Why Iron Mountain Incorporated Stock Is Hiking Upward Today

A favorable government proposal could potentially boost Iron Mountain’s earnings and dividends.

May 14, 2014 at 3:46PM

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 storage and information management services company Iron Mountain Incorporated (NYSE:IRM) rose as much as 7.6% today following positive comments from Piper Jaffray.

So what: Piper Jaffray noted that the U.S. Federal Register published a new proposal from the IRS and the Treasury Department, which states: "The IRS and the Treasury Department recognize the need to provide additional published guidance on the definition of real property... ." This, if passed, would change the definition of a real estate investment trust, or REIT.

As reported by theflyonthewall.com, Piper believes the changes "provide a reasonable basis" for Iron Mountain's racking structures to be classified as qualifying "structural components." Structural components are a detailed part of the new proposal.

Piper reiterated an overweight rating along with a $37 price target on the stock.

Now what: If it passes, then even a part of Iron Mountain could qualify as a REIT would also potentially qualify for tax savings or other benefits. Currently, Iron Mountain has a large tax burden every quarter due to its ongoing profits. A good problem to have, mind you, but if the company can retain more of its operating income for shareholders, then it's even better.

Generally, one of the rules with REITs is that in order for a company to take advantage of the tax savings it would require distribution in the form of dividends to shareholders. The Street may be speculating today that if the proposal is passed, if Iron Mountain qualifies, and if Iron Mountain chooses to pursue this route, not only would earnings per share rise but dividend payouts would also go up substantially.

It's all quite speculative at the moment, which might be why Piper Jaffray failed to raise its price target on the news. It will be interesting to see how this develops, and it makes a good conference call inquiry for Iron Mountain management.

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