It has been a difficult year for dividend investors. Company dividends were slashed or suspended completely for the sake of capital preservation during COVID-19. Now is a different story though – the economy is rebounding, and some dividend darlings have started to reinstate their payouts or better yet, increase them.
On 30 December 2020, these 4 ASX real estate investment trusts (REITs) will go ex-dividend. Let’s take a closer look.
Charter Hall Group (ASX: CHC)
Charter Hall Group is an ASX listed property investment and funds management company. Its investments encompass an assortment of office, industrial, retail, and residential property. The company has outperformed the S&P/ASX 200 A-REIT Index (Index: XPJ) since listing on the ASX 15 years ago.
Charter hall has been on an acquisition spree recently. In November, it acquired 6 Bunnings assets across metropolitan areas for $353 million. In addition to that, yesterday the company announced the acquisition of David Jones’ flagship Sydney CBD store for $510 million.
The dividend set to be paid to shareholders recorded before the ex-date is 18.55 cents per share. Based on yesterday’s closing share price, that is a yield of 1.3% for this payment. The dividend will be paid on 26 February 2021.
National Storage REIT (ASX: NSR)
National Storage updated the market last week with guidance that the self-storage provider expects earnings per share to be between 7.7 cents per share to 8.3 cents per share. The company anticipates the FY 2021 dividend payout will be 90% to 100% of the underlying earnings.
If you live near a city, you have likely driven by one of National Storage’s 206 storage facilities scattered throughout Australia and New Zealand. There are no plans of slowing down either – expansion opportunities are continuing to be investigated in greater Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane metro regions.
Management has estimated the interim dividend payable on 1 March 2021 will be 4 cents per share. At the time of writing this equates to a full year trailing yield of 3.8%.
Rural Funds Group (ASX: RFF)
Rural Funds is an Australian REIT specifically focused on leasing Australian agricultural assets back to experienced counterparties. The agricultural sectors that it operates in include almond and macadamia orchards, poultry, vineyards, cattle and cropping.
Last week the company announced a water allocation purchase for the development of up to 2,500 hectares of macadamia orchards. Rural Funds and Sunwater Limited have exchanged contracts for the acquisition of 21,600 Megalitres of medium priority water supply from the lower Fitzroy River at a conditional price of $32.4 million.
The company has performed well through a challenging year, with the Rural Funds share price increasing 32.63%, compared to the S&P/All Ordinaries Index (ASX: XAO) falling 0.72%. The estimated dividend payable on 29 January 2021 is 2.82 cents per share, an increase of ~4% compared to the previous year.
Dexus Property Group (ASX: DXS)
Dexus is one of Australia’s biggest real estate groups, with $32 billion of total funds under management. Its portfolio is comprised of 153 properties across a mix of office, retail, industrial and healthcare assets.
Strategically, Dexus has been selling some of its property assets to build out its balance sheet. This puts it in a prime position for acquisitions when they arise.
Dexus has also been taking the opportunity to use this additional cash to buy back stock in the company at a discount to net tangible assets (NTA). This was described as a “value-enhancing trade” by Dexus chief investment officer Ross Du Vernet (as quoted in the Australian Financial Review).
Despite being impacted by the rent relief provision introduced by the government and the continuation of the work from home trend, Dexus has managed to continue paying dividends.
According to its most recent distribution announcement, Dexus will pay 28.8 cents per share as its interim dividend. This is a 6.6% increase from the prior interim dividend. Eligible shareholders can expect it to be paid on 26 February 2021.