BETHESDA, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--RLJ Lodging Trust (the “Company”) (NYSE: RLJ) today announced that due to the unprecedented uncertainty created by the rapidly evolving impact of COVID-19 on the travel industry, lodging demand and the broader U.S. economy, the Company’s Board of Trustees has decided to reduce the Company’s regular quarterly dividend for the first quarter. The Company’s Board of Trustees authorized and declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.01 per common share of beneficial interest for the first quarter. The dividend is payable on April 15, 2020 to shareholders of record as of March 31, 2020.
“In light of the uncertain environment that we are operating in, preserving liquidity and maintaining a flexible balance sheet are our top priorities,” commented Leslie D. Hale, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We have a solid balance sheet and no near term debt maturities, which should help us navigate these uncertain times.”
The Board of Trustees also authorized and declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.4875 on the Company’s Series A Preferred Shares. The dividend is payable on April 30, 2020, to shareholders of record as of March 31, 2020.
RLJ Lodging Trust is a self-advised, publicly traded real estate investment trust that owns primarily premium-branded, high-margin, focused-service and compact full-service hotels. The Company's portfolio consists of 103 hotels with approximately 22,570 rooms, located in 23 states and the District of Columbia and an ownership interest in one unconsolidated hotel with 171 rooms.
Forward Looking Statements
The following information contains certain statements, other than purely historical information, including estimates, projections, statements relating to the Company’s business plans, objectives and expected operating results, and the assumptions upon which those statements are based, that are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These forward-looking statements generally are identified by the use of the words “believe,” “project,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “plan,” “may,” “will,” “will continue,” “intend,” “should,” or similar expressions. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, beliefs and expectations, such forward-looking statements are not predictions of future events or guarantees of future performance and the Company’s actual results could differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. Some factors that might cause such a difference include the following: the current global economic uncertainty, increased direct competition, changes in government regulations or accounting rules, changes in local, national and global real estate conditions, declines in the lodging industry, seasonality of the lodging industry, risks related to natural disasters, such as earthquakes and hurricanes, hostilities, including future terrorist attacks or fear of hostilities that affect travel, the Company’s ability to obtain lines of credit or permanent financing on satisfactory terms, changes in interest rates, access to capital through offerings of the Company’s common and preferred shares of beneficial interest, or debt, the Company’s ability to identify suitable acquisitions, the Company’s ability to close on identified acquisitions and integrate those businesses and inaccuracies of the Company’s accounting estimates. Given these uncertainties, undue reliance should not be placed on such statements. Except as required by law, the Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. The Company cautions investors not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements and urge investors to carefully review the disclosures the Company makes concerning risks and uncertainties in the sections entitled “Risk Factors,” “Forward-Looking Statements,” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in the Company’s Annual Report, as well as risks, uncertainties and other factors discussed in other documents filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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