I think using cash flow to deleverage enhances the long-term stability of the company, and positions the company to take advantage of favorable investment opportunities. Over-leveraged companies may be forced to dis-invest at exactly the wrong times (when prices fall to bargain levels).
As a long term investor (since 1999), I applaud management's efforts to date in steering through some tricky waters.
The last two posts make excellent points. I one wants a safe yielder, buy HRP; if one wants a leveraged speculation, buy PGE; I like this for exactly the reasons these posters state. Even if they are not paying out a dividend, we are "earning" the AFFO here in accretion to NAV.
paying off debt would be nicer if the debt that was being paid off was expensive. I don't have the figures in front on me, but our debt is very low cost; so the advantage we get from delevering is not what it might be