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Exxon’s Dividend Policy Unlikely to Change in the Near Term After Activist Wins Board Seats

At Exxon's annual meeting Wednesday, shareholders elected at least two of the four board directors (votes are still being counted) nominated by Engine No. 1, an activist investment firm that turned up the heat on the oil major late last year. Engine No. 1, which holds a mere 0.02% stake in Exxon, has criticized the company's poor performance over [...]

May 28th, 2021|Uncategorized|

Welltower Sees Senior Housing Occupancy Rise for First Time Since 2019

April 2021 marked the first monthly occupancy gain in Welltower's senior housing operating (SHO) portfolio since prior to the pandemic. With the vaccine rollout enabling many senior living communities to drop comprehensive move-in restrictions that were implemented last year to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, Welltower is hopeful that the industry has finally bottomed [...]

May 21st, 2021|Uncategorized|

Duke Energy Rebuffs Activist Investor’s Call to Split Into Three Companies

Activist investor Elliott Management on May 17 published a letter to Duke Energy's board urging the utility to break itself into three separately traded companies. Elliott argued that Duke's sprawling portfolio of utilities, which spans parts of the Midwest, Florida, and the Carolinas, "has burdened shareholders with a conglomerate discount relative to the value of Duke's utility [...]

May 19th, 2021|Uncategorized|

AT&T Plans to Combine Media Assets with Discovery, Cut Dividend in Mid-2022

AT&T on Monday announced plans to combine its WarnerMedia business (around 20% of cash flow) with rival Discovery to form a new publicly traded company. AT&T will maintain its current dividend until the transaction closes, which is expected in mid-2022. Then, management will reduce the dividend to account for the distribution of WarnerMedia to AT&T shareholders, who [...]

May 17th, 2021|Uncategorized|

NHI Mulls Portfolio Restructuring Options, Increasing Uncertainty for the Dividend

National Health Investors (NHI) has kept its dividend covered with cash flow throughout the pandemic despite the challenging environment faced by its senior housing and skilled nursing tenants. The healthcare REIT's rent collection rates averaged over 95% in 2020 and exceeded 94% in the first quarter of 2021. However, Covid's impact continues to be felt [...]

May 17th, 2021|Uncategorized|

With Government Aid Diminishing, Omega’s Tenants Face Uncertain Future

Omega Healthcare continues collecting virtually all rent due despite the crushing blow dealt by the pandemic to many of its skilled nursing tenants (over 80% of revenue). As we discussed last summer, operators of skilled nursing facilities had razor-thin margins heading into the crisis, with around half of them failing to turn a profit. Years of [...]

May 13th, 2021|Uncategorized|

STORE Capital’s Dividend Safety Improves as Rent Collection Returns to Pre-Pandemic Levels

In May last year when pandemic uncertainties were at their peak, STORE Capital's rent collection rate fell to just 64% as restaurants (14% of pre-pandemic rent), gyms (5%), movie theaters (5%), and other "non-essential" tenants braced for a long downturn.  At this level of rent collections, cash flow no longer covered the dividend.  And management [...]

May 13th, 2021|Uncategorized|

National Retail’s Much Improved Rent Collection Rates Put Dividend on Solid Ground

In April last year, in the midst of a burgeoning pandemic, National Retail Properties was able to collect only 52% of rent payments due. With cash flow failing to cover the dividend, the retail REIT cautioned investors that "by no means is the dividend untouchable." Over the year since, conditions have improved so much that [...]

May 10th, 2021|Uncategorized|

AbbVie’s Debt Reduction Progress Strengthens Dividend Profile

AbbVie has demonstrated enough progress deleveraging its balance sheet, integrating its transformative acquisition of Allergan, and advancing its drug pipeline to earn a Dividend Safety Score upgrade from Borderline Safe to Safe. Progress across these areas is critical to protect the dividend in 2023 and beyond when blockbuster drug Humira (40% of sales) loses exclusivity in America. AbbVie [...]

May 4th, 2021|Uncategorized|