at $1.31 and $1.43 per
Other Stocks to Consider
Apart from General Growth Properties, other REITs that reached
52-week highs on May 13 include
Essex Property Trust Inc.
Funds from operations, a widely accepted and reported measure
of REITs performance, are derived by adding depreciation,
amortization and other non-cash expenses to net income.
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