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Brookfield Property Stock: Still Attractive with 7.3% Dividend Yield

Summary

  • Brookfield Property Partners LP’s (TSX:BPY.UN)(NASDAQ:BPY) / Brookfield Property REIT’s (NASDAQ:BPR) Core Retail business is resilient, and it’s going through a phase of redevelopment to be more relevant in today’s retail environment.
  • The REIT’s Core Office business is doing well.
  • Realized gains reduced 2019 payout ratio from 95% to 84%.
  • We’re comfortable with BPY’s token raise (+0.8%) of the Q1 2020 cash distribution, as the yield is high at 7.3%.

Financial Overview for Q4 and 2019

Funds from operations (FFO) per unit (excluding opportunistic portfolio investment gains) declined 6% for 2019 against 2018. However, BPY stock did increase its cash distribution by 4.8% year over year.

Based on FFO only, the payout ratio was 95%. Thanks to the investment gains from its opportunistic portfolio, the actual payout ratio (based on “total earnings”) is lowered to 84% for 2019. Although this is higher than the 60% range in the previous years, it’s still sustainable.

Capital Recycling Program

BPY has been consistently able to sell assets in the opportunistic portfolio or mature assets at higher than their accounting values and recycle that capital into properties with expected higher returns.

In 2019, BPY sold $3.3 billion of assets at 6% higher than their accounting values and generated net proceeds of $1.8 billion that were deployed at higher returns.

Management expects to continue this capital recycling program of stabilized or mature assets to achieve net proceeds of $1.5-$2.0 billion for redeployment.

Token Dividend Increase; Dividend Yields 7.3%

Admittedly, BPY’s 2019 payout ratio of 95%, based solely on FFO, was higher than normal. Its average payout ratio (based solely on FFO) from 2014 to 2018 was 85%.

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