Many investors think of real estate investment trusts, or REITs, as boring income investments, but that's not the case all the time. This is especially true when it comes to Digital Realty Trust (DLR -2.31%), an owner and operator of data-center real estate that has delivered massive returns to investors already. In this Fool Live video clip, recorded on Jan. 24, Fool.com contributors Matt Frankel and Marc Rapport discuss the stock and why they both think it could still be a long-term winner.
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Matt Frankel: This is Digital Realty Trust. The stock that I've talked about many times, one of my biggest real estate investments. It has been a phenomenal stock since it went public in 2004, but right now I'm taking up all Marc's talking points, so go for it, Mark.
Marc Rapport: Well, I'll use my little bit of time for this with something else. They are down 13% for the year. They were up 27% in 2021. That all sounds like standard market stuff. They're yielding about 3%. But Matt, you have the links that I can show or the Ycharts that show --
Matt Frankel: You want prices, total returns, or dividends?
Marc Rapport: Let's go first with prices, and these are the four picks that I talk about today. It'll just show how they've evolved.
Matt Frankel: There we go.
Marc Rapport: You could see how they've all fallen. Particularly Innovative Industrial Properties (IIPR 0.54%), but the Digital Realty has, too, year-to-date, and that's a lot for a big REIT that is well established.
Matt Frankel: And REITs are supposed to be stable companies.
Marc Rapport: Exactly, but this is the view I take, and I think the Motley Fool's take, isn't it? That we're going to try to look at the long run a little bit more. Can you show the next one that shows total return? This is total return, and this is just from the beginning right before the pandemic. This is from early 2019. They got a total return for Innovative Industrial Properties.
The only one that's bad really is Global Net Lease. But they're still yielding a lot all through that. Digital Realty has had a nice return. There are higher total returns in the market. But these are all long-term solid payers, and then the next one is yield, I believe, dividend. Look at these yields, of course, Global Net Lease is almost in the yield -- what do you call that -- yield trap range. I'm not convinced it's a trap and you must not be, either, Matt since you ranked it so high.
Matt Frankel: You mentioned the long-term angle since it's 2004 IPO, there's Digital Realty Trust. If you look at the total return, almost 2,500% in total return.
Marc Rapport: That's either going to continue to go up nicely because their product is just so essential demand or I don't know total rank speculation it could be bought. AMT (AMT 0.17%) bought CoreSite (COR). [laughs]
Matt Frankel: There's been a lot of consolidation. There are only two publicly traded data center REITs left.