What is AFFO Yield?
The AFFO Yield is the ratio between the AFFO per share of a REIT and its current market price, expressed as a percentage.
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How to Calculate AFFO Yield
For participants in the REIT market, most notably real estate investors, the AFFO yield metric is a tool to determine if the valuation of a REIT as of the present date is undervalued, overvalued, or trading at its fair value.
Therefore, REIT investors must ensure sufficient income is generated to meet operating costs and meet (or exceed) the required dividend payouts using metrics such as funds from operations (FFO) and adjusted funds from operations (AFFO).
- Funds from Operations (FFO) → FFO was designed by Nareit to serve as a standardized metric to measure the operating performance of REITs. Unlike the traditional GAAP metrics, FFO is widely recognized as an accurate method to analyze a REIT’s operating performance. Hence, FFO is reported by most REITs in their financial filings and investor presentations, despite not being a GAAP measure.
- Adjusted Funds from Operations (AFFO) → In contrast, AFFO was created to address the shortcomings and sources of criticism regarding FFO. AFFO is an improvement from the traditional FFO metric in estimating the residual cash flow available to shareholders. However, the drawback to AFFO is the lack of uniformity among the calculation process. Because there is more discretion in the adjustments applied, the method by which AFFO is computed and reported to investors differs across different REITs, causing the potential for misinterpretations to rise.
The two most common adjustments that differentiate AFFO from FFO are the deduction of the REIT’s recurring maintenance capital expenditures (Capex) and adjusting for non-cash, straight-line rent expense (i.e. to spread the rent expense evenly across the lease term).
In practice, however, FFO is reported and discussed more frequently compared to AFFO, because the latter relies more heavily on subjective estimates.
The process to compute the AFFO yield consists of the following steps.
- Determine the Current Market Price per Share (Market Capitalization ÷ Total Number of Shares)
- Calculate AFFO per Share (Adjusted Funds from Operations ÷ Total Number of Shares)
- Divide the Market Price per Share by AFFO per Share
- Multiply by 100 to Convert the Output into Percentage Form
AFFO Yield Formula
The formula to calculate the AFFO yield is as follows.
- Funds from Operations (FFO) = Net Income + Depreciation – Gain on Sale, net + NCI Loss, net
- Adjusted Funds from Operations (AFFO) = Funds from Operations (FFO) – Maintenance Capital Expenditures (Capex) – Straight-Line Rent +/– Other Adjustments
- Market Capitalization = Current Market Price × Total Number of Shares Outstanding
The “Current Market Price” of a REIT is readily observable via online data platforms such as Bloomberg, as well as on financial sites that pull trading data in real-time from third-party resources (e.g. CNBC, WSJ).
Or, the AFFO yield formula can be expressed on a per-share basis.
- AFFO per Share = Adjusted Funds from Operations (AFFO) ÷ ÷ Total Number of Shares Outstanding
- Current Market Price = Market Capitalization ÷ Total Number of Shares Outstanding
Note: The AFFO yield is the reciprocal of the P/AFFO multiple (i.e. Price-to-AFFO ratio).