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REIT.com: Realty Income Celebrates 50 Years of Monthly Dividends

According to NAREIT,

It all started with a single Taco Bell. In 1969, William and Joan Clark founded Realty Income Corp. Their goal: to provide investors with monthly dividends that increase over time.

Take a look at Realty Income’s track record, and you might agree that the Clarks succeeded. In July, the San Diego-based firm declared its 589th consecutive common stock monthly dividend at $0.2265 per share, representing an annualized dividend of $2.718 per share.

Realty Income has grown from that initial Taco Bell investment to the nation’s largest net lease REIT, according to Green Street Advisors, with a $19 billion portfolio. According to Realty Income, its total enterprise value stands at approximately $30 billion, with more than 5,900 properties owned under long-term lease agreements with  commercial tenants. Its portfolio consists primarily of retail (83%) and industrial (12%) properties. And its record of consistent dividend increases stands out in the industry.

Spenser Allaway, an analyst on Green Street Advisor’s retail research team, where she leads coverage of net lease, notes that “the investment spread makes a ton of sense, but there are definitely challenges…there’s a steep learning curve when it comes to investing abroad, and overhead is going to grow.” She attributes Realty Income’s year-to-date underperformance of its net lease peers as a reaction to a “tremendous outperformance last year, and you can’t outperform forever.” Another factor has been uncertainty about the company’s move into Europe. “They’re starting a new, more globally diversified platform that needs to be proven out a little bit.”

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