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Most US REITs top Q4'17 earnings forecasts

Publicly traded real estate investment trusts topped their S&P Capital IQ earnings estimates by a median of 0.71% in the 2017 fourth quarter, and of the 150 REITs with a market capitalization above $200 million and at least three analyst estimates, 89 beat their consensus earning estimates, while 58 fell short.

All REITs from the industrial and self-storage sector topped their fourth-quarter 2017 S&P Capital IQ funds from operations per-share estimates. Four of the five publicly traded data center REITs also beat their fourth-quarter estimates.

Timber REIT Rayonier Inc. posted the largest beat for the quarter, topping its S&P Capital IQ normalized earnings-per-share estimate by 96.7%. According to CEO David Nunes, one of the key drivers of timber demand is single-family construction, and according to U.S. Census Bureau data, privately owned single-family housing starts in the U.S. rose 7% year over year in the fourth quarter.

Ground-lease REIT Safety Income & Growth Inc. posted the largest miss, falling short of its FFO-per-share estimate by 63.6%. During an earnings call, COO and CFO Geoffrey Jervis attributed the miss to several items unique to the company's fourth-quarter results.

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