Top picks 2013: AmREIT
This income REIT is focused on retailing properties in the Lone Star state.
Texas is flourishing. Though it contains only 8% of the nation's people, Texas was responsible for 19% of the country's population growth last year.
Moreover, if it were a stand-alone nation, Texas would boast the 14th largest GDP in the world. Corporations based in the state are doing even better than the economy. Through REIT ownership, investors can essentially become landlords to Texas businesses.
Since the Texas economy is unlikely to slow, occupancy rates and real estate appreciation should be reliable. AmREIT (AMRE) already boasts 29 properties handpicked by a senior management team.
Some of AmREIT's more prominent tenants are GAP, Five Guys, Morton's, Wells Fargo, CVS, Walgreens, Subway, FedEx and Starbucks.
AmREIT's revenues increased 10% to $29.9 million from $27.1 million in the first three quarters of 2012. Meanwhile, its earnings ran 23% higher to $3.7 million thanks to an occupancy rate of 96.8%.
By focusing in Texas, AmREIT positioned itself to take advantage of retail growth from one of the strongest states in the U.S. The shares come equipped with a 4.6% dividend, and should reach above $17.50 as the Texas retail market heats up.
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