Innovative Industrial Properties (NYSE:IIPR), which owns and leases properties to companies involved in the legal cannabis sector, reported robust third-quarter 2019 results after the market closed on Wednesday.

Shares were up 8.8% in after-hours trading on Wednesday. We can attribute the market's delight to both revenue and earnings coming in higher than Wall Street's consensus estimates.

The marijuana stock has returned 63.8% in 2019 through Wednesday's regular trading session, versus the S&P 500's 24.8%.

Here's how the quarter worked out for the San Diego-based real estate investment trust (REIT) and its investors.

Innovative Industrial Properties' key numbers

Metric

Q3 2019

Q3 2018

Change**

Net rental revenue 

$11.2 million

$3.7 million

201% 

Operating income

$6.8 million

$1.6 million

334%

Net income

$6.2 million

$1.5 million

314%

Earnings per share (EPS)

$0.55

$0.21

162%

Adjusted funds from operations (AFFO)*

$9.5 million

$2.6 million

270%

AFFO per share

$0.86

$0.38

126%

Data source: Innovative Industrial Properties. *Adjusted funds from operations (FFO) is a closely watched metric for REITs, as it's the main driver of dividend changes. **Calculated from full numbers shown in earnings release, not the abbreviated numbers shown here.

Wall Street was looking for EPS of $0.47 on revenue of $10.7 million, so Innovative Industrial soundly beat both expectations.

The company's revenue growth continues to be primarily driven by the acquisition of new properties, with contractual rental increases at certain properties also contributing. The year-over-year revenue growth rate continued to accelerate, up from 155% in the second quarter, 146% in the first quarter, and 111% in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Interior of large cannabis greenhouse.

Image source: Innovative Industrial Properties.

What happened with Innovative Industrial Properties in the quarter?

  • It paid a quarterly dividend of $0.78 per share on Oct. 15 to stockholders of record as of Sept. 30, representing an increase of 30% from the previous quarter and 123% from the year-ago period.
  • During the quarter, IIP acquired 10 properties: five in California, and one each in Arizona, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, and Pennsylvania. As I wrote last quarter, "Notably, the Massachusetts property -- which is on the large size comprising 150,000 square feet -- is leased to a subsidiary of Trulieve Cannabis, which is the leading medical cannabis company in Florida."
  • After the quarter ended, through Nov. 6, IIP acquired 10 more properties: five in Michigan (four of which are dispensaries), four in Illinois, and one in Florida.
  • Each property is fully leased to a tenant via a triple-net, long-term lease. (Triple net means that tenants are responsible for paying property taxes, insurance, and maintenance costs.)

Here's the current snapshot of Innovative Industrial Properties' portfolio taken from the earnings release:

As of November 6, 2019, IIP owned 41 properties located in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Nevada, Ohio and Pennsylvania, totaling approximately 2.8 million rentable square feet (including approximately 903,000 rentable square feet under development/redevelopment), which were 100% leased with a weighted-average remaining lease term of approximately 15.5 years.

Since last quarter's report, Florida is a new state for the company. 

Earnings call: Thursday at 1 p.m. EST

Management didn't provide a quote in the earnings release. However, investors will be able to hear management's thoughts on the company's performance and prospects by tuning into the earnings call, scheduled for Thursday at 1 p.m. EST. (Yup, you read that unusual time correctly.)

Up until now, Innovative Industrial (which went public in late 2016) had only been holding semiannual calls -- after the first half and full year. We can probably assume that the company is now going to be holding quarterly calls.

You can listen to the live webcast at the investor relations section of the company's website. And if you can't tune in for the live event, the webcast will be archived for 90 days on the website.

Looking ahead

Innovative Industrial Properties posted another powerful quarter.

The company doesn't provide official guidance. In Q4, analysts are modeling for EPS of $0.57 on revenue of $13.1 million, representing growth of 138% and 174%, respectively, year over year.