I believe that stock price has dropped because the market is pricing in a drop in the dividend. If you look at their cash flow statement, the total cash outlay for dividend payment is about the same every quarter. So, you take that cash outlay for dividends and divide by a higher number of shares outstanding and the div per share has to drop. The Argentinian group bought a bunch of new shares and had options to buy more (which I am not sure whether they exercised or not). The value of an option declines when dividends are paid since the strike price is not adjusted for dividend payments. So, in all probability, they might have exercised those options to net the firm more cash, but also cause more shares outstanding. Whether the firm uses that extra cash to pay div is another matter altogether. My gut feel is that the div per share is going to drop to 2 cents per share, and this will cause prices to decline to around $2.00 to $2.50 per share. This is my best guess for why the stock price has come down from the #3+ range.
The commercial real estate business especially hotels and motels are not doing well. Having said that some of the hotels and motels in strategic locations (NY, PA, CT, NJ, MA) are doing well. Most of HT hotels are in those areas. Their occupancy rate is higher compared to other REIT properties. Another thing that works for them is that their balance sheet is healthier than other similar REIT companies. Their business has definitely slowed down compared to previous years but they are in a better situation than most other REIT companies. I won't be suprised if the revenue in this quater will be better than the previous quater.
Adding to my comments, HT has done a decent job in cutting cost to weather this economic melt down. I can't say for sure whether the dividend is safe or not but I can tell you for sure HT management knows how to run hotel and Motel business.
Wizestman: The dividend paid in last four quaters as shown in Yahoo is around $11.457 Millions(Every quater) and they have 49.13 Millions of outstanding shares. If you divide (11.5/49.13=0.235)the dividend/shares comes out to be $0.235/share.