DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Spirit MTA REIT (NYSE:SMTA) (“SMTA” or the “Company”) announced today that its Board of Trustees (“Board”) has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.33 per common share for the fourth quarter of 2018. In addition, the Board declared a special cash dividend of $1.00 per common share. Both dividends will be paid on January 15, 2019, to stockholders of record as of December 31, 2018. Pro forma for these dividend payments, SMTA’s liquidity position remains strong with approximately $105 million of unrestricted cash, approximately $13 million in the Master Trust 2014 Release Account and over $30 million of availability under the Master Trust 2014 variable funding note facility.
The Board has also authorized a stock repurchase program, under which the Company may repurchase up to $50.0 million of its outstanding common stock.
“Given the recent execution of the $165 million non-recourse loan which served to de-risk our Shopko portfolio, and consistent with our stated strategy to return capital to shareholders, our Board has elected to declare a special dividend in addition to a quarterly dividend. The Board has chosen to further demonstrate its commitment to shareholder value creation by authorizing a repurchase program,” stated SMTA Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Ricardo Rodriguez.
Repurchases under the stock repurchase program may be made in open market transactions from time to time, in privately negotiated transactions or otherwise, in accordance with applicable securities laws and other restrictions, with the amount and timing of repurchases depending on management's ongoing assessment of the capital needs of the business, prevailing market prices, general economic and market conditions and other considerations. The Company may also, from time to time, enter into Rule 10b5-1 plans to facilitate repurchases of its shares under the stock repurchase program.
The stock repurchase program does not obligate the Company to acquire any particular amount of common stock, or any at all, and may be extended, modified, suspended or discontinued at any time at the Company's discretion.
About Spirit MTA REIT
Spirit MTA REIT (NYSE:SMTA) is a net-lease REIT headquartered in Dallas, Texas. SMTA owns one of the largest, most diversified and seasoned commercial real estate backed master funding vehicles. Our strategy relies on the disposition of non-core properties, disciplined acquisitions, and proactive portfolio management. SMTA is managed by Spirit Realty Capital, L.P., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Spirit (NYSE:SRC), one of the largest publicly traded triple net-lease REITs.
As of September 30, 2018, our diversified portfolio was comprised of 884 properties, including properties securing mortgage loans made by the Company. Our properties, with an aggregate gross leasable area of approximately 20.0 million square feet, are leased to approximately 205 tenants across 45 states and 23 industries.
FORWARD-LOOKING AND CAUTIONARY STATEMENTS
This press release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and other federal securities laws. These forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "expect," "plan," "will," "estimate," "project," "intend," "believe," "guidance," “approximately,” “anticipate,” “may,” “should,” “seek” or the negative of these words and phrases or similar words or phrases that are predictions of or indicate future events or trends and that do not relate to historical matters. You can also identify forward-looking statements by discussions of strategy, plans or intentions of management. These forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that you should not rely on as predictions of future events. Forward-looking statements depend on assumptions, data and/or methods which may be incorrect or imprecise and we may not be able to realize them. The following risks and uncertainties, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from those currently anticipated due to a number of factors, which include, but are not limited to: industry and economic conditions; SMTA’s ability to realize its asset disposition plan by selling down assets leased to Shopko; SMTA’s significant leverage which may expose it to the risk of default under its debt obligations; risks associated with using debt to fund SMTA’s business activities (including its ability to use Master Trust 2014, an asset-backed securitization trust, as its main financing vehicle, changes in interest rates and conditions of the debt capital markets, generally); SMTA’s dependence on its external manager, Spirit Realty, L.P., to conduct its business and achieve its investment objectives; SMTA’s continued ability to source new investments; unknown liabilities acquired in connection with acquired properties or interests in real-estate related entities; general risks affecting the real estate industry and local real estate markets (including, without limitation, the market value of SMTA’s properties, the inability to enter into or renew leases at favorable rates, portfolio occupancy varying from SMTA’s expectations, dependence on tenants’ financial condition and operating performance, competition from other developers, owners and operators of real estate tenant defaults, potential liability relating to environmental matters, potential illiquidity of real estate investments, condemnations, and potential damage from natural disasters); the financial performance of SMTA’s tenants and the demand for traditional retail and restaurant space particularly with respect to challenges being experienced by general merchandise retailers; SMTA’s ability to pay down, refinance, restructure and/or extend its indebtedness as it becomes due; SMTA’s or its manager’s ability to identify, underwrite, finance, consummate, integrate and manage diversifying acquisitions or investments; SMTA’s ability to diversify its tenant base; the impact of any financial, accounting, legal or regulatory issues or litigation that may affect SMTA or its major tenants; volatility and uncertainty in the financial markets, including potential fluctuations in the consumer price index; risks associated with its failure or unwillingness to maintain SMTA’s status as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and other additional risks discussed in its most recent filings with the SEC, including its registration statement on Form 10, as amended and subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. SMTA expressly disclaims any responsibility to update or revise forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.