Large-cap office REIT Boston Properties (BXP) holds the keys to nearly 40 million square feet of rentable office space spread throughout some of the country's strongest metropolitan areas. The high-demand nature of BXP's portfolio greatly offsets some of the risks that the commercial real estate market is still throwing at investors, but even so, the firm's short interest ratio weighs in at 12.1.
By and large, though, REITs' exposure to real estate is indirect at best. Because these trusts lease commercial space through long-term, triple-net contracts, they're essentially immune to the constant ebb and flow of the real estate market. Instead, it makes more sense to think of REITs as income-generation vehicles since they're required to pay out the vast majority of their income to shareholders.Boston Properties currently sports a 2.2% dividend yield, not high by REIT standards, but easily maintained given the firm's current cash flows and pipeline of office buildings in development. Solid earnings on Feb. 1 could spur significant buying pressure for this stock. I also featured Boston Properties recently in "7 Dividend Stocks Putting Cash in Investors' Stockings."
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