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Equinix (EQIX) and PGIM Real Estate Enter Into $600M JV

Equinix, Inc. EQIX recently announced that it entered into a $600 million joint venture with PGIM Real Estate, the real estate investment and financing arm of PGIM, Prudential Financial's global asset management business, for the development and operation of the first xScale data center in the United States. It marks the second joint venture between Equinix and PGIM Real Estate.

The move reflects the solid demand for such facilities from tenants and investors’ growing interest in such assets. This new joint venture will bring Equinix's global xScale data center portfolio to more than $8 billion across more than 35 facilities and 725 megawatts (MW) of power capacity globally once fully constructed. Per the agreement terms, PGIM Real Estate will control an 80% equity stake in the joint venture, while Equinix will own the remaining 20% equity interest.

Located in the Silicon Valley region of California, this two-story facility will be known as SV12x. It will be built in two phases, and at full build-out, the facility is projected to provide more than 28 MW of power capacity. The first phase is slated to be completed in the second quarter of the current year itself.

Strategically located at Equinix's Great Oaks data center campus in San Jose, CA, next to four existing Equinix International Business Exchange (“IBX”) data centers, this facility is likely to experience solid demand from tenants.

Equinix xScale data centers empower hyperscale enterprises to incorporate core deployments to their existing access point footprints at Equinix IBX data centers. This facilitates their expansion on a single platform that seamlessly covers more than 70 global metros and provides direct interconnection to an ecosystem comprising more than 10,000 customers.

Going forward, Equinix’s global data center portfolio is well-poised to benefit from the solid demand for interconnected data center infrastructure. Enterprises and service providers’ continued efforts to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) into their strategies and offerings and advance their digital transformation agendas are likely to keep demand up in the near term.

The company’s recurring revenue model assures steady revenues. Strategic expansion to capitalize on favorable industry trends, backed by a healthy balance sheet, is encouraging. However, a competitive landscape from carrier-neutral data centers and a debt burden raise concerns. High interest rates add to its woes.

Shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have risen 5.1% over the past year, while the real estate market declined 3.8%.

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Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks from the broader REIT sector are Host Hotels & Resorts HST and Iron Mountain IRM, each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for HST’s 2024 FFO per share is pegged at $1.98, which suggests year-over-year growth of 3.13%.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for IRM’s 2024 FFO per share stands at $4.42, which indicates an increase of 7.3% from the year-ago quarter.

Note: Anything related to earnings presented in this write-up represents funds from operations (FFO) — a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs.


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