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I’m Buying NorthStar Realty Finance

It was just last week that my Special Situations portfolio bought shares in NorthStar Realty Finance (NYSE: NRF  ) , following on a synthetic long options positon I set up on the pre-split company. I'm back to buy more stock in the company, adding $1,000 to the position. Plus, I'm committing to adding to even more in future weeks as long as the stock stays around $17 or less. At these prices, investors are getting a near-9% yield forward yield.

In my previous buy recommendation, I highlighted why I continued to like the REIT NorthStar Realty. While its recently split-off NorthStar Asset Management (NYSE: NSAM  ) offers more pure upside, the REIT offers lower downside due to the high dividend. But you won't find the dividend reported accurately on the usual public finance sites or with most brokers.

As I noted in my prior write-up: "Pre-split, NorthStar was paying out about 90% of its funds from operations as a dividend. With management expecting FFO to clock in at $1.58-$1.70 this year, that would put the dividend around $1.50 at the same payout rate. So at today's prices, you're receiving nearly a 9% yield. That's much too high."

In short, I figure the stock could trade to a 6.5% yield, or about $23, assuming no dividend increase. And there may yet be an increase, as rumors circulate about the REIT making a huge acquisition. That move could increase the upside on the stock somewhat, though the bigger beneficiary of an acquisition is the asset management unit. So add it all up, and over the next year, I think investors could see a 50% total return with some high degree of reliability.

Foolish bottom line
So my Special Situations portfolio is putting $1,000 into NorthStar Realty Finance. If the stock lingers around today's prices, I expect to buy more in the following weeks and to keep buying. This is one of the most attractive positions in my portfolio. Follow me on Twitter: @TMFRoyal. And check out my dedicated discussion board.

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Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On July 15, 2014, at 4:16 PM, srockaz wrote:

    Hey Jim!

    Don't you just love it when you're downside is a 9% gain! Talk about "being paid to wait".

    Thanks, srockaz

  • Report this Comment On July 15, 2014, at 4:46 PM, IlluminatInvest wrote:

    I agree that the yield is much to high, but it's not clear that the acquisition would immediately benefit NRF, since they'll likely have to do a follow on offering to raise the capital for the deal. If they have to do it below today's price that could be a better opportunity to buy, although it could also adjust higher if they announce the actual distribution amount before then.

  • Report this Comment On July 16, 2014, at 10:58 AM, TMFRoyal wrote:

    Srockaz, we should see the dividend announcement shortly.


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Jim Royal

Jim is a special-situations investor focusing on transactional events (such as spinoffs, recapitalizations, or reorganizations, among others) that create advantageous stock mispricings.

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Related Tickers

9/4/2015 12:21 PM
NRF $13.84 Down -0.20 -1.39%
NorthStar Realty F… CAPS Rating: ****
NSAM $16.10 Down -0.20 -1.23%
NorthStar Asset Ma… CAPS Rating: *****