Income investors have to be creative to put together a portfolio that throws off good yield with a livable amount of risk in this era of low interest rates. Some of the best performers over the past few years have been in non-traditional plays like energy MLPs. I also believe REITs can be good places to pick up a reliable income stream as I believe real estate is in the midst of a sustainable recovery and hard assets like buildings and businesses that throw off cash flow should prosper in the coming wave of stagflation I think is a distinct possibility over the next few years. One REIT that looks good here and also should benefit from the aging demographic domestically is below.
Medical Properties Trust (MPW) is a real estate investment trust based primarily in Texas, California and the northeast. It acquires, develops, and invests in healthcare facilities.
7 reasons MPW is still is a solid income play at $11 a share:
- Its current yield is 7.2%. Distribution payments have been stagnant since 2009. However, if it hits analysts' earnings projections (see bullet point #3), they should begin rising again in the near future.
- The company just provided a quarterly earnings report that showed substantial revenue growth (up 55% Y/Y) as well as normalized funds from operations that grew 71% Y/Y.
- Earnings growth is slow and steady since the end of the financial crisis. The company made just 37 cents a share in FY2010 and then 71 cents a share in FY2011. MPW is on track for 86 cents of EPS this fiscal year and analysts expect over $1 a share of earnings in FY2013.
- Operating cash flow (probably the best way to value REITs) is up some 40% over the last three years despite the fluidity of the medical care environment (AKA, Obamacare) and a challenging real estate market.
- The company is growing impressively both organically and by doing strategic "bolt on" acquisitions. The company should come in with over 35% revenue growth this fiscal year and analysts have over 20% sales increases penciled in for FY2013.
- MPW has a very solid five year projected PEG (1.24) for a 7% yielder and sells for less than 11 times forward earnings as well.
- The stock has solid long term technical support at around $9. Since it recently bounced from that level, its momentum has been positive (higher highs, higher lows) and is solidly above its 200 day moving average (See Chart)