Why the GPT (ASX:GPT) share price is backtracking today

The company revealed COVID-19 is hampering its performance…

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The GPT Group (ASX: GPT) share price is starting the week in negative territory on Monday morning. This comes after the property investment company announced an update on its earnings and distribution guidance for FY21.

At the time of writing, GPT shares are swapping hands for $4.64, down 2.32%. In comparison, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is up 0.1%, sitting at 7,394 points.

What did GPT announce?

In today’s statement, GPT advised that it has withdrawn its Funds From Operations (FFO) and distribution guidance for 2021.

The 12-month period to 31 December remains uncertain given the nature of COVID-19 and the associated state government measures taken. This is in particular to Melbourne and Sydney, where there is no timeline in which the states will ease restrictions.

Founded in 1971, GPT is a property investment company. The group owns and manages a diversified portfolio of Australian retail, office and logistics property assets.

GPT CEO, Bob Johnston commented on the company’s outlook:

In line with strengthening economic conditions, we have seen a strong recovery across our retail portfolio during the course of the first six months of this year. However, given the recent restrictions in both Sydney and Melbourne and the uncertainty as to when these restrictions will be lifted and the ongoing risk of additional measures, we believe it is prudent to withdraw FFO and distribution guidance for the full year.

GPT has a high-quality diversified portfolio, an exceptionally strong balance sheet and liquidity position, and we expect that we will see a recovery once normal trading conditions resume as we have experienced previously.

The company will release its 2021 interim results on 16 August along with providing a trading update on business performance.

About the GPT share price

It has been a mixed 12 months for GPT shares, rising in November 2020 and then backtracking in February. Since then, the company’s share price has gradually trekked upwards, reaching a 52-week high of $4.99 last month.

At today’s price, GPT commands a market capitalisation of roughly $9 billion, with more than 1.9 billion shares on issue.

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Motley Fool contributor Aaron Teboneras has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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