One big reason to buy Westfield

This shopping centre has more than just an attractive dividend to offer.

a woman

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Whilst the dominance of Westfield Group (ASX: WDC) over the last 12 months can partially be attributed to its status as a blue chip company with a 4.5% dividend yield (which, no doubt, has attracted investors), there is one other primary reason as to why this corporation presents as an attractive addition to your portfolio.

Westfield, along with its affiliate Westfield Retail Trust (ASX: WRT), have maintained a heavy focus on restructuring its property portfolio, by divesting in properties that are underperforming expectations, whilst expanding on assets which the company perceives as maintaining strong future prospects.

It is fantastic to see a company focus on areas of its business or balance sheet that are performing strongly, and recognise the areas that are not going accordingly to plan. In reality, it is the same concept as an individual responsibly monitoring their share portfolio: you review the companies you maintain an interest in, reconsider their future prospects, and divest in those that you no longer have faith in to deliver good returns. Following that, you look to either buy into other companies, or otherwise, invest more money into those companies that are performing strongly for your portfolio already.

Westfield is doing just that. After already strategically divesting in roughly $4.1 billion worth of assets, the company is currently in discussions which could see it sell off seven of its shopping centres in Florida to Starwood Capital Group, a deal believed to be worth around US$1 billion. Meanwhile, it has begun implementing massive redevelopments of key shopping centres located in Brisbane’s Garden City and Miranda, located in NSW, as well as redeveloping its World Trade Centre store in New York.

In May, The Australian Financial Review wrote “Westfield has made no secret of its intention to downsize, sell non-core malls and focus on the management and development of prime flagship malls in global cities… The ultimate aim is to increase the return on capital invested”.

Foolish takeaway

After climbing from $9.39 per share 12 months ago, Westfield reached as high as $12.55 before falling back down to its current value of $11.14. This still represents an 18.6% increase, without taking into account the dividends paid out to shareholders!

With the company’s global operating strategy, the company will continue to review its existing stores and look out for other excellent opportunities. Whilst it is currently only operating in four countries and is trading at an 11.2% discount compared to last month, it seems as though this company could now be an excellent addition to your portfolio.

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

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