Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Why Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Fell 12.5% at the Open Today

By Reuben Gregg Brewer - Updated Apr 30, 2020 at 12:39PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Tanger Factory Outlet Centers released some news, but it was likely the bigger picture that scared investors today.

What happened

Shares of outlet-focused real estate investment trust (REIT) Tanger Factory Outlet Centers (SKT 1.69%) dropped as much as 12.5% within the first half hour of trading on April 30. That loss had been pared to the mid-single digits by lunchtime, but it was still a change from recent days when Tanger and its enclosed mall peers were steadily rising.

So what

Tanger recently announced that it was extending the contract of its current CEO Steven Tanger, who plans to step down from the position at the end of this year. Tanger, a highly respected figure in the retail space, will remain with the company as executive chair until the end of 2023. This, however, isn't the type of news that pushes a stock price down 12.5%.  

A man sitting on a step holding his head with stock tickers behind him.

Image source: Getty Images.

The news that made the difference today was another large increase in unemployment claims. Tanger is a retail landlord, and with roughly 30 million people applying for unemployment in just six weeks, the retail environment is getting harder, not easier. While Steven Tanger likes to say that outlet centers provide bargains to shoppers during difficult financial times, which is true, the current environment is well outside of the norm. In fact, even after non-essential businesses are allowed to reopen across the country, COVID-19 health concerns coupled with unemployment could be a one-two punch that keeps many consumers sitting at home.   

It wasn't just Tanger that fell, of course; enclosed-mall owners like Macerich (MAC 2.53%), Simon Property Group (SPG 0.80%), and Pennsylvania REIT (PEI 2.39%) also dropped in early trading, though only Penn REIT fell more than 10%. Interestingly, the highly leveraged Penn REIT was still down around 12% at lunch time despite the other names here managing to recoup some losses (Simon and Macerich were lower by about as much as Tanger, around 5%, in the middle of the day). Bankruptcy rumors surrounding competitor CBL & Associates, which is the only mall owner with more leverage than Penn REIT, might be causing some to question Penn REIT's turnaround potential.   

Now what

The last few days have seen dramatic gains in the mall REIT space. But today shows that the situation in this niche of the retail property market is still in a state of flux. Only investors with very strong stomachs should be looking to invest here.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, Inc. Stock Quote
Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, Inc.
$14.46 (1.69%) $0.24
Simon Property Group, Inc. Stock Quote
Simon Property Group, Inc.
$95.68 (0.80%) $0.76
The Macerich Company Stock Quote
The Macerich Company
$8.93 (2.53%) $0.22
CBL & Associates Properties, Inc Stock Quote
CBL & Associates Properties, Inc
Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust Stock Quote
Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust
$3.43 (2.39%) $0.08

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 07/02/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.