Analyst David Fick at Stifel Nicolaus says that retail real estate investment trusts, having weathered the worst of the financial storm, now have the ability to boost their cash payouts big time. Chattanooga's CBL & Associates, which runs four malls in the Nashville area, could triple its dividend this year, he says.
I don't think that's really recognized in the market. The last two years were characterized by what we call "the wall of shame." We sold the market the idea that REIT dividends were safe and stable in the long term, and it turned out that when stressed, that really that was not true.