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Urstadt Biddle Cheers Investors With a Hike in Dividend

Zacks Equity Research

Urstadt Biddle Properties’ UBA board of directors has approved a 2% & 1.9% hike in quarterly dividend for its Common stock and Class A Common stock, respectively. The revised dividend for Common stock now comes in at 24 cents per share versus the previous figure of 23.5 cents and the revised dividend for Class A Common stock comes in at 27 cents per share compared to the previous payout of 26.5 cents per share. The new dividends will be paid on Jan 19, 2018, to shareholders of record as of Jan 5, 2018.

Based on the increased rate, the annual dividend for Common stock and Class A Common stock comes to 96 cents a share and $1.08 per share, resulting in an annualized yield of about 4.2%, and 4.7%, respectively, considering Urstadt Biddle’s closing price of $22.95 on Dec 15.

Solid dividend payouts are arguably the biggest enticement for REIT investors and this represents Urstadt Biddle’s 192nd consecutive quarterly dividend on common stock since its inception in 1969.

Quarterly dividends on the company’s Series G Preferred Stock and Series H Preferred Stock were also declared. Series G Preferred Stock will pay dividends of $0.421875 per share and Series H Preferred Stock will be paying dividend of $0.390625 per share on Jan 31, 2018 to stockholders of record on Jan 19, 2018.

The company’s leverage picture looks encouraging. Its debt/equity ratio of 0.71 compares favorably with 1.25 for its industry. Also, this retail real estate investment trust (REIT) has optimally utilized its equity that resulted in return on equity (ROE) of 13.62%, while the industry delivered 7.44%.

Year to date, shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have underperformed the industry. During this period, shares of Urstadt Biddle have lost 4.8%, while the industry has recorded growth of 13.3%.

Some better-ranked stocks in the REIT space are One Liberty Properties OLP and Arbor Realty Trust ABR, sporting a Zacks Rank of 1 (Strong Buy), and Columbia Property Trust CXP, carrying a Zacks Rank of 2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

One Liberty Properties’ FFO per share estimates for 2017 witnessed an upward revision of 7.1% over the last 60 days. Its share price has gained 12.9% in six months’ time.

Arbor Realty Trust’s FFO per share estimates for 2017 increased by 8.7% over the last 60 days. Its shares have gained 3.6% in the past six months.

Columbia Property Trust’s FFO per share estimates for the current year have moved up 2.7% in two months’ time. Over the past six months, the company’s shares have gained 4%.

Note: All EPS numbers presented in this write up represent funds from operations (“FFO”) per share. FFO, 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.

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