With its record of providing annual dividend increases now 30 years and counting, National Retail Properties Inc. (NYSE: NNN) heads into 2020 in a solid position. NNN’s balance sheet remains strong, the company continues to build long-lasting relationships with preeminent national and regional retailers, and its nationwide property holdings remain 99% occupied.
- More than 3,100 retail properties leased to 400 tenants in 48 states
- $715.6 million invested in properties leased to relationship tenants in 2019
- $4.9 billion invested with relationship tenants since 2010
- One of only three REITs to have increased annual dividends for 30 consecutive years or more
Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT) (NYSE: OFC) is an office REIT headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, equidistant between Baltimore and Washington, DC. As of Sept. 30, 2019, COPT’s core portfolio of 167 office and data center properties encompassed 18.8 million square feet and was 94.5% leased. What differentiates COPT from other office REITs is its unique franchise of U.S. Government, information technology-oriented locations (Defense/IT Locations).
- The healthy defense spending environment in the United States is driving strong demand for COPT’s existing space and for newly developed facilities, resulting in record volumes of leasing in 2019
- COPT owns and controls nearly 900 acres of the most relevant land locations, limiting competing supply, and can accommodate over 10 million square feet of future mission growth
- 2.6 million square feet of active development projects are 82% pre-leased and should support impressive growth in the coming quarters
- An attractive and secure quarterly dividend of $0.275/share represents a 3.7% yield and an attractive premium to the yield from 10-year U.S. Treasuries
- Investment grade-rated balance sheet supports future growth through development, and ensures dividend safety
Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SWX), through its subsidiaries, engages in the business of purchasing, distributing, and transporting natural gas, and providing infrastructure services across North America. Southwest Gas Corporation (Southwest), a wholly owned subsidiary, safely and reliably delivers natural gas to over two million commercial and residential customers in Arizona, California, and Nevada. Centuri Group, Inc. (Centuri), a wholly owned subsidiary, is a comprehensive utility infrastructure services enterprise dedicated to delivering a diverse array of solutions to North America’s gas and electric providers.
- Dividend per share growth: approximately 8.35% for the last five years
- Total compound annual shareholder return: 18.18% for the 10-year period ended June 30, 2019
- 1.7% customer growth for the 12 months ended June 30, 2019 (Southwest)
- Serving over two million customers (Southwest)
- 2019-2021 capital expenditures estimated at $2.1 billion (Southwest)
- Projecting 11% annual rate base growth over the period 2019-2021 (Southwest)
- One of North America’s largest providers of utility and energy infrastructure services (Centuri)
- Continued growing trend with record financial results in 2018 (Centuri)
Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is an energy company providing electric and gas service to nine million customers across the United States through its subsidiaries. The company is focused on making, moving, and selling reliable, low-cost energy solutions from traditional and renewable power sources, as well as providing superior customer service. Recognizing the rapid evolution of the energy sector, including new technologies, customer preferences, and environmental, social, and governance initiatives, Southern Company is working to advance its solar, wind, and nuclear holdings, develop microgrids, and significantly reduce its system’s greenhouse gas emissions.
- Serving 9 million customers through 7 subsidiaries across the U.S.
- 288 consecutive quarterly dividends equal to or greater than those in the previous quarter (more than 70 years)
- Approximately 44,000 megawatt generating capacity
- Developing microgrids and deploying energy storage systems throughout the U.S.
- Subsidiary Southern Power provides 11,300 MW of wholesale solar, wind, fuel cell and natural gas generation in 13 states
- Subsidiary PowerSecure provides distributed infrastructure technologies in 32 states
1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. (FLWS: NASDAQ) has developed a unique Celebratory Ecosystem comprised of e-commerce mainstays including Harry & David®, The Popcorn Factory®, Cheryl’s Cookies®, 1-800-Baskets.com®, Wolferman’s®, Moose Munch®, Simply Chocolate®, Stock Yards®, and Shari’s Berries®. The company’s focus remains on consumer satisfaction, which has driven strong revenue growth over the past year. New product development and continued innovation in e-commerce technologies, such as its Progressive Web App technology, ensure the company will retain its appeal to investors and customers alike.
- Total revenues in fiscal year 2019 increased 8.4% to $1.25 billion
- New customer growth across all brands increased more than 10%
- Commitment to continued investment in product development and customer engagement technology
- A strong balance sheet and strong cash flow
Over more than 130 years, Aqua America (NYSE: WTR) has grown to become a leader in the water and wastewater utility industry, serving more than three million people across eight states. With the acquisition of the Pittsburgh-based natural gas distribution company, Peoples, Aqua is building on its expertise in infrastructure investment, regulatory compliance and operational excellence with a new platform for growth. With complementary service territories focused primarily in Pennsylvania and a long history of service to their communities as regulated utilities, the two companies are a strong fit that will provide many compelling opportunities for growth and investment. The Peoples acquisition puts Aqua in a strong position to continue to deliver shareholder value while also serving the company’s mission of improving the lives of customers through investing in infrastructure for safe and reliable service.
- Acquisition of Peoples natural gas utility adds more than 740,000 customers and increases rate base by nearly 50%
- Delivered 73 consecutive years of dividend payments and 28 dividend increases in the last 27 years
- Plans to invest more than $500 million in improving water and wastewater infrastructure in 2018
- Resulting company will be approximately 70% water and 30% gas and maintain strong municipal water and wastewater acquisition strategy