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.
Feb 17, 2010 8:04 AM
Following HCA's announcement that it will distribute $1.75 billion to its stockholders, Fitch Ratings reaffirmed its stable rating outlook for the hospital operator. Among Fitch's key rating concerns is the large amount of debt maturing in the next several years, "continued shareholder-friendly transactions" and the uncertain industry environment around health care reform. And, of course, there's that whole IPO thing:
Finally, Fitch notes that an exit by HCA's private equity sponsors through, for example, an initial public offering (IPO) could have an impact on its credit profile.
Feb 2, 2010 11:09 AM
Wall Street Journal private-equity blogger Josh Beckerman theorizes that HCA's $1.75 million shareholder dividend is a sign the company may delay its expected IPO. Other moves in the sector suggest the "wait and see" attitude is shared:
[HCA's] move follows on dividend recaps from a ton of other health-care companies, including fellow hospital operators Vanguard Health Systems Inc. and Iasis Healthcare, as well as pharmaceutical services company Quintiles Transanational Corp., making us think this entire sector is hunkering down to wait out the health-care storm. We know where they can get a good snow plow afterwards.See also: Vanguard and Iasis
Feb 1, 2010 10:28 AM
The board of National Health Investors has — like last year — declared a special dividend that will land in shareholders' accounts in early 2010. And like last year, it's worth pointing out that what is essentially a defensive play (Ticker: NHI) is on its way to handily beating the S&P 500 for the year.
Dec 11, 2009 9:01 AM
Though not in that order: Howe Barnes analyst Jeff Davis upgraded the shares of Green Bankshares (Ticker: GRNB) to 'neutral' Tuesday morning after the stock's recent pullback. But he noted that he expects the shares "to be under pressure for the balance of the year given the level of NPAs and losses that we are projecting." Because of that, he added, the company would likely slash or spike its dividend to save capital. A few hours later, the company said its dividend is toast for now.
"It is extremely important to maintain our strong capital levels and, after careful deliberation, the Board of Directors and management have concluded that the decision to suspend the cash dividend on our common stock is the prudent course of action."
Jun 2, 2009 11:33 PM
Dick Bove of Ladenburg Thalmann says the parent of Middle Tennessee's largest bank won't make any money this year, but keeps his 'buy' rating on its stock (Ticker: RF), which is down 50 percent since the summer.
Jan 26, 2009 7:59 AM