3 REITs With Sensational First-Quarter Earnings

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Investors who are on the lookout for real estate investment trusts (REITs) that could prosper in the future need to look no further than the recent first-quarter earnings reports that were released last week.

Strong earnings often drive increases in share price as well as dividend growth. Therefore, companies with the best operating results stand to do as well or better than other comparable peers. Take a look at three REITs that had sensational first-quarter earnings and are strong candidates to continue to do quite well for months to come.

Realty Income Corp. O is a San Diego-based, triple-net lease retail REIT, with over 12,400 properties around the world. Widely known as the Monthly Dividend Company, Realty Income is a member of the S&P 500 and an S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrat, with 634 consecutive monthly dividends paid and 120 dividend increases since 1994. It is one of the more popular REITs among investors today.

Because of its large size, some analysts have cautioned that Realty Income’s growth may be limited. But on May 3, Realty Income proved naysayers wrong with a terrific first-quarter earnings report.

Funds from operations (FFO) of $1.04 per share beat both the estimates and FFO of the first quarter of 2022 by $0.03 per share. Revenue of $944.39 million beat the estimates by $61.31 million and was 17% better than its revenue of $643.26 million in the first quarter of 2022.

Realty Income also raised its full-year 2023 guidance for FFO per share from $4.01-$4.03 to $4.05-$4.15 and said it ended the first quarter with a 99% occupancy rate. It’s difficult to beat numbers like that.

Arbor Realty Trust Inc. ABR is a Long Island, New York-based mortgage REIT (mREIT) that initiates bridge and mezzanine loans for commercial and residential properties. Many of its loans originate through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac programs.

On May 5, Arbor Realty Trust reported its first-quarter earnings. Earnings per share (EPS) of $0.62 beat the estimates of $0.40 by 55%, and EPS of $0.55 by 12.7% from the first quarter of 2022. Revenue of $108.57 million beat the $96.75 million estimate by 12.22% and was a 29.04% increase over revenue of $84.14 million in the first quarter of 2022.

Since August 2020, Arbor Realty Trust has raised its dividend by a small amount with each new quarter, and its dividend has subsequently grown by 33%. This is remarkable for an mREIT because many of its peers have cut dividends at least once or twice since then. Arbor Realty’s quarterly dividend is now $0.42, and the annual dividend of $1.68 presently yields over 14%. Arbor Realty Trust’s ex-dividend date is May 18.

Arbor Realty Trust shares were decimated following a very negative short sale report by Ningi Research, falling from $15 to $10.25 in about a month. But that report has been questioned by many analysts and writers, and Arbor Realty Trust has now bounced back nicely over the past two weeks. With this latest earnings report, better times could be ahead for Arbor Realty Trust.

Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. SHO is an Aliso Viejo, California-based hotel REIT with 7,735 rooms in 15 hotels on both U.S. coasts and Hawaii. Its hotel brands include Hyatt Regency, Marriott, Hilton and Four Seasons.

On May 5, Sunstone Hotel Investors reported its first-quarter operating results. FFO of $0.21 per share beat the estimates by $0.04 but more importantly, was a 162.5% increase over FFO of $0.08 per share in the first quarter of 2022. Revenue of $243.4 million beat the consensus estimate of $229.54 million by 6.04% and was a 41.25% increase over revenue of $172.31 in the first quarter of 2022.

Comparable revenue per available room (RevPAR) increased from the first quarter of 2022 by 32% to $218.82. Occupancy was just under 70%, up from 67% in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Results like these are striking and show that the hotel industry is on its way back to the levels it enjoyed prior to the pandemic.

Over the past five years, private market real estate investments have outperformed the publicly traded REIT market by about 50%. Check out Benzinga’s Real Estate Offering Screener to discover the latest passive real estate investments.

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