When you think of investing in technology, you probably think of companies like Apple (APPL) and Oracle (ORCL). But there’s a different way to play technology — from the real estate side.
Digital Realty Trust (DLR) is a real estate investment trust (REIT) that owns data centers. Its tenants range from information technology and Internet companies to manufacturing and financial services concerns looking for a spot to store their data.
The company owns 97 properties totaling about 17.2 million square feet of space. The facilities are located in 29 cities throughout Europe, North America, Singapore, and Australia.
Digital Realty is the dominant data center property holder in top markets such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York.
The company purchases most of its properties from troubled technology companies looking to clean up their balance sheets. Digital Realty puts in basic infrastructure and then lets tenants pay for technological improvements. Those expenses can total up to $1,000 per square foot, so tenants have a lot incentive to stay put once they’ve shelled out the money.
Digital’s profit nearly doubled in the second quarter from a year earlier to $38.2 million. Revenue soared 36 percent to $267.9 million.
Stifel Nicolaus analysts reiterated their buy rating on Digital Realty Trust shares after its second-quarter earnings report.
They have a $70 share price target, which constitutes a 22 percent increase from recent levels. The target represents a multiple of about 15 from the analysts’ estimate for Digital’s EBITDA next year.
“We believe the company’s 2Q11 leasing results are reflective of the attractive growth opportunity for wholesale data center providers, with Digital well positioned to capitalize on that growth as the market leader,” they write.
The stock recently offered a yield of 4.75 percent. The company next reports around Oct. 28.
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