Forget Fed, Special Dividends Pouring In From REITs

Investors in the REIT space need not be disappointed by the FOMC meeting outcome and rate hike moves. This is because a number of REITs like Host Hotels & Resorts (HST - Free Report) , Piedmont Office Realty Trust (PDM - Free Report) and Weingarten Realty Investors (WRI - Free Report) have announced their special dividends, which is definitely good news for income-seeking investors.

Specifically, Host Hotels & Resorts has announced a special dividend of 5 cents per share. This is in addition to the fourth-quarter cash dividend of 20 cents per share, reaching the total dividend figure for the year to 85 cents. The dividend will be paid on Jan 15, 2018, to stockholders of record on Dec 29, 2017.

Also, Piedmont Office Realty Trust’s board of directors recently announced a special cash dividend of 50 cents per common share, giving investors another reason to rejoice. The special dividend distribution was primarily due to taxable gains that the company realized on asset dispositions of around $396 million in 2017. This dividend will be paid on Jan 9, 2018, to shareholders of record on Dec 26, 2017.

Usually, special dividends are paid by REITs on capital gains from the sale of assets to avoid paying taxes. Solid dividend payouts remain the biggest attraction for REIT investors as the U.S. law requires these companies to distribute 90% of the annual taxable income in the form of dividends to shareholders.

The other REIT — Weingarten Realty Investors — announced a special cash dividend of 75 cents per share, which is payable on Dec 29, 2017, to shareholders of record as of Dec 26, 2017. According to the company, this dividend will consist mainly of gains on property dispositions.

Earlier, Duke Realty (DRE - Free Report) had announced a special cash dividend of 85 cents per share. This primarily resulted from the sale of around $2.85 billion of assets through Sep 30, 2017. This dividend was paid on Dec 12, 2017, to shareholders of record on Dec 1.

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