RLJ Lodging Trust
), a real estate investment trust (REIT), has recently increased
its quarterly dividend from 16.5 cents to 20.5 cents per share.
This translates to a 24% increase from the prior-quarter dividend
payout. The dividend is payable on January 15, 2013 to
shareholders of record on December 31, 2012. Based on the closing
price of $18.65, the dividend yield is fairly decent at
RLJ Lodging has declared overall dividend of 70 cents for 2012,
including the 4 cents increase of the fourth quarter. The company
expects to distribute excess cash to shareholders through the
increased dividend and concurrently look to maintain its cash
flow for further reinvestments. Solid dividend payouts are
arguably the best enticement for REIT investors as U.S. law
requires REITs to distribute 90% of their annual taxable income
in the form of dividend to shareholders.
At the end of third quarter 2012, cash and cash equivalents stood
at $192.1 million. We believe that the company has enough cash to
provide optimum shareholder value. The company has a flexible
balance sheet and is well-positioned to take advantage of
investment opportunities in the future.
Based in Bethesda, Maryland, RLJ Lodging Trust operates premium
upscale full-service hotels across the U.S. Currently the company
owns 145 hotels in 21 states and the District of Columbia,
totalling more than 21,600 rooms.
In the recently-concluded third quarter 2012, RLJ reported
adjusted funds from operations (FFO) of $50.6 million or 48 cents
per share, up 28.4% from the prior year period. The Zacks
Consensus Estimates for 2012 and 2013 earnings are pegged at
$1.71 and $2.11 respectively representing year-over-year growth
of 15.2% and 23.9% respectively.
RLJ Lodging Trust currently retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which
translates into a short-term Hold rating. One of its competitors,
Host Hotels & Resorts Inc
) also holds a Zacks #3 Rank.
HOST HOTEL&RSRT (HST): Free Stock Analysis
RLJ LODGING TR (RLJ): Free Stock Analysis
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