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Excel Trust Sails Past $1 Billion Assets

In addition to the $1 billion milestone achievement, Excel will also gain considerable more diversification in a very sound portfolio that includes retailers such as Bed, Bath and Beyond (BBY), Dick's Sporting Goods, JC Penny (JCP), Jo-Ann Stores, Lowe's (LOW), PetSmart, Publix, Ross Stores and TJ Maxx.

U.S.-based retailers have seen solid recovery as Americans are finally getting their finances in order as the nation's credit card delinquency rate is the lowest since 2008. In addition, U.S. household balance sheets have been bolstered by a surge in stocks and even a rise in home prices. The Fed's policy of keeping interest rates near zero is also helping Americans put their finances on firmer footing.

Cantor Fitzgerald recently initiated coverage of Excel Trust with a buy rating and a $13.50 price target. Overall Cantor's price target includes a modest 5.6% premium to our NAV estimate of $12.60, which reflects the strength of the balance sheet and strong acquisition pipeline, offset by limited core growth within the operating portfolio.

As Cantor wrote: "Overall, we are confident in Excel's ability to grow the portfolio and enhance returns to investors by way of accretive acquisitions, with the backdrop of a stable operating portfolio."

Those macro-economic trends, as well as Excel Trust's increasing revenue base, should provide a perfect tailwind for investor outperformance.

Excel has a modest debt-to-market cap of 34.09% (Q2-12) and the company's market cap is around $421 million. The stock price is $12.36 per share and the dividend yield is 5.26%. The company's year-over-year total return is 30.36%.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

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