Is Dream Office Real Estate Investment Trst Still a Buy?

Real estate is one of the most efficient ways that an individual can make money. There’s a finite amount of land, and people need it. For businesses, high-quality office space is a hot commodity. This is why I believe Dream Office Real Estate Investment Trst  (TSX:D.UN) is worthy of consideration.

Due to a bit of bad news, Dream Office’s its stock price dropped from $18.59 to $16.92 overnight. The primary reason is because it continues to experience problems in its Albertan holdings due to oil and gas companies having a hard time surviving in this weak-pricing economy. But one investor’s bad news is another investor’s opportunity.

Investors who bought this company last year are feeling pain. The stock wasn’t doing well, its dividend was far too high, and they experienced a deep cut. But for new investors, I actually believe this is a great opportunity to buy.

Dream Office trades at a 31.25% discount to its NAV. Based on an analysis by the company, the value of its real estate per share is $23.64. Yet the shares trade at only $16.25. For every one share of Dream Office you buy, you’re getting an additional $7.39 in “free” real estate.

Here’s the reason that’s such a big deal…

According to management, the NAV of its “value add assets,” those predominantly in Alberta, is $4.10. Its Albertan properties–those impacted by oil and gas–are suffering the most for Dream Office. Therefore, investors have beaten Dream Office down even further than what the NAV of those at-risk assets are. If these assets were worth $0.00 (and they’re not), you’d still be getting $3.29 of free real estate if you bought shares today.

Dream Office, having recognized that investors weren’t going to value the company at its NAV, decided that it would force the issue by selling some of its non-core assets. Management put a plan in place to sell $1.2 billion of its assets over three years (ideally by the end of 2018). So far, it has sold $437 million worth of assets across 17 properties with two million square feet. There’s an additional $130 million in various stages of discussion and contract. This selling is necessary to strengthen its balance sheet.

By increasing cash on hand, Dream Office has the liquidity to deal with its Alberta problem. Further, it can reduce any high-interest debt, thus ensuring the company will be in a strong position for when Alberta’s properties return to strength.

The good news is that its core portfolio (which provides 40% of its net operating income) has an occupancy rate of 98% with a weighted average lease term of approximately six years. Further, it has already renewed 95.4% of its maturing leases for this year at a 10.4% increase in rent.

And while its portfolio is dealing with some tough times, it only has a 68% payout ratio. With a 9.23% yield, the company pays a monthly dividend of $0.125 per share. Because of the low payout ratio, the strategy of reducing debt, and the discount to NAV, investors should seriously consider buying this stock.

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Fool contributor Jacob Donnelly has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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