Real estate investment trusts (REITs for short) are attractive investments for income-seeking investors since they're required to pay out 90% of taxable income as dividends to shareholders. That makes for big, juicy dividends. We asked some of our top analysts to pick out their favorite REITs for October.
Matthew Frankel: The best REIT to buy right now is Realty Income Corp. (NYSE:O), which owns and manages commercial properties. Most of the company's tenants are rock-solid national corporations, such as Walgreens and FedEx. Realty Income pays a very nice 5.2% dividend which was just increased for the 77th time in two decades, and makes monthly distributions, which is why the company is also known as "the monthly dividend company."
Realty Income's share price has fallen by about 8% over the past couple of weeks, which has created an excellent buying opportunity.
The trust is extremely well-run and is one of the most diverse on the market. The properties currently have a vacancy rate of less than 2% and are spread among 47 different industries. So, for example, if the shipping industry falls on tough times, it wouldn't hurt Realty Income too much.
Over the 20 years the REIT has been public, Realty Income has averaged a 17% annual total return, handily beating the S&P's 9.6% average during the same time period. To illustrate what incredible performance that is, consider that a $10,000 investment compounded at 17% for 30 years would be worth more than $1.1 million.
David Koppenheffer: If you're looking for a REIT with experienced management and incredible upside, look no further than Gramercy Property Trust (NYSE:GPT). Completely changing direction in 2012, Gramercy dumped their $2 billion portfolio of commercial loans and commercial mortgage-backed securities, and hired the management team that built W P Carey into one of the best performing net lease REITs.
Gramercy uses sale-leasebacks to acquire high-quality office and industrial properties across the U.S. While 34% of the company's portfolio is office property leased to Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), CEO Gordon DuGan sees the most opportunity in the industrial space. Because these assets are specialized and essential to the companies renting them, they can lock companies into long-term contracts that are more likely to be renewed -- and therefore create a steadier income stream.
Gramercy may have a lower dividend yield, 2.4%, but the company's smaller size gives it the advantage of targeting smaller assets and the ability to grow at a faster clip. In fact, over the last two years Gramercy has a total return of 97.6%. Gramercy Property Trust's dedicated and experienced management mixed with the ability to target a real estate niche, gives the company a competitive advantage and makes it one of the top REITs you can buy today.
Todd Campbell: Biotechnology companies plow most of their cash back into research and development rather than shareholder friendly dividend payments and that means that dividend investors usually have to shy away them.
But that doesn't mean that there aren't ways for dividend hungry investors to capitalize on the biotechnology boom. Thanks to willing capital markets, R&D spending growth is driving demand for specially designed life sciences real estate offered by BioMed Realty (UNKNOWN:BMR.DL).
BioMed's 17.2 million in rentable square feet is 92% leased and with big exposure to life sciences hotbeds in Boston, San Francisco, and San Diego its clients consist of some of the planet's biggest and most well-heeled drug developers, including Regeneron, Biogen, and Genentech.
Those clients helped BioMed's second quarter rental revenue jump 11.9% to a record high of $120.9 million; fueling a 6.4% year-over-year lift in BioMed's second quarter dividend payout.
Dividend growth may continue given that money raised by biotech IPOs totaled the most since at least 1999 in 2013 and overall industry capital raising activity this year is outpacing last year. If that capital sparks demand for lab space, dividend investors may find BioMed's 4.6% yield even more attractive.
Dave Koppenheffer and Todd Campbell have no position in any stocks mentioned. Matthew Frankel owns shares of Bank of America and Realty Income. The Motley Fool recommends Bank of America. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America and Gramercy Property Trust. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.