Insider Q&A With CEO of a Dividend Powerhouse
A:I'm a strong believer in remaining nimble and flexible in order to navigate a dynamic economic environment. At the same time, I think it's imperative that a company maintain its focus on why it's in business in the first place. So within these boundaries, at Realty Income, we've always looked three, five and ten years ahead to determine where we'd like to be in the future, while also working within the current economic and marketing landscape to capitalize on opportunities that arise. This approach has allowed us to make needed changes in our investment based on changes in our markets, has helped us hone our acquisition strategy as competition increased in recent years, and has allowed us to successfully navigate varying economic cycles throughout the past 43 years.
Q: Realty Income has a trademark brand of being called "The Monthly Dividend Company®". What does that mean to a retiree (a "retired schoolteacher") today?
A: Our muse is "Ida Mae" from Dubuque, Iowa, a retired schoolteacher. She is the motivation for the decisions that we make, as a management team, with respect to new investments, our operations and the monthly dividend. Our company was formed back in 1969 to provide monthly dividends to its owners. When the company started, our founders felt that as long as they were receiving rent from their tenants every month, it would probably be convenient for their investors to receive dividends every month. So the focus on monthly dividends has been in place for many years. Our shareholders regularly email and send us letters commenting how thankful they are to receive either a check in the mail or see their dividends show up in their account each month. For them dividends are a necessity, not a luxury.
Realty Income closed at $39.29 per share and the 52-week high was $39.82 per share. The market cap is 5.25 billion and the current dividend yield is 4.5%.
Disclosure: At the time of publication, Brad Thomas held no positions in securities mentioned in this article.