The private reits all had payout ratio's much higher than IRC's. Inland Western was paying out close to 100% of FFO whereas IRC is at 70%. The other Reit's had little choice but to lower their dividend, especially Inland Western which also has huge debt maturities this year.
IRC Ceo said in the November conference call that it was hard for him to envision a scenario where IRC would need to cut its dividend. I know we've heard this from other Ceo's who then cut the div but I believe IRC div is safe absent a complete retail and credit meltdown.
dividend increase? Are you serious - in this market? Most companies are cutting or suspending their dividends. Other REITs are having problems with their loans, cash flow, etc. The fact that IRC continues to maintain their dividend (and as they announced today, continue it in January), month after month, is a great sign. Personally, I'm pleased and would rather they maintain the capital they would have put into an increase for operating expenses, paying down debt, and purchasing back shares. That is LIKE a dividend increase, especially in this market, by helping to maintain the dividend.
IRC was created as a private REIT that started with a much lower dividend yield. The REIT went public about 4 years ago and I would not expect the dividend to change much again unless they find oil under their retail holdings. Dividend declines are more likely since their current private holdings are looking at short term capital conservation techniques.