A 'Mission-Critical' Storage REIT That Yields 6.3%

Iron Mountain's global platforms provide foundation for continuous improvement in future years.

Summary

  • "A moat worthy brand manifests itself as pricing power or repeat business that translates into sustainable economic profits.” - Heather Brilliant and Elizabeth Collins.
  • Iron Mountain's global platforms provide foundation for continuous improvement in future years, that in turn delivers improvements in cash flow and sustainable dividend growth.
  • We are maintaining a Buy on Iron Mountain as we have identified the following competitive advantages – switching costs and efficient scale – to be relevant to thesis.

When I ponder the subject of mission-critical real estate, I think about REITs that own properties that support the most essential operations of the tenant.

For example, Corporate Office Properties (OFC) is the only REIT that is specifically focused on serving U.S. government agencies and defense contractors engaged in defense information technology and national security-related activities.

This is a very strategic niche, and one in which COPT's tenants are generally focused on knowledge-based activities, such as cybersecurity, R&D, and other highly technical defense and security areas. See my latest article here.

Another example of mission critical is CorEnergy (CORR), a REIT that invests in assets such as pipelines, storage tanks, transmission lines and gathering systems.

The company invests in a variety of infrastructure-related assets across the energy value chain, primarily midstream and downstream U.S. energy infrastructure assets subject to long-term triple net participating leases with energy companies. See latest article here.

Uniti Group (UNIT) is yet another example of a mission-critical REIT. Although not conventional real estate, UNIT owns fiber that is a mission-critical infrastructure element that fuels both wireless and wireline bandwidth growth.

The company's sweet spot is to marry up (bundle) tower and fiber portfolios, and UNIT is uniquely positioned to become a dominant sale/leaseback provider in the Tier 2 and Tier 3 markets where there is much less competition. See latest article here.

While these three REITs are all certainly moat-worthy mission-critical alternatives, I am writing today about another REIT that boasts a similar platform supported by essential high growth drivers.

In fact, this particular company owns both tangible and intangible assets that provide an extra mission-critical function – as the “1 TRUSTED GUARDIAN of your most precious assets.”

As Heather Brilliant and Elizabeth Collins explain in Why Moats Matter,

A brand creates an economic moat around a company’s profits if it increases the customer’s willingness to pay or increase customer captivity. A moat worthy brand manifests itself as pricing power or repeat business that translates into sustainable economic profits.”

The Mission-Critical REIT