Outfront Media Inc. (OUT – Free Report) reported third-quarter 2017 adjusted funds from operations (FFO) per share of 56 cents, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The figure, however, came in lower than the year-ago quarter tally of 60 cents.
Results indicate higher local sales across billboard and transit, benefit from acquired digital billboards in Canada, as well as conversion of static billboards to digital.
Revenues for the quarter came in at $392.4 million, comfortably surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $391.1 million. Further, revenues rose 2.5% from the year-ago figure.
Quarter in Detail
Billboard revenues of $272.4 million in the quarter indicated a marginal increase of 0.7% year over year. Results reflect acquired digital billboards in Canada, conversion of static billboards to digital and increased proceeds from condemnations. However, the positives were partly offset by a drop in average revenue per display (yield) mainly from a decline in U.S. national advertising revenues, the net impact of new and lost billboards in the period, as well as the effect of hurricanes in the Florida and Texas markets.
Transit and other revenues of $120.0 million also increased 6.9% from the prior-year quarter. This was due to the net impact of won and lost franchises in the period, partly offset by a decline in the average revenue per display due to a reduction in revenues from the U.S. national advertisements.
Operating expenses of $212.6 million flared up 5.5% year over year, mainly due to elevated transit franchise expenses from higher transit revenue and new transit contracts.
Adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization inched up 0.1% year over year to $120.8 million.
Net cash flow resulting from operating activities for the nine-month period ending Sep 30, 2017, came in at $182.6 million, down from $200.7 million recorded in the comparable period last year. Results indicate lower net income, as adjusted for non-cash items, and higher cash-paid for direct lease acquisition costs. This was partly offset by improvement in the working capital.
As of Sep 30, 2017, Outfront Media’s liquidity position comprised cash of $42.0 million, as well as $428.3 million of availability under its $430.0 revolving credit facility, net of $1.7 million of issued letters of credit against the revolving credit facility.
Outfront Media’s diversity, both geographical and industry wise, efforts to convert from traditional static billboard displays to digital billboard displays, and low cost of advertisement across the OOH platform bode well for growth. However, a challenging national advertising market remains a major concern, as well as intense competition and rise in interest rates add to its woes.
Currently, Outfront Media carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
In addition, the stock has declined 3.3% year to date, underperforming the 5.2% gain of the industry it belongs to.
Stocks to Consider
Better-ranked stocks in the REIT space include Chatham Lodging Trust (CLDT – Free Report) , Extra Space Storage Inc. (EXR – Free Report) and Lexington Realty Trust (LXP – Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for full-year 2017 earnings of Chatham Lodging inched up 0.5% to $2.17 in a week’s time.
The 2017 Zacks Consensus Estimate for Extra Space Storage is pegged at $4.31, indicating rise of 0.2% in a week’s time.
The current-year Zacks Consensus Estimate for Lexington Realty Trust is pegged at 96 cents and has remained unchanged in a month’s time.
Note: All EPS numbers presented in this report 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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