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REIT Replay: Eye on earnings

REITs and the broader markets traded down Monday, April 11, asinvestors bracedfor the start of the earnings season and a pair of peer acquisitions in the wirelesstelecom and prison REIT sectors were announced.

The MSCI US REIT Index (RMZ) dropped 0.27% to 1,146.98, and theSNL US REIT Equity Index fell 0.23% to finish at 305.99. The Dow Jones IndustrialAverage dipped 0.12% to close at 17,556.41, while the S&P 500 lost 0.27% toend the day at 2,041.99.

Crown Castle InternationalCorp. acquiredTower Development Corp., which has a portfolio of 336 towers in the U.S. and PuertoRico, in an estimated $461 million deal.

The Houston-based wireless telecom REIT said after markets closedApril 8 that it used available cash to finance the transaction, which it expectswill inject about $25 million to $27 million into its site rental gross margin inthe first full year of its ownership.

Crown Castle shares dropped 0.61% to $87.51 on April 11.

In other M&A news, CorrectionsCorp. of America has expanded its portfolio to 24 residential re-entryfacilities that can accommodate 4,970 beds across six states with its purchase ofCorrectional Management Inc.

The company said April 11 that it paid roughly $35.0 millionin cash to acquire theprivately held community corrections firm, which operates seven facilities totaling605 beds in Colorado.

Corrections Corp. shares added 1.29% to $31.46 on Monday.

In property news, KimcoRealty Corp. on April 11 announced that it purchased the remaining 45% stake it did not already ownin two joint venture assetsin Hollywood, Fla., from Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

The company paid $299.2 million, including $100.0 million inassumed mortgage debt, for the stake acquisition. The properties comprise the 900,000-square-footOakwood Plaza shopping center and the Dania Pointe mixed-use development project.

Kimco also provided an update on its recent operational activity,saying that it completed roughly $460.8 million in asset acquisitions and dispositionsduring the first quarter.

Kimco shares ticked up 0.60% on Monday to $28.35.

In Canada, RioCanReal Estate Investment Trust and Allied Properties REIT are advancing their joint venture project to the King-Portland Centre on 61,608square feet of land in Toronto.

The companies said April 11 that they will develop a new structureon the site, which will comprise 255,565 square feet of office GLA, 13,035 squarefeet of retail GLA and about 116 residential units. The project is targeted forcompletion in early 2019.

RioCan shares picked up 0.30% on April 11 to C$26.93, while sharesof Allied Properties dipped 0.26% to C$34.49.

In capital offerings, GEOGroup Inc. said April 11 that it initiated a $300 million cash tender offer for its outstanding6.625% senior notes due 2021.

The company added that it plans an offering of $300 million aggregateprincipal amount of senior unsecured notes due 2026 to finance the tender offer.

GEO Group shares gained 2.89% to $34.14 on April 11.

FBR Capital Markets & Co. analysts Bryan Maher and WendyMa launched coverage of Apple HospitalityREIT Inc. with a "market perform" rating and a $20.00 pricetarget on the company's stock.

The duo posited in an April 11 note that the initial rating isbased on the hotel REIT's "premium" valuation compared to its peers. Theynoted, however, that the company is likely to outperform the market in the next18 to 24 months, given its "generally young in age and well maintained"portfolio.

With 179 hotels comprising 22,961 rooms in its portfolio, AppleHospitality "is now one of the largest and best capitalized of the U.S. lodgingREITs," the pair said.

Apple Hospitality shares edged forward 0.21% to $18.99 on Monday.

In an April 11 note, a pair of Janney analysts initiated coverageof STORE Capital Corp.at "buy," citing the company's "discounted" valuation and robustearnings growth.

Venkat Kommineni and Robert Stevenson provided a $28 fair valueestimate on the company's stock, which they said represents a roughly 7% upsideand offers a potentially "attractive" return in the current market landscapewhen combined with a 4.1% common dividend.

STORE Capital shares picked up 1.11% on April 11 to $26.49.

Now featured

Vornado still weighingDC spinoff, Roth says: Vornado's chairman and CEO briefly addressedthe possibility of a spinoff transaction in his annual letter to shareholders.

The Property Ledger:Independence Realty sells $23M Denver asset; Texas REIT adds to diversified portfolio:The April 11 edition of North American property news roundup also features an IPOhopeful's medical office building acquisitions in Florida and Michigan and Consolidated-TomokaLand's noncore income asset sales.

Market prices and indexvalues are current as of the time of publication and are subject to change.