LaSalle Hotel Properties ' (
) shares and dividend are on the upswing as the owner of upscale
hotels goes on an acquisition spree.
Though the stock has gone mostly sideways in recent years,
it's up 15% so far in 2013, a bit shy of the S&P 500's 19%
Meanwhile, the quarterly dividend has soared over the past
three years after it was slashed to just a penny a share during
the financial crisis of 2008-09.
The latest increase was announced in July, a 40% jump to 28
cents a share. The annualized dividend now totals $1.12 a share,
which yields about 4% at the current share price. That's well
above the S&P average of 2.5%.
"Our strong results year to date have been encouraging while
our outlook for the balance of the year is solid," President and
CEO Michael Barnello said when the dividend was most recently
LaSalle is a real estate investment trust, or REIT, that owns
some 40 luxury hotels across the country. REITs typically offer
investors high yields in return for favorable tax treatment.
LaSalle reports Q3 results after the market closes on
Wednesday. Profit for the period is expected to hold steady at 68
cents a share on an 8% increase in revenue, to $256.6
After sharp declines during the financial crisis, annual
profit has bounced back and is expected to rise 7% this year and
15% in 2014. The company has recently purchased six upscale
hotels in Key West, Fla., and San Francisco, where demand is
"We remain upbeat about LaSalle's strategic moves that are
aimed at strengthening its portfolio base of luxury and
upper-upscale hotels in high barrier-to-entry markets throughout
the U.S," Zacks Equity Research said in a research note Sept. 3.
"The strong portfolio positions it well to ride on the growth
trajectory going forward."
The stock is at the upper end of a buy range following a
rebound off its 50-day average.