American Tower Corporation (NYSE: AMT) has now converted its share structure to that of a real estate investment trust or a REIT. The cellphone tower operator and land owner has set its first quarterly cash distribution at $0.21 per share. This is the first such REIT dividend and that would generate an annualized yield of only about 1.35% based upon its $61.98 share price.
The distribution is payable on April 25, 2012 to stockholders of record at the close of business on April 11, 2012.
The company seems to have left room for a higher payout as it discussed the current and future distributions to stockholders as creating meaningful value for its investors over the long term. If we take a conservative approach to American Tower’s annualized earnings estimates and use a typical REIT payout the yield could be closer to 2.4% versus the 1.35% noted today.
JON C. OGG