Duke Realty Corporation 's DRE properties in Cincinnati have been experiencing solid demand for space. This has helped the company sign more than 1.1 million square feet of leases in third-quarter 2017, bringing the tally for the year to 2.5 million.
Demand for space has been emanating from both new and existing tenants. The company has signed new leases with several new customers, while existing tenants have opted for renewals and expansions as they found the quality and location of buildings appropriate.
New leases signed in the third quarter include the 211,444-square-foot lease with an energy management and automation specialist in Union Centre Industrial 5855, as well as a 206,400-square-foot lease with an independent aerospace maintenance, repair and overhaul provider in Mosteller 11400.
Moreover, a renewal and expansion lease has been signed with Aero Fulfillment for 361,875-square-foot space in Union Centre Industrial 6019. Also, a renewal lease was signed with Valvoline for 321,464-square-foot of space in World Park Union Centre 9451.
Notably, the industrial asset category has grabbed attention on the back of robust demand, recovering economy and job market, strengthening e-commerce market, and healthy manufacturing environment.
Additionally, Duke Realty remains well poised to capitalize on the healthy fundamentals in the industrial real estates. In fact, the company enjoys ownership and operation of around 9.8 million square feet of industrial properties in the Cincinnati metro area, which helps it leverage on the healthy trend. Furthermore, Duke Realty owns and operates about 138 million rentable square feet of bulk industrial properties in 21 major U.S. logistics markets, across the nation.
Further, the company has nearly completed the previously announced sale of its medical office business in the second quarter. This strategic move helps simplify the company's business model and turn into a leading domestic pure play industrial real estate investment trust (REIT). However, rate hike and dilutive impact of asset sales increase its woes.
Duke Realty currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Also, year to date, shares of the company have climbed 9.3%, outperforming 3.4% growth recorded by the industry .
Stocks to Consider
Better-ranked stocks in the REIT space include DCT Industrial Trust Inc. DCT , Prologis Inc. PLD and CoreSite Realty Corporation COR , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .
While DCT Industrial and Prologis have expected long-term growth rates of 4.1% and 4.6%, respectively, the expected long-term growth rate for CoreSite Realty is currently pegged at 16%.
Note: All EPS numbers presented in this write up represent funds from operations ("FFO") per share. FFO, a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs, is obtained after adding depreciation and amortization and other non-cash expenses to net income.
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