Could Altisource Residential's Success Lead to Huge Returns for This Starwood Capital Spin-Off?

In order for investors to appreciate the opportunity that the new Starwood Waypoint Realty Trust (NYSE: SWAY  ) represents, I feel it would be helpful to first look at the brief history of this new institutional asset class. One of these pioneers has a business model that has crushed the market.

I have been following the single-family home rental sector since the beginning. The first REITs: Silver Bay Realty Trust (NYSE: SBY  ) , American Residential Properties (NYSE: ARPI  ) , and Altisource Residential Corp. (NYSE: RESI  ) all went public a little over a year ago. They got off to a slow start, each raising between $100 million to $300 million in IPO proceeds. These are still relatively small REITs with current market caps of $617 million, $590 million, and $747 million, respectively. 

So far, Wall St. hasn't been all that impressed with the initial results of Silver Bay and American Residential which primarily purchase homes to renovate, lease, and manage. They currently trade below their IPO prices and net asset value, or NAV.

SBY Total Return Price Chart

Much larger rival American Homes 4 Rent (NYSE: AMH  ) has fared better -- likely due to scale and better access to financial markets for continued growth. American Homes owns over 20,000 single-family homes and sports a market cap of $2.8 billion. After American Homes went public, and reported earnings for the quarter ending Sept. 30, 2013, it became clear how a larger scale operation can make a big difference in profitability.

Blackstone Group's privately held Invitation Homes is by far the largest single-family landlord. Blackstone owns over 40,000 single-family homes valued around $8 billion. Blackstone executives have shared that access to capital will be a key to long-term success for institutional single-family landlords.

Hitting it out of the park
Altisource has an entirely different approach -- the stock is up over 50% the past year, and it just announced a 60% dividend increase, currently yielding 5.4%. This REIT primarily buys residential mortgage portfolios of non-performing loans, or NPL's, and has many options to monetize them: loan modification, deed for lease, liquidation/short sale, or REO rental.

Altisource is part of the Ocwen Financial family of companies controlled by Mr. William Erby. Ocwen is currently under investigation by the New York Department of Financial Services. Since Altisource buys delinquent loans -- many from Ocwen and related entities -- this could become a risk moving forward. After a very impressive two-year run, Ocwen stock is down over 30% since the beginning of this year.

The best of both worlds
Privately owned Starwood Capital Group understands how to finance real estate on a global scale. It currently has over $32 billion of assets under management. They are the external manager for Starwood Property Trust, (NYSE: STWD  ) a $4 billion market cap diversified REIT with a primary focus on real estate backed securities. It is currently paying investors an 8% dividend yield.

On Feb. 3, 2014 Starwood Property Trust spun out its single family residential assets into Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust – a merger with Waypoint Homes. Waypoint is a privately held company that has acquired, leased and managed over 8,000 homes since 2009. This brought together sponsor Starwood Capital Group's horsepower and expertise in real estate finance with the Waypoint Homes vertically integrated operational platform. At first glance, $1.1 billion market cap Starwood Waypoint may seem just like another competitor in this space. However, when you look closer, they seem to have all of the bases covered:

·       A strong balance sheet. Starwood Capital CEO Barry Sternlicht spun out a healthy public company poised for growth: almost $1 billion of assets; $100 million in cash; and arranged for a $500 million credit facility.

·       Scale right out of the starting gate. 5,049 homes at a $707 million basis; $220 million cost basis of NPL's backed by 1,736 homes.

·       A Waypoint acquisition funnel. Waypoint owns an additional 4,962 homes. On March 4, 2014 Starwood Waypoint announced the acquisition of 707 of these homes for $144 million. These homes were 91% leased and provide immediate cash flow.

·       Multiple acquisition channels for profitable growth. Starwood Waypoint is willing to grow by purchasing: homes, NPL's, or bolt-on acquisitions – depending upon the best risk/return for shareholders.

·       A technology advantage. The proprietary Waypoint cloud-based Compass software platform has evolved over five years and provides real-time information on: acquisitions, construction, leasing, management, and repairs.

Investor takeaway
It is way too early in the game to SWAY the judges to award a medal to Starwood Waypoint. However, this spin-off has a solid balance sheet and a multi-channel strategy for accretive long-term growth. I am looking forward to the first earnings report and conference call to learn more about funds from operation guidance and future dividend announcements. This is a company that merits putting on your watch list. I am impressed!

It's no secret that investors tend to be impatient with the market, but the best investment strategy is to buy shares in solid businesses and keep them for the long term. In the special free report "3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich," The Motley Fool shares investment ideas and strategies that could help you build wealth for years to come. Click here to grab your free copy today.

Read/Post Comments (1) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On August 18, 2015, at 3:10 AM, LouWambsganss wrote:

    Altisource is the worst property company I've ever dealt with and also the worst company overall, ever. Terrible customer service. Terrible maintenance procedures. Dishonest, evasive, ignorant employees and contractors. I cannot get ahold of anyone. No one calls back.

    Their listing agent required a full deposit in order to show us the home, which is against Altisource's own company policy. There was significant existing mold that we discovered during the inspection. Every plumbing connection in the kitchen leaked due to their incompetent remodel. They left moldy water in the carpet of this house, with my 4 year old and 1 year old, for over two weeks before even sending out an evaluation team. Almost a month later, repairs did not even start due to Altisource not approving contractors. My wife and kids have lived with my parents 1,000 miles away for a month and in a tiny hotel room for over a month because of Altisource's incompetence, negligence, and active maliciousness.

    TX State law says that a reasonable amount of time to complete health and safety related repairs is 7 days. It took over 60 days, and we finally said enough is enough. We emailed them to terminate our lease. They waited two weeks to respond to our request, but backdated the termination request, leaving me with two weeks to move all of my property out of the house and find new living accommodations.

    They also refused to refund my pre-paid first month's rent, even though we never even moved into the house, let alone lived there. Stay away from this company at all costs. Do not trust them with your family or your money. They took $3,420 from me and made my family homeless for 2.5 months. The fact that they paid for us to live in a hotel for a month is NOT compensation. It is not equivalent. It is an inconvenience, a health hazard, and an insult.

    All I want is a safe and clean house for my kids to live in. I gave Altisource a lot of money, and far too much time and patience. In return, they have given me nothing but hardship and loss. Not only is this hurting me and my wife, it is really hurting my 4 year old and 1 year old sons, who have not had their own beds in almost three months. My 4 year old cries and says he wants to fix the broken house. He just wants to have a house to live in, and Altisource has ensured that things will be very difficult for us in the near future.

Add your comment.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2875340, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/3/2015 9:31:59 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Bill Stoller

Sipping a latte at the corner of Wall Street & Main Street -- where real estate often intersects with trends in: technology, retailing, office/industrial, residential, healthcare, energy infrastructure & green initiatives.

Today's Market

updated 16 minutes ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,374.76 23.38 0.14%
S&P 500 1,951.13 2.27 0.12%
NASD 4,733.50 -16.48 -0.35%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/3/2015 4:01 PM
AMH $15.71 Down -0.04 -0.25%
ARPI $16.57 Down -0.10 -0.60%
RESI $15.35 Up +0.20 +1.32%
Altisource Residen… CAPS Rating: *****
SBY $16.17 Up +0.36 +2.28%
Silver Bay Realty… CAPS Rating: ***
STWD $21.28 Up +0.15 +0.71%
Starwood Property… CAPS Rating: ****
SWAY $23.58 Down -0.08 -0.34%