Realty Income Corporation (O) will raise its monthly dividend by another 0.2 percent to $0.234 per share, marking the fourth dividend hike announced by the Dividend Aristocrat this year.
Earlier this year the real estate investment trust already hiked its dividend three times for a total increase of 2.9 percent if we include this latest increase just announced. Realty Income is a Dividend Aristocrat having raised its monthly dividend for 26 consecutive years in 2020.
The next dividend of 23.35 cents per share is payable on October 15, 2020 to shareholders of record as of October 1, 2020. A new annualized dividend amount of $2.808 per share yields 4.4% at a stock price of $64.07.
In the press release dated September 17, 2020 the company mentions that this is the 108th dividend increase since Realty Income's listing on the NYSE in 1994. The ex-dividend date for October's dividend is September 30, 2020. "We remain committed to our company's mission of paying dependable monthly dividends to our shareholders that increase over time," said Sumit Roy, President and Chief Executive Officer of Realty Income. "Our Board of Directors has once again determined that we are able to increase the amount of the monthly dividend to our shareholders, marking the 108th increase since our company's public listing in 1994. With the payment of the October dividend, we will have made 603 consecutive monthly dividend payments throughout our 51-year operating history."
Last year Realty Income hiked its dividend five times for a total increase of 2.9 percent. This completed 25 consecutive years of annual dividend increases by the company. Dividend growth has been slowing down a bit since last year, but Realty Income had periods of slower dividend growth before like in 2014 when the dividend was hiked by only 0.7 percent. The biggest dividend increase was announced in 2013, when Realty hiked its dividend by a total of 20.0 percent. With this year's 2.9 percent increase Realty Income has already matched the 2019 increase. Normally the company will announce a fifth dividend hike later in 2020, which means that dividend growth will be higher than in 2019.
Currently Realty Income pays an estimated $964 million in dividends to its shareholders annually. Based on the closing stock price of Thursday September 18, the current market cap of Realty Income is $22.1 billion.
Realty Income Corporation is a real estate investment trust (REIT) with properties owned under long-term lease agreements with regional and national commercial tenants. The company has tenants active in 48 segments, including Apparel, Automotive tire services, Beverages, Child care, Convenience stores, Dollar stores, Drug stores, Financial services, Food processing, Grocery stores, Health and fitness, Health care, Home improvement, Restaurants-casual dining, Restaurants-quick service, Sporting goods, Theaters, Transportation services and Wholesale club. The company's biggest tenants include Walgreens, 7-Eleven, FedEx, LA Fitness, AMC Theaters and Dollar Tree (including Family Dollar Stores).