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  • Writer's pictureAlex Pettee, CFA

Hotel REITs: Dividend Cut Bloodbath

  • Hotel REITs have been hit harder than any real estate sector during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and resulting economic lockdowns, plunging more than 50% in 2020.

  • Dividend cuts abound. Every hotel REIT slashed its dividend over the last quarter, but even that might not be enough to stay afloat as the industry faces an existential crisis.

  • "No vacancy" becomes "no occupancy." Following a record year of occupancy and revenues for the hotel industry in 2019, hotels are expecting a mind-blowing 50% plunge in revenues this year.

  • A rebound in economic activity since April has thrown a lifeline to several highly levered REITs teetering on the edge, but a "second wave" of the pandemic could be the death knell.

  • Hotel ownership is a tough, capital-intensive business even in the best of times. Outside of several well-capitalized hotel REITs, value-seeking investors should be wary of catching the falling knife.

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