We love receiving dividend checks. Most companies pay quarterly. However, there are some excellent dividend stocks that send their shareholders checks EVERY SINGLE MONTH.  This article features STAG Industrial (STAG), a REIT with a 5% dividend yield that pays a monthly dividend.  Is this REIT a dividend stock to buy? Let’s find out!

STAG Industrial – About the Company

Who is STAG Industrial? STAG is a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) that specializes in acquiring and managing industrial properties throughout the United States (website linked here). STAG owns and manages 559 properties in 40 states!

When I think of STAG, I think about those massive warehouse and distribution centers that you pass when taking a road trip or driving on the highway. STAG has annualized revenue over over $600M and continues to grow its portfolio through strategic acquisitions.

STAG has truly made a name for itself in the dividend investing community. Especially since STAG pays a monthly dividend!

STAG Industrial’s 2022 Performance

2022 has not been the best year for STAG Industrial. Like many of the other companies in the REIT sector, the stock price is getting slammed in 2022.  They are down nearly 40% through the first 10 months of the year.

Interest rates continue to cause alarms for REITs. REITs use debt to purchase their properties. REITs benefited from this low interest rate environment over the last decade. Now, with borrowing becoming more expensive, REITs will see a big impact to their bottom line, as interest expense continues to soar.

Upon review of STAG’s June 30, 2022 10-Q, the company has appeared to lock in low interest rate debt beyond 2023 for the majority of their debt at lower interest rates. This should allow the company to fight off the impact of the rising cost to borrow in the short term. Further, to add to it, the company utilizes interest rate swaps to mitigate their interest rate risk.  That’s what you want to see from a company in the sector (Note: I could not find a consolidated image of the company’s debt and interest rate per note that was readable for the article. Please consult the 10-Q to view the detailed debt per term).

Enough about the debt, how is STAG performing in 2022?  As of June 30, 2022, the company is performing quite well.  Core FFO in the second quarter was $.56 per share, an increase of 7% compared to the same quarter in the previous year. When you review FFO over the first 6 months of the year, it was up 18% compared to the previous year.  In addition to net income and FFO growth, cash available for distribution posted double digit percent growth.  All in all, one this is clear. STAG’s results are better in 2022 than they are in 2021.

In addition to the results, STAG acquired 9 buildings. The company has a very strong occupancy rate as well. It was reported in the earnings release that occupancy is over 98%! Strong occupancy, growing portfolio, and great results…that’s what you want to see from a potential investment.

Dividend Diplomats Dividend Stock Screener

Time to run STAG through the Dividend Diplomats Dividend Stock Screener. We use 3 SIMPLE metrics to evaluate every dividend stock. The goal of our stock screener is to identify if a stock is an undervalued dividend growth stock to buy.

Watch: Our Simple, 3 Step Stock Screener

Here is a rundown of the 3 metrics of our stock screener:

1.) Price to FFO Ratio Less than the S&P 500. Currently, the S&P 500 is trading at a P/E Ratio between 19X – 20X.

2.) Dividend Payout Ratio Less than 60% (Although we think a perfect payout ratio is 40% – 60%). The payout ratio measures the safety of the dividend. This ensures the company can continue growing its dividend during good times and bad. That’s why it is a critical metric in our stock screener that we must evaluate! REITs though, will typically have a higher payout ratio due to the fact they are required to pay a larger percent of their earnings annually.

Read: Dividend Aristocrats with a PERFECT Dividend Payout Ratio

3.) History of Increasing Dividends. We review this metric by reviewing the company’s five-year average dividend growth rate and consecutive annual dividend increases. Since we are long term investors, it is important that a company increases its dividend consistently!

Bonus: Dividend Yield. We like to also throw in a bonus metric to our dividend stock analysis. Yield does not drive our decision; however, we would be lying if we said we completely ignore dividend yield.

How Does STAG Industrial (STAG) Perform in Our Stock Screener?

For this analysis, we will use Caterpillar’s stock price $28.36 (October 21, 2022 close).  As of June 30th, management reported FFO of $1.09 per share for the first six months. We will use an annual FFO of $2.18 per share for the purposes of this analysis. The company’s annual dividend is $1.46 per share. Now that we have the inputs for our analysis, let’s dive into the results.

1.) Price to FFO Ratio: 13x.

2.) Dividend Payout Ratio: 66.9%. 

3.) History of Increasing Dividends:  STAG has increased its dividend for 10 consecutive years.  The company’s five year dividend growth rate has actually bee surprisingly small. The five-year average dividend growth rate is only .81%.

4.) Dividend Yield: 5.25%

Summary – STAG Industry

The results of this analysis are fascinating. STAG continues to perform very well in 2022 from a financial standpoint, despite the fact the company’s stock price is down 40% year to date.  The stock’s dividend yield is strong, at over 5%, and I love the fact the company pays a monthly dividend. Transparently though, I was a little shocked at how lackluster the REITs dividend growth rate is at this time. A 5 year average dividend growth rate of .81% is VERY LOW.

Despite the fact that STAG would add a new sector to my portoflio, and it is a great business, I am not adding to STAG at this time. I’ll watch the company. If the stock price continued to fall and the yield reached 6%, I would initiate a position in STAG. At this time though, I’m going to pass on adding and focus on other REITs like Realty Income (O).

What do you think of STAG Industrial? Are you buying this monthly dividend paying REIT? Or are you passing on buying today like me?

Bert

 

 



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