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  • Alex Pettee, CFA

Net Lease REITs: Exploiting A Competitive Advantage

  • Net Lease REITs may be expensive, but perhaps that's a good thing. Utilizing "cheap" equity capital, Net Lease REITs have reasserted themselves as the external growth engines of REITs.

  • Access to the public equity markets to fuel-accretive acquisitions has been the defining competitive advantage for these REITs, explaining much of the consistent outperformance over the last three decades.

  • 3Q19 earnings were generally better than expected across the sector as AFFO and dividend growth look poised to turn decidedly positive in 2020 after a challenging two years.

  • With occupancy at 99%, net lease REITs have defied the retail-related headwinds that have bedeviled other retail REIT sectors. While net lease REITs have heavy retail exposure, it’s primarily the “right kind” of retail.

  • Quality is critical in the REIT sector, particularly with net lease REITs, where "cost of capital" is paramount. Cheap REITs tend to stay cheap and expensive REITs stay expensive.

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