The Realty Income Dividend Is Paid Every Month!
The Realty Income Stock Dividend satisfies my real estate investment needs.
I’m not a big fan of real estate investments. One single-family residence is enough real estate for me.
I can analyze stocks and form an educated opinion on their value. On the other
But I think it is important to have real estate represented in a diversified dividend stock portfolio. And Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) are a great way to do that.
By owning REITs, there is no need to get involved with individual properties.
So today we are going to work through a Realty Income dividend stock analysis. I want to take a close look at the company, Realty Income stock,
To get started, let’s learn a little about the company. And how it goes about its business.
HOW DOES REALTY INCOME MAKE MONEY TO FUND ITS DIVIDEND?
Realty Income makes money through ownership of over 6,500 commercial properties. These properties generate rental revenue from long-term net lease agreements from tenants.
Realty Income’s customer base is diversified with more than 600 commercial tenants. They operate in 50+ industries, located throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and the United Kingdom. Their properties are generally freestanding buildings in prime locations with good access and visibility.
Source: Realty Income – About Us
You have likely been in one of their properties. Since many of their tenants are recognizable names. Their largest 20 tenants are listed below.
- Dollar General
- Dollar Tree & Family Dollar
- LA Fitness
- AMC Theatres
- Regal Cinemas
- Walmart & Sam’s Club
- Lifetime Fitness
- Circle K
- BJ’s Wholesale Clubs
- CVS Pharmacy
- Treasury Wine Estates
- Super America (Marathon)
- Life Time Fitness
- GPM Investments/FAS Mart
- TBC Corporation (Sumitomo)
- Home Depot
The Realty Income dividend is paid out of the cash flows generated from earnings. So how does Realty Income grow earnings and ultimately the dividend over time? Well, they do this in two primary ways.
First of all, they acquire more properties to increase the size of their real estate portfolio. By leasing the new properties to tenants for rental revenue that exceeds the cost of funds to acquire the properties, Realty Income makes more profits.
Realty Income also makes more money by regularly increasing the rent on existing leases by about 2% annually.
Source: Realty Income Business Model
Bricks and mortar retail businesses are being challenged by e-commerce. But as you can see by Realty Income’s tenant list, many do not compete directly with Amazon. That is definitely a plus.
Also, some tenants have been negatively impacted by the events of 2020. Cinemas and fitness clubs have suffered large losses while their facilities have been closed.
This has placed a strain on Realty Income’s ability to collect some rents as they come due.
REALTY INCOME STOCK (O STOCK)
Realty Income stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange. And their stock market ticker symbol is easy to remember.
The stock symbol is the letter “O”. Sometimes Realty Income stock is referred to as O or O stock, for short.
REALTY INCOME PAYS MONTHLY DIVIDENDS
Realty Income is also known as The Monthly Dividend Company. Why? Because they choose to pay dividends to shareholders every month of the year. Monthly cash payments to shareholders are a part of their dividend policy.
In contrast, most
REALTY INCOME’S DIVIDENDS ARE NOT CONSIDERED QUALIFIED DIVIDENDS
As we know, Realty Income is structured as a real estate investment trust (REIT). REIT tax status provides the company with tax treatment that requires minimum dividend distributions. That’s great for us income investors.
On the other hand, Realty Income’s dividends are not considered qualified for tax purposes. So, as an investor, they are taxed as ordinary income. And, are not “qualified” for the lower dividend tax rate.
This is an important point about REITs. Since Realty Income is a REIT, let’s learn a little bit more about them before we go any further.
WHAT IS A REIT?
REITs are companies that own or finance income-producing real estate in a range of property sectors.
Most REITs operate a straightforward business model. They own space, lease it out to tenants, and collect rent. The income from this process is then paid out to shareholders in the form of dividends.
Furthermore, REITs allow anyone to invest in portfolios of real estate assets without the responsibilities of being a landlord.
REITs have to meet a number of requirements to qualify. A REIT must:
- Invest at least 75 percent of its total assets in real estate
- Derive at least 75 percent of its gross income from rentals of real property, interest on mortgages, the financing of real property, or from the sales of real estate
- Pay at least 90 percent of taxable income to shareholders in the form of dividends each year
- Be structured as a taxable corporation
- Be managed by a board of directors or trustees
- Have a minimum of 100 shareholders
- And have no more than 50 percent of its shares held by five or fewer individuals
REITs AND TAXES
As long as they qualify, REITs pay no federal income tax. This eliminates the “double taxation” of their income generated and the dividends they pass along to shareholders.
Because of this, a REIT’s dividends received by an investor do not receive preferential tax treatment known as qualified dividend income. They are taxed as ordinary income.
So, under current tax law, your tax rate on the dividends received from Realty Income stock will depend on your tax bracket. Because of the tax treatment, it is usually best to hold REITs in tax-advantaged accounts, like Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).
That concludes our background lesson about REITs. But there is much more to come.
FACTS AND FIGURES ABOUT THE REALTY INCOME DIVIDEND
So, let’s dig into the Realty Income dividend metrics now.
REALTY INCOME DIVIDEND PER SHARE
Realty Income stock pays an annual forward dividend of $2.80 per share.
WHEN IS THE REALTY INCOME DIVIDEND PAID?
We already know the Realty Income dividend is paid every month. Monthly dividends are very helpful if you use dividends to pay living expenses.
The annual dividend breaks down to a $.2335 per share per month.
To receive Realty Income’s next monthly dividend payment, you must complete a purchase of Realty Income stock by the ex-dividend date.
Furthermore, the ex-dividend date is the last business day of each month. Then, as a shareholder, your Realty Income dividend is paid out on the 15th day of each month.
What happens if the 15th falls on a weekend or holiday? Then, the Realty Income dividend is paid on the last business day prior to the 15th.
REALTY INCOME DIVIDEND YIELD
Dividend yields for all stocks move in the opposite direction of the stock price. Based on the recent Realty Income stock price, the annual dividend per share puts the Realty Income dividend yield at 4.5%.
The dividend yield is a little low versus other REITs. But it has a high dividend yield compared to many other stocks. My target dividend yield range when I make a stock purchase is between 3-5%.
REALTY INCOME DIVIDEND HISTORY
Realty Income has paid dividends every year since it became a public company in 1994. Also, the dividend has been increased annually by management since its inception.
TOUTING THE REALTY INCOME STOCK DIVIDEND
This company is really proud of its dividend-paying heritage. First of all, going by the nickname “The Monthly Dividend Company” tells us just how serious they are.
Furthermore, they also boast about their dividend metrics on their website. This is what I found…
REALTY INCOME STOCK DIVIDEND AMOUNT & TRACK RECORD
- 598 consecutive monthly dividends paid (since founding in 1969)
- 107 dividend increases
- 91 consecutive quarterly increases
- Dividend growth of 211.3%
- Compound average annual dividend growth rate of approximately 4.5%
REALTY INCOME IS A DIVIDEND ARISTOCRAT
The 27 consecutive annual dividend increases qualify Realty Income as a Dividend Aristocrat.
Dividend Aristocrats are those rare companies that have increased their dividends annually for at least 25 consecutive years.
We now know Realty Income increases its dividend every year. But what does the dividend growth rate look like?
REALTY INCOME DIVIDEND GROWTH RATE HISTORY
Based on table 1, you can see the Realty Income dividend growth rate has been declining. Using history as a guide, I expect this year’s dividend appreciation to come in at 3% once again.
The company is becoming larger and more mature. It’s looking more like a steady, reliable, but slower growing utility stock. In my opinion, there are fewer properties that meet its investment profile to support higher dividend growth rates.
But I think the monthly dividend payments and annual dividend growth have been and will continue to be a nice combination for a dividend stock investor.
Table 1: Realty Income Compound Annual Dividend Growth Rate
|1 Year||3 Years||5 Years||7 Years|
REALTY INCOME DIVIDEND INCREASE PROCESS AND TIMING
Realty Income has a unique track record for increasing dividend payments to shareholders. They typically increase it by a small amount 4 times per year. These increases are usually a little less than one-quarter of 1%.
Then in January of each year, they have announced a larger increase of 3-5%. As Table 1 shows, the multiple dividend increases have averaged out to 4-6% in recent years.
REALTY INCOME DIVIDEND GROWTH RATE FORECAST
In the last couple of years, I have noticed that the January dividend increase has become smaller. This is what has caused a decline in the historical dividend growth rate.
Looking forward, I believe the trend will continue. So, I project an annual dividend growth rate for Realty Income stock of 2-4%.
BUSINESS FUNDAMENTALS UNDERLYING THE REALTY INCOME DIVIDEND
Now we know a lot about the Realty Income dividend! So, let’s move on to business fundamentals and the underlying trends that support it.
We know how Realty Income grows. Remember? They acquire and rent out new properties and increase rents on existing properties.
CHART 1: REVENUE GROWTH SUPPORTS REALTY INCOME’S DIVIDEND GROWTH
Chart 1 shows us their growth strategy has been working quite well. Revenue has nearly doubled over the past 7 years.
REALTY INCOME DIVIDEND AND FFO PER SHARE
Realty Income has stable and consistent Funds from Operations (FFO) growth as shown in Chart 2.
CHART 2: REALTY INCOME DIVIDEND PER SHARE AS COMPARED TO FFO PER SHARE
WHAT IS FFO?
I mainly cover traditional dividend-paying corporations here at Dividends Diversify. I evaluate dividends against earnings per share and free cash flow.
In fact, Realty Income is the only REIT represented in the Dividends Deluxe model portfolio. Because of that, FFO is not frequently discussed here. So let’s take the opportunity to improve our knowledge about FFO next.
For REITs, FFO is a better measure of dividend payment capacity and income than traditional earnings per share. Investopedia explains FFO this way
FFO is calculated by adding depreciation and amortization to earnings and then subtracting any gains on sales of property. It is sometimes quoted on a per-share basis. The FFO-per-share ratio should be used in lieu of earnings per share when evaluating REITs and other similar investment trusts.
The formula for FFO is: FFO = Net Income + Depreciation + Amortization – Gains on Sales of Property
REALTY INCOME DIVIDEND PAYOUT RATIO
Realty Income dividends as a percent of FFO run at about 85% each year. This is known as the dividend payout ratio.
My concern here is how will the events of 2020 impact FFO now and in the future? Since some of Realty Income’s customers have had to close their facilities.
Only time will tell. It’s very hard for me to project what the long term impact will be. But, I want to keep an eye on this issue.
On a positive note, many of Realty Income’s tenants have investment-grade credit ratings and have paid their rent on a timely basis. Furthermore, most tenants have not been required to shut-down their operations. Finally, the breadth and diversity of Realty Income’s tenant base are substantial.
FINANCIAL POSITION: CREDIT RATING AND BALANCE SHEET
Realty Income states that they seek to maintain a conservative capital structure. Overall, debt to equity checks in at .72 times.
And Moody’s and S&P give Realty Income A3 and A- credit ratings, respectively. They represent “Investment Grade – Low Credit Risk” evaluations.
TABLE 2: CREDIT RATING EVALUATION GRID
Based on these metrics, Realty Income appears to have a strong balance sheet. They maintain excellent credit ratings as a good dividend growth stock normally does.
REALTY INCOME DIVIDEND SAFETY
Having successfully navigated the real estate collapse, financial crisis, and bear market of 2007-2009, I have little doubt that Realty Income will make it through the current recession.
Also, based on its business fundamentals, financial position, and dividend metrics, I judge Realty Income’s dividend safe from a reduction in the foreseeable future.
REALTY INCOME STOCK VALUATION
Let’s judge value in several ways:
- Dividend Discount Model
- Morningstar fair value estimate
- Utility Forecaster investment newsletter buy target
- Realty Income stock price to FFO ratio
- Dividend Yield
REALTY INCOME DIVIDEND DISCOUNT MODEL
The single-stage dividend discount model considers several factors I have discussed thus far
- Current dividend payment – $2.80 per share
- Projected dividend growth – 3.0%
- My desired annual return on investment – 9.0%
Using these assumptions, the dividend discount model sets the value of Realty Income stock at $48 per share.
MORNINGSTAR FAIR VALUE ESTIMATE OF REALTY INCOME STOCK
The investment analysis firm Morningstar believes Realty Income stock is fairly valued at $65 per share.
UTILITY FORECASTER INVESTMENT NEWSLETTER BUY LIMIT TARGET
Regular readers know I follow Utility Forecaster. The publication is best known for its analysis of utility stocks.
To a lesser extent, the publication also follows REITs. So, I checked in to see what it had to say. And, Utility Forecaster places a buy limit on Realty Income stock at $62 per share.
REALTY INCOME STOCK PRICE TO FFO
The Realty income stock price to fiscal 2019 FFO is less than 19 times. To compare, retail REITs historically carry FFO to earnings ratios ranging between 13 to 17 times.
Source: REIT.com Market Commentary
REALTY INCOME DIVIDEND YIELD AS A BASIS FOR STOCK VALUATION
With future dividend growth likely to be in the 3% range, I would like to see a higher dividend yield, closer to 5%. This puts my target price in the mid $50s per share.
REALTY INCOME STOCK VALUATION SUMMARY
We have a range of values from these different sources. I judge Realty Income stock to be slightly overvalued at the current price level. To summarize:
- Dividend Discount Model Fair Value – $48
- Morningstar Fair Value – $65
- Utility Forecaster buy limit target price – $62
- Price to FFO versus historical industry average – $52
- Stock price to achieve a 5% dividend yield – $56
REALTY INCOME STOCK AND DIVIDEND ANALYSIS – WRAP UP
Realty Income holds a large position in my dividend growth stock portfolio. I established my position in 2008 and have added to it over the years. At its 2019 highs, the stock price had more than tripled in value during this time.
I hold Realty Income stock in my IRA. Because of this, I trade O stock a little bit more than dividend stocks in my taxable accounts.
When the valuation gets stretched, I sell off some of my position. And then reinvest when the stock price declines.
For example, I sold 10% of my shares in 2019 at $73 per share. Then, I added half of them back during the depths of the 2020 bear market at $41 per share.
I usually do not trade like this. And prefer to buy and hold forever.
IS REALTY INCOME A GOOD INVESTMENT?
I believe Realty Income is a good investment. Realty Income stock is an excellent way to passively invest in real estate.
And the stock is a solid holding when building a diversified dividend investment portfolio. Most importantly, the company is well managed and has a stellar track record of paying a rising dividend stream to shareholders.
IS REALTY INCOME A GOOD STOCK TO BUY NOW?
Realty Income stock appears slightly overvalued to me right now. I base this mainly on its current dividend yield and slowing dividend growth prospects.
For me, I would prefer a larger dividend yield relative to its potential for dividend growth. At this point in time, I would consider purchasing more shares below $56. This price equates to a 5% dividend yield.
FURTHER READING ABOUT DIVIDEND INVESTING AND DIVIDEND STOCKS
- Dividend stock recommendations from Simply Investing
- 3 top dividend stocks for a small investment portfolio
- Vanguard High Yield Dividend ETF
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