Tanger Factory Hikes Annual Dividend

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Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, Inc. (SKT) recently announced a 5.0% hike in its annual dividend from 80 cents per share to 84 cents per share. Simultaneously, the company’s board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of 21 cents per share for the first quarter ended March 31, 2012. The new dividend is payable on May 15, 2012 to shareholders of record as of April 30, 2012.

At the end of fourth quarter 2011, Tanger Factory’s cash balance stood at $7.8 million.  The increase in annual dividend marks the company’s 19th consecutive dividend hike. The company possesses adequate financial flexibility to pursue accretive acquisitions and dividend payouts. This augurs well for its long-term growth.

During the fourth quarter of 2011, Tanger Factory’s FFO (funds from operations) stood at $41.3 million or 42 cents per share, compared with $30.1 million or 32 cents per share in the year-earlier quarter. Fund from operations, 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.The new developments and acquisitions were primarily responsible for a 37.6% growth in FFO during the fourth quarter of 2011.

Headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina, Tanger is a publicly-traded real estate investment trust (:REIT). The company owns a portfolio of 39 upscale outlet shopping centers in 25 states coast-to-coast, and in Canada, spanning approximately 11.8 million square feet leased to over 2,500 stores that are operated by 450 different companies.

Tanger Factory currently retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term Hold rating. We are also maintaining our long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock. One of National Retail’s closestcompetitors, CBL & Associates Properties Inc. (CBL) also holds a Zacks #3 Rank.

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