DiamondRock Hospitality Evaluates Preferred Shares for Stable Income

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Written By Marcus Reynolds

DiamondRock Hospitality Co (DiamondRock) is a real estate investment trust with a focus on lodging properties. The company owns and manages luxury hotels, resorts, and selected urban hotels.

DiamondRock Hospitality (NYSE: DRH) has garnered attention for its preferred shares as part of an income-focused portfolio strategy. This article examines the viability of re-entering a long position in DRH’s preferred shares, considering their performance, dividend coverage, and the strength of the company’s balance sheet.

Performance and Financial Metrics

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Despite seasonal fluctuations common in the hotel REIT sector, DiamondRock has maintained solid financial performance.

In Q1, the REIT reported Adjusted Funds from Operations (AFFO) of nearly $36 million, with a net profit of $8.4 million. This performance underscores the resilience of DiamondRock’s operational strategy and its ability to generate sufficient cash flow to cover preferred dividends.

Preferred Dividend Coverage

DiamondRock’s preferred shares, particularly the Series A (NYSE: DRH.PR.A), offer an attractive annual dividend of $2.0625 per share, paid quarterly. With total preferred dividend payments totaling approximately $10 million annually, DiamondRock’s projected AFFO of $214 million for the year ensures a comfortable coverage ratio of around 9%.

This financial stability mitigates concerns over preferred dividend payments, reinforcing investor confidence in consistent income distribution.

Balance Sheet Strength

DiamondRock’s balance sheet reflects robust financial health, featuring $3.24 billion in assets against $1.17 billion in gross debt.

Adjusting for $120 million in cash, the net debt stands at $1.05 billion, translating to a conservative Loan-to-Value (LTV) ratio of just 38%. Furthermore, the equity position of $1.64 billion provides additional security, with common equity absorbing initial losses before impacting preferred equity holders.

Investment Considerations

Investors eyeing DRH’s preferred shares should note their current trading above par, suggesting anticipation of a potential call in August 2025.

This scenario offers a total return estimate of 7.2%, inclusive of dividends, assuming a 3% capital loss upon redemption. The annualized return of 6.2% presents an attractive short-term investment option, particularly for income-oriented portfolios seeking stable returns amid market fluctuations.

Investment Thesis

Considering the expected decline in interest rates by mid-2025, the likelihood of DRH.PR.A being called becomes plausible, offering investors a compelling exit strategy with a competitive yield.

While the risk of a capital loss exists if called, the cumulative nature of the preferred shares ensures the receipt of accrued dividends, bolstering overall returns. For investors seeking a defined investment horizon akin to a 14-month term deposit, DRH’s preferred shares present a viable opportunity with a respectable yield of 6.2%.

Reliable Income Option

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DiamondRock Hospitality’s preferred shares stand out as a reliable income option within the REIT sector, supported by strong financial fundamentals and prudent dividend coverage.

The company’s strategic focus on value creation and robust balance sheet underscores its ability to sustainably reward shareholders.

Investors looking to capitalize on stable income streams should consider DRH’s preferred shares as a strategic component of their portfolio, leveraging the potential for consistent dividends and capital appreciation leading up to the anticipated call date in 2025.

In summary, DiamondRock Hospitality’s preferred shares offer income-oriented investors an attractive proposition amidst a backdrop of solid financial performance and prudent capital management, reaffirming their position as a preferred choice for stable income within the REIT sector.


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