While increased competition and currency headwinds have hurt Iron Mountain's sales, the Boston company, which specializes in records management services, still has plenty of growth drivers to get its stock climbing again. Also, investors looking for value should buy now on this selloff. Take a look at the chart.
Iron Mountain stock closed Friday at $36.71, down 5.46% and losing all of its year-to-date gains. The stock is down 5.04% on the year, trailing the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) and the S&P 500 (SPX) , which are up 1.78% and 2.5%, respectively.
What stands out here is Iron Mountain delivered gains of more than 52% to shareholders over the past year. The idea that one quarterly performance changes the entire outlook of the company doesn't make sense.
What's more, with its 47-and-a-half-cent quarterly dividend, which yields 5.18%, Iron Mountain is one of the most generous dividend payers on the market. Its yield is more than three percentage points higher than the average of stocks on the S&P 500 and it more than doubles the average yield paid out by Dow components in the last five years.
This speaks not only to the company's strong balance sheet but also confidence in its ability to replenish those earnings. The company citing improved international business as future growth drivers, so its missed estimates this quarter is merely a hiccup.
For the quarter that ended in December, the company reported adjusted earnings from continuing operations of 25 cents per share, which missed estimates by 4 cents. Fourth-quarter revenue was $777.98 million, just shy of estimates by $8.42 million. For the year, adjusted earnings were $1.36 per share, down from $1.40 a year ago, while revenue climbed 3% year over year to $3.12 billion.
Fourth-quarter revenue was spurred from increased demand from its storage rental business, which climbed 5.2% year over year to $469 million. Service revenue also inched higher by 3.7%, reaching $313.6 million.
While these numbers were stunted due to currency headwinds and increase competition from Cintas Corp (CTAS) - Get Report , among others, Iron Mountain was still able to grow its adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization by 13% year over year to $220 million, up from $195 million in the year-ago quarter. The company was able to offset weak revenue with a 3.1% decline in operating expenses, leading to a 32% year-over-year jump in operating income.
All told, this quarter was not as bad as the selloff suggests. Analysts assigned an average 12-month price target of $39, suggesting 6% gains, so value investors would we wise to climb on Iron Mountain now.
TheStreet Ratings team rates IRON MOUNTAIN INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate IRON MOUNTAIN INC (IRM) a BUY. This is driven by multiple strengths, 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, notable return on equity, solid stock price performance and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."
You can view the full analysis from the report here: IRM Ratings Report
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.