How to Get Health Care Dividends Without all the Health Care Exposure

Healthcare is a hot sector in the property market, but if you don't want a REIT that focuses just on that sector you should look at Duke Realty's diversification into the area.

Mar 26, 2014 at 10:25AM

Source: Flickr / comedy_nose.

The healthcare market in the United States is in a state of flux. What isn't in a state of flux is the increasing need for medical facilities. One way to get into this market is to buy health care real estate investment trusts (REITs) like giant Ventas (NYSE:VTR) or HCP (NYSE:HCP). But that exposes you to sector risk you may not want to take. Another option is industrial and office specialist Duke Realty (NYSE:DRE), which happens to dabble in the health care area, too.

Big demand
The baby-boomer generation is a huge bubble in the Untied States' demographic profile. It's worked its way through society like a rat through a snake. With the cohort now starting to pass into retirement, it won't be long before it changes this feature of American life, just as it's changed so many others. While that could mean just about anything (who could have predicted free love, disco, and "hair" bands?) one thing is certain -- aging bodies need more medical care. That, in turn, means more medical facilities, such as nursing homes and medical office buildings.


Source: the American Colony Photo Department or its successor, the Matson Photo Service, via Wikimedia Commons.

Catching a wave
The health care REIT sector is the right place to be if you see this as an opportunity that shouldn't be missed. Ventas and HCP are two of the largest players in the space. Ventas owns nearly 1,500 properties and HCP has more than 1,150. Both have exposure to the senior housing, post-acute/skilled nursing, medical office building, and hospital segments. HCP has investments in the health sciences sector, too, an area that isn't a focus at Ventas.

Each of these companies offers a diversified one-stop shopping experience in the health care real estate sector. That, however, could be more sector specific risk than you desire. The large declines that Ventas and HCP have seen from recent share price highs is a prime example of why this might bother you.

HCP Chart

HCP data by YCharts

Another way to go
This is where Duke Realty comes in. While Duke isn't without its own real-estate risks, its portfolio of industrial and office buildings includes medical office space. The sector comprises about 15% of its portfolio, up from just 5% in 2009. The REIT considers medical office to be a "[g]rowth industry, recession resistant asset class."

Moreover, the bulk of Duke's portfolio is aligned with major hospital systems or on the grounds of a larger medical facility ("on-campus"). That's a strength shared by medical office specialist Healthcare Realty (NYSE:HR). So Duke is taking the same approach as REITs that focus entirely on the medical office subsector.

Healthcare Realty points to the benefits of this approach. For example, between 1991 and 2011 outpatient care has grown from 24% of hospital business to 43%. That means there have been more visits to the doctors associated with hospitals since patients are in and out of the hospital in one day. In fact, Healthcare Realty specifically calls on-campus properties "lower risk."

So, in Duke, you get "low risk" health-care exposure without the concentration of a health care specialist. But you also get the expertise of a builder -- an area in which Duke has long differentiated itself. At the start of 2014, the REIT had 12 medical office properties under development all of which are 100% leased. So this segment will see growth without the need for acquisitions in 2014.

More than it seems
Clearly, if you are looking at Duke Realty you need to consider more than just its health care segment. But if you are looking at HCP, Ventas, or Healthcare Realty and are concerned about their singular focus, you would be well served by stepping outside the box and looking at Duke's growing medical office portfolio.

Health care dividends are just one part of the retirement solution
One of the dirty secrets that few finance professionals will openly admit is the fact that dividend stocks as a group handily outperform their non-dividend paying brethren. The reasons for this are too numerous to list here, but you can rest assured that it’s true. However, knowing this is only half the battle. The other half is identifying which dividend stocks in particular are the best. With this in mind, our top analysts put together a free list of nine high-yielding stocks that should be in every income investor’s portfolio. To learn the identity of these stocks instantly and for free, all you have to do is click here now.

Reuben Brewer has a position in HCP. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

©1995-2014 The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. | Privacy/Legal Information