Friday, August 28, 2009

s-reit

Time to be selective


• 2Q09 results in line or at higher end of estimates
• Outlook stabilizing, sector recapitalization largely over
• Focus shifting to acquisition opportunities
Top picks include CDL HT, ART, FCT, Suntec, MLT


Results generally in line. Sreits continued to put on a good showing in 2Q09, with yoy revenue, NPI and
distribution income growth of 9.2%, 11.7% and 8.2% respectively. On a qoq basis, revenue remained flat while
NPI and distribution income remained in positive territory. The key driver to this set of better results was the ability of retail and office landlords to retain high occupancies despite falling rents as well as better cost management; while hospitality players were able to partially offset a weaker topline with more prudent expense control measures.

Outlook stabilizing. Outlook for retail landlords appear to be stabilizing amid a moderated GDP projection and improving, but still lower yoy, retail sales. FY09 income had been largely secured with only a small quantum of renewals left for the rest of 2009. For office landlords, rentals are expected to be renewed positively in 2009, although negative reversions are expected to start kicking in from 2010 on weak supply/demand fundamentals. Hospitality landlords expect a better 2H09 vs 1H09 with improved forward booking patterns.

Sector has been substantially recapitalized, focus moving to acquisition opportunities. Sreit sector gearing
has declined to 31% with the $3.7b of capital raisings issued YTD. At this point, we believe any further capital raising exercises would be opportunistic or to fund new acquisitions given the current much lower cost of capital. In addition, the credit environment is starting to ease with strong liquidity flows and declining corporate credit spreads. We believe that Sreits that are likely to be better placed to benefit from acquisition growth as driver, would be those with sponsorbacking as well as Sreits in the industrial segment.

Top picks. Sreit sector is currently yielding a weighted average 7.5% on our FY10 estimates and trading at 0.76x P/bk NAV. Within the sector our top picks would be those with near term catalysts such as CDL HT and ART, which are key beneficiaries of the IRs and is projected to experience a recovery in earnings on the back of a better tourism outlook. We continue to favour retail landlords such as FCT for its suburban retail exposure and strong asset injection pipeline as well as Suntec on valuation grounds. Amongst industrial players, we prefer MLT for its higher than average yield of 9.4% and attractive P/NAV multiples.

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