REIT Pick #3: Ashford Hospitality Trust (AHT)
Ashford Hospitality Trust (AHT) is an exquisitely managed hotel REIT that I have followed since the company went public almost 10 years ago, and there are many things to like about AHT stock.
First of all, management has been in the hotel business for well more than 20 years, and it manages its capital with extraordinary efficiency. AHT also is able to swap out credit lines, extend maturities and engage in various interest rate hedging strategies with great aplomb.
Also, while virtually every other hotel REIT cut both common and preferred dividends during the financial crisis, AHT not only kept its preferred dividends intact, but repurchased enormous amounts of its common and preferred shares at fire-sale prices while other REITs struggled to stay afloat.
Other things to like: Ashford’s portfolio is both geographically diversified, and diversified across brand; insider ownership is at 19%, far higher than any other competitor. It pays a 5.9% dividend, which is sustainable for the long-term.
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As of this writing, Lawrence Meyers did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities, but may initiate a swing position at any time. He is president of PDL Broker, Inc., which brokers financing, strategic investments and distressed asset purchases between private equity firms and businesses. He also has written two books and blogs about public policy, journalistic integrity, popular culture, and world affairs. Contact him at email@example.com and follow his tweets @ichabodscranium.