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Why Digital Realty Trust (DLR) Is Slipping After the Bell

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Digital Realty Trust (DLR) is moving lower in extended trading after the commercial real estate investment trust said its CEO Michael F. Foust "has departed," effective immediately.

After the bell, shares had taken off 1.9% to $51.77.

CFO and chief investment officer Bill Stein will act as interim CEO, while the search for a permanent chief executive begins.

"The board and Mike mutually agreed that it was an appropriate time to find the next leader to help guide Digital Realty to the next level and scale of operational sophistication," said chairman Dennis Singleton in a statement.

Foust will continue to serve as a board member until the company's annual meeting in April 2014.

San Francisco-based Digital Realty said it expects to incur a one-time charge of 10 cents a share in its first quarter ending March related to Foust's severance.

Excluding this charge, the company's fiscal 2014 core funds from operations (FFO) is expected between $4.75 and $4.90 a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters anticipate an adjusted FFO of $4.75 a share.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates DIGITAL REALTY TRUST INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B-. The team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate DIGITAL REALTY TRUST INC (DLR) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, increase in net income and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • DLR's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 6.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 9.3%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 0.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $54.57 million to $54.70 million.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, DIGITAL REALTY TRUST INC's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • DIGITAL REALTY TRUST INC's earnings per share declined by 8.3% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, DIGITAL REALTY TRUST INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.10 versus $1.47 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 44.8% in earnings ($1.16 versus $2.10).

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