Realty Income Corporation (O) will raise its monthly dividend by another 0.2 percent to $0.235 per share in the first quarter of 2021. This comes after five small increases in 2020 announced by the Dividend Aristocrat for a total increase of 3.1 percent. Realty Income is a Dividend Aristocrat having raised its monthly dividend for 27 consecutive years in 2021.
The next dividend is payable on April 15, 2021 to shareholders of record as of April 1, 2021. A new annualized dividend amount of $2.82 per share yields 4.4% at a stock price of $64.
In the press release the company announces the new dividend hike and provides a comment: "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 110th increase since our company's public listing in 1994. With the payment of the April dividend, we will have made 609 consecutive monthly dividend payments throughout our 52-year operating history."
Last year Realty Income hiked its dividend five times for a total increase of 3.1 percent. This completed 26 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 a 3.1 percent increase Realty Income was growing the dividend faster in 2020 than in 2019.
Currently Realty Income pays an estimated $990 million in dividends to its shareholders annually. Based on a closing stock price of $63.96, the current market cap of Realty Income is $23.88 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).