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)
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
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
National Retail Properties Inc. (NYSE: NNN) continues to deliver for shareholders, adhering to a business strategy that has enabled the company to provide annual dividend increases for 29 consecutive years. The company maintains both a strong, flexible balance sheet and a diversified portfolio focused on single tenant retail properties operated by strong national and regional retailers in thirty-seven lines of trade.
- Nearly 3,000 single-tenant retail properties across the continental United States
- Invested $715.6 million in 265 properties in 2018
- One of only three equity REITs and 86 publicly traded companies in America to have increased annual dividends for 29 or more consecutive years
Steel Partners Holdings (NYSE: SPLPPRA) is a diversified global holding company that owns and operates businesses in three principal sectors: Diversified Industrial Products, Energy Services, and Financial Services. The company also holds significant interests in four publicly traded companies: Aerojet Rocketdyne (5.3%); Aviat Networks (12.5%); Babcock & Wilcox (17.8%); and Steel Connect (45.9%).
Steel Partners Preferred units currently have a remaining term of approximately seven years, a $25 liquidation value, and provide quarterly cash flow with a 20% redemption in 2020 and the remainder in 2026. The current yield to maturity is approximately 9%. The company’s common units trade on the New York Stock Exchange under symbol SPLP.
- Management ownership of Preferred units: 12%; management ownership of Common
- Strong free cash flow and balance sheet, with total cash and investments of $335 million as of September 30, 2018
- 2017 revenue of $1.4 billion; 2018 reported guidance of $1.5–$1.6 billion
- 2017 adjusted EBITDA of $164 million; 2018 reported guidance of $180–$188 million
- 4,800 employees and 75 locations across 8 countries as of December 31, 2017
- Culture of continuous improvement and implementing lean manufacturing tools