What happened

Shares of Equinix (NASDAQ:EQIX) returned 11.3% in August, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The company is a data center operator that's organized as a real estate investment trust (REIT).

Its stock's performance was particularly impressive when you consider that the S&P 500, including dividends, fell 1.6% last month.

Close-up of a row of servers.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

We can attribute Equinix stock's robust August performance to a couple of factors. First, dividend stocks in general have been benefiting from the macroeconomic environment -- namely, investors' fear of a looming recession and the Federal Reserve lowering the federal funds rate by 1/4% in late July. When investors are concerned about the economic climate, they often favor dividend payers. And when interest rates on bonds are declining, dividend stocks become even more attractive to income-oriented investors.

Second, Equinix stock also got a lift from a company-specific event: the release of second-quarter results. Shares popped 4.1% on Aug. 1 following the company's report the previous afternoon. In Q2, revenue jumped 10% year over year to $1.39 billion, earnings per share soared 99% to $1.69, and adjusted funds from operations (AFFO) per share increased 9% to $5.87. (AFFO is akin to "earnings" for REITs and is the main driver of dividend changes.) AFFO per share easily beat the Wall Street consensus estimate of $5.57. Moreover, the company increased its full-year 2019 AFFO per share outlook, as we'll get to in a moment.

In 2019, Equinix stock has returned 59%, compared with the broader market's 20.4% return. The stock's dividend is yielding 1.8% as of Sept. 5. 

Now what

For full-year 2019, Equinix expects AFFO per share in the range of $22.57 to $22.81, a 9% to 10% (8% to 9% on a normalized and constant currency basis) increase over 2018.