Many investors are looking for safe and dependable income sources to ride through the turmoil as the stock market continues to slide deeper into bear territory.
Although dividend-paying stocks might be a fantastic source of passive income, not all of them can guarantee consistency and security in their payments over the long term.
Digital Realty Trust (NYSE: DLR)
Realty Income (NYSE: O)
W.P. Carey (NYSE: WPC)
Digital Realty Trust is one of the leading global data center providers. It owns and leases roughly 300 data center facilities on six continents and in 50 different metropolitan areas. It's the eighth largest publicly traded real estate investment trust (REIT) by market capitalization and one of the purest plays investors can make to gain exposure to this fast-growing industry. Its stock, which is down 45% this year, is getting battered for a number of reasons: General market volatility, manufacturing shortages hindering the production of certain parts needed to operate data center facilities, and pessimism for the near-term outlook for the data center industry.
While it certainly faces short-term headwinds, long-term outlooks for data centers look incredibly strong. Digital communication drives data center demand and that's likely to increase despite an economic recession. The company's most recent quarterly earnings showed its leasing momentum was high, and roughly half of its in-development projects are already pre-leased. Its core metrics, including revenue and funds from operations (works similarly to earnings), all grew year over year. The REIT is trading for its lowest price in over five years while offering a dividend yield of around 5% -- which is virtually unheard of for data center REITs. Plus, Digital Realty has a tremendous track record, raising its dividends 17 years in a row. It also boasts a healthy balance sheet which should allow the company to maintain and raise its dividend, even in the event of a slowing economy.
Most REITs that own commercial real estate use triple net leases (NNN). These long-term real estate contracts place virtually all of the responsibilities of owning and managing a property on the tenants. Aside from being the largest net lease REIT, with over 11,000 properties in its portfolio, it's also a Dividend Aristocrat and a monthly dividend-paying REIT.
The company has raised its dividends 117 times since 1994 and it currently pays a dividend yield of 5%, three times higher than the S&P 500. With $3.25 billion in cash and cash equivalents, it has more than enough liquidity to cover its near-term debt maturities. According to its latest earnings report, its revenues, core funds from operations (FFO), and net income are all up notably. Its ability to withstand today's market challenges and its fantastic track record of dividend growth makes it a no-brainer buy right now.
Look no further than W.P. Carey, the leading diversified net lease REIT, which owns over 1,300 different commercial properties. Instead of focusing on one core asset class like Realty Income or Digital Realty Trust, W.P. Carey has a unique mix of warehouses and industrial space, self-storage, office, retail, hotels, and other commercial properties in the U.S. and Europe.
Thanks to its recent merger with Corporate Property Associations 18 (CPA18), its dividend looks to be on even better ground. The acquisition helped diversify its portfolio further, lowering its retail exposure to 20%. Retail accounts for the largest portion of its annual base rents (ABR). The immediate effect of the merger should be reflected in its upcoming earnings report. However, its pre-merger performance was still strong, with its portfolio being nearly 100% occupied. Its dividend payout ratio is 83.5%, so the REIT should have no issue maintaining its fantastic track record of 25 years of consistent dividend growth.