After a nearly nine-month suspension, the quarterly dividend paid by Tanger Factory Outlets (SKT -0.97%) is coming back. The retail real estate investment trust (REIT) announced Thursday that it is reinstating its payout with a nearly $0.18 per share disbursement. This will be paid on Feb. 12 to investors of record as of Jan. 29.

At the most recent closing stock price, that dividend would yield 5.5%.

The company said in the press release heralding the reinstatement that it "reflects Tanger's strong liquidity position, with more than $80 million of cash on hand and $600 million of undrawn lines of credit, and the Board's confidence in our business, as demonstrated by the positive traffic and rent collections trends we recently reported."

DIVIDEND written in wooden blocks.

Image source: Getty Images.

In an operational and financial update released on Monday, Tanger revealed that in Q4, the customer traffic at its discount shopping malls reached 90% of the level in the same period the previous year. This indicates a continued recovery from the privations of the coronavirus outbreak, which hit the retail sector particularly hard due to a raft of mandatory and voluntary store closures.

As for collections, Tanger said in the update that they topped 90% of total rents during the quarter.

The company seems to be aiming for permanent reinstatement of its dividend. It said that it "currently intends to satisfy minimum taxable income distribution requirements to maintain its REIT status."

Since dividends are often the main -- or even only -- reason for some to plow money into REITs, investors were very happy about Tanger's news. The company's stock rose by almost 10% on Thursday, in marked contrast to the fall of the S&P 500 index.