Ushering in good news for its shareholders, Sovran Self Storage, Inc. SSS revealed an 11.8% increase in its quarterly dividend. The company will now pay a dividend of 95 cents per share against 85 cents paid in the previous quarter.
The new dividend will be paid on Apr 26, to shareholders of record on Apr 14, 2016. Based on the increased rate, the annual dividend comes at $ 3.80 per share, up from $ 3.40 paid earlier. And taking into account Monday’s closing price, annualized yield comes at 3.24%.
Solid dividend payouts are arguably the biggest enticement for REIT investors and Sovran Self Storage remains committed to enhance shareholders’ value. The company has in fact done so every quarter since it went public in 1995 and over the last few years, it has been steadily increasing its dividend.
Further, Sovran is believed to have adequate capital to support its dividend policy. According to its Chief Financial Officer Andy Gregoire, cash flow “continues to increase” backed by the company’s “robust operating platforms and solid self-storage industry fundamentals.”
Notably, self storage industry fundamentals remain strong as a result of limited new supply. This is because capital constraints and increased barriers to entry with more communities implementing stricter building codes have led to lesser new construction of self storage facilities.
Demand remains solid also because the need for self storage remains high on the back of favorable demographic changes and events like marriages, shifting, death and even divorce. Such favorable demand-supply dynamics are expected to continue in 2016.
Sovran Self Storage, which operates more than 550 self storage facilities in 26 states under the name Uncle Bob’s Self Storage, reported a 15.06% CAGR in adjusted funds from operations (FFO) since 2010. The company boasts a solid balance sheet and liquidity, and has investment grade ratings from Moody’s, S&P and Fitch. Hence, the increased dividend is believed to be sustainable.
Sovran Self Storage currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Investors interested in the REIT industry may consider stocks like National Storage Affiliates NSA, PS Business Parks Inc. PSB and Public Storage PSA. Each of these stocks carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Note: FFO, a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs, is obtained after adding depreciation and amortization and other non-cash expenses to net income.
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