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Here's Why You Should Retain Digital Realty (DLR) Stock Now

Digital Realty DLR is well poised to grow amid robust demand for data centers, accretive acquisitions and development efforts. A solid balance sheet position also augurs well. Nonetheless, with stiff competition in the industry, aggressive pricing pressure is concerning.

High growth in cloud computing, the Internet of Things and big data, and elevated demand for third-party IT infrastructure are spurring demand for data-center infrastructure. Moreover, growth in artificial intelligence as well as autonomous vehicle and virtual/augmented reality markets is anticipated to be robust over the next five-six years.

Demand is strong in the top-tier data center markets and despite enjoying high occupancy, these markets are fast absorbing new construction, which is anticipated to drive demand for the data centers. Moreover, data centers are poised to benefit from the excessive reliance on technology and acceleration in the digital transformation strategies by enterprises.

Capitalizing on such factors, Digital Realty is expanding its portfolio on accretive acquisition. Earlier this month, Digital Realty announced its agreement to acquire a majority stake in the African carrier-neutral data center and interconnection services provider Teraco Data Environments for $3.5 billion. The transaction, expected to close in the first half of 2022, will establish Digital Realty as the leading colocation and interconnection provider in the growing African market.

Digital Realty enjoys a robust balance-sheet position. DLR exited the third quarter of 2021 with cash and cash equivalents of $116 million. Its debt maturity schedule was well-laddered, with a weighted average maturity of 6.3 years and a 2.2% weighted average coupon. DLR strategically taps the debt and equity market to bolster its balance sheet and leverage growth scopes.

Shares of this currently Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) player have appreciated 5.6% in the past three months, outperforming the industry’s rise of 3.4%. In addition, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 funds from operations (FFO) per share has moved up marginally in the past month. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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However, Digital Realty faces stiff competition in its industry. DLR competes with several data-center developers, owners and operators who enjoy the ownership of similar assets in locations.

Also, there are several local developers in the United States, and several regional operators in Europe, Asia and Australia. Hence, given the solid growth potential of the data center real-estate market, competition is expected to increase in the upcoming period from the existing and new players. Also, there is likely to be an aggressive pricing pressure in the data-center market.

Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks from the REIT sector are Extra Space Storage EXR, OUTFRONT Media OUT and CubeSmart CUBE.

Extra Space flaunts a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) at present. Shares of EXR have gained 20.8% in the past six months.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Extra Space’s 2021 FFO per share has been raised 3.3% over the past two months. Over the last four quarters, EXR’s FFO per share surpassed the consensus mark on all occasions, the average being 5.9%.

OUTFRONT Media flaunts a Zacks Rank of 1 at present. Shares of OUT have gained 17.9% in the past six months.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for OUTFRONT Media’s 2021 FFO per share has been raised 11.2% over the past month. Over the last four quarters, OUT’s FFO per share surpassed the consensus mark on three occasions while remaining in line for the same in the other, the average being 44.9%.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for CubeSmart’s 2021 FFO per share has been raised 2.4% in the past two months. Over the last four quarters, CUBE’s FFO per share surpassed the consensus mark on all occasions, the average beat being 7.1%.

Currently, CUBE sports a Zacks Rank of 1. Shares of CubeSmart have appreciated 7.6% in the past six months.

Note: Anything related to earnings presented in this write-up represents FFO — a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs.

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Digital Realty Trust, Inc. (DLR): Free Stock Analysis Report
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OUTFRONT Media Inc. (OUT): Free Stock Analysis Report
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