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Investing in American Campus Communities, a Student Housing REIT

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American Campus Communities

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, American Campus Communities (ACC) was founded by William C. Bayless in 1993. The company completed an IPO (initial public offering) in 2004 and became the first publicly traded student housing REIT on the New York Stock Exchange. The company is part of the S&P 400 Index. American Campus Communities workforce totals 3,277 as of September 2015.

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Business profile

American Campus Communities (ACC) is a fully integrated, self-managed, self-administered equity REIT. In terms of the number of beds owned and under management, ACC is one of the largest owners, managers, and developers of student housing properties in the United States. ACC has expertise in the acquisition and development of student housing properties, which it offers to third parties as well.

Business dynamics

American Campus Communities typically leases its owned properties for a period of 12 months. In some cases, nine-month or shorter-term semester leases are also considered. The company receives lower cash flows at properties with short-term leases. In addition, all the company’s properties must release each year.

Student housing properties are normally leased during a limited period of a year. The lease period begins in January and ends in August. Higher occupancy levels are therefore highly dependent on the effectiveness of the company’s marketing initiatives during this leasing period.

Other apartment REITs such as Equity Residential (EQR), Essex Property Trust (ESS), and UDR (UDR) are mainly involved in resident leases rather than student leases. The iShares US Real Estate ETF (IYR) invests 0.53% of its portfolio in American Campus Communities.

Series content

In this series, we’ll be covering the following topics:

  • Investing in American Campus Communities, a Student Housing REIT
  • How Does Competition Affect American Campus Communities?
  • A Look at American Campus Communities’ Business Segments
  • An Overview of American Campus Communities’ Property Portfolio
  • American Campus Communities’ Geographically Diverse Portfolio
  • American Campus Communities’ Strategy: Boost Shareholder Returns
  • Property Acquisitions Add Value to American Campus Communities
  • Rising Occupancy and Average Rent for American Campus Communities
  • American Campus Communities Reported Healthy Revenue Growth
  • American Campus Communities’ EBITDA Margin Is Lower Than Average
  • American Campus Communities: Higher Funds from Operations
  • American Campus Communities: FFO Payout Ratio in Line with Peers
  • American Campus Communities Has Lower Leverage Than Average
  • American Campus Communities Trades at Lower Price-to-FFO Multiple
  • American Campus Communities’ EV-EBITDA Multiple Close to Average
  • Investing in American Campus Communities through ETFs
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