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iStar Financial Popped: What You Need to Know

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Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of commercial-real-estate-focused REIT iStar Financial (NYSE: SFI  ) jumped 18% in intraday trading, as investors reacted to the company's third-quarter results and debt-repayment plans.

So What: Another quarter marked another loss for iStar. Still, the company also managed to bring in more than $1 billion from principal repayments and sales of loans, other real estate owned, and corporate tenant leases. This allowed the company to announce that it will repay its $1 billion credit facility, due in 2012. This latter bit of news likely had shares jumping, since it sparked hope that iStar would be able to stay on its feet under the weight of its heavy debt load.

Now What: iStar appears to be doing what it can to manage its debt issues, but the company's looming maturities in 2011 remain its biggest problem. Prepackaged bankruptcy was on the table as recently as late last month, when Bloomberg reported that iStar had engaged Lazard (NYSE: LAZ  ) and Kirkland & Ellis to help with the debt restructuring. There's obviously excitement today over the company's most recent move, but between the debt cannon pointed at iStar's head, and the staggering 43% of the company's loan portfolio mired in nonperforming status, most investors are still better off steering clear of this stock.

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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter @KoppTheFool or on his RSS feed. The Fool’s disclosure policy assures you no Wookiees were harmed in the making of this article.

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Related Tickers

10/26/2016 3:14 PM
LAZ $36.49 Up +0.42 +1.16%
LAZARD CAPS Rating: ***
STAR $11.36 Up +0.01 +0.09%
iStar Financial CAPS Rating: ***