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Starwood Property Trust Hints at Acquisitions in the Wake of Coronavirus

By Eric Volkman - Mar 27, 2020 at 9:30PM

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The company implied it would take advantage of market weakness to go asset shopping.

In an update for its shareholders in the wake of the global SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus outbreak, Starwood Property Trust (STWD 1.58%) dropped hints that it will soon be shopping for new assets.

The mortgage real estate investment trust (mREIT) said in the document published Friday that "[c]rises can present unusual opportunities and while we are being prudent and judicious in this uncertain climate, we look forward to deploying our significant financial resources and global footprint to take advantage of market dislocations as they continue to arise."

Starwood didn't further speculate as to what kind of assets, generally or specifically, it might consider buying, if any.

House with For Sale sign in front yard.

Image source: Getty Images.

The company said that it's in a good position in terms of fundamentals and expects to emerge as a stronger company once the coronavirus pandemic abates. It particularly noted that as of Friday, it had roughly $800 million in cash on its books, more than $3 billion worth of unencumbered assets, and no corporate debt maturing this year. It added that it has financing arrangements with more than 20 counterparties.

As such, Starwood pledged to pay its most recently declared quarterly dividend in full and on time. This amounts to $0.48 per share for its Q1, which is scheduled to be paid April 15 to stockholders of record as of March 31. Dividend stock investors will be cheered by that news since at the current share price, the company's dividend yield stands at nearly 15%.

Perhaps on the back of that relatively optimistic update, Starwood's shares didn't sink with the market's top indexes on Friday. Instead, they traded sideways.

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