National Retail Properties Has 29 Years of Raising the Dividend, Can it Continue?

August 17, 2018

Julian E. Whitehurst, age 59, has served as Chief Executive Officer of National Retail Properties, Inc., since April 2017 and as President of the company since May 2006. Previously, Mr. Whitehurst served as Chief Operating Officer of the company from June 2004 to April 2017 and as General Counsel of the company from 2003 to 2004. Prior to 2003, Mr. Whitehurst was a shareholder at the law firm of Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A. He has been a member of the board of directors of InvenTrust Properties, Inc., since 2016. Mr. Whitehurst is also a member of ICSC and NAREIT and serves on the board of trustees and on the executive committee of Lake Highland Preparatory School.

In his exclusive 2,170 word interview in the Wall Street Transcript, Julian Whitehurst details the business strategy that drives his company.

“In July, we announced a dividend increase which will be our 29th consecutive year of raising the dividend. That’s a significant hallmark for National Retail Properties among retail investors, and it places us in very elite company. There are less than 90 public companies in the United States that have our track record of raising the dividend annually, and there are only two other REITs that have the same track record. Our business plan creates tremendous shareholder value by consistently growing FFO per share and consistently raising the dividend, and my focus is to continue to maintain that long track record.”

Julian Whitehurst details the tactics of buying low and selling high in retail real estate:

“Our largest category is convenience stores, and we have built relationships with some very good regional and national convenience store operators and do a great deal of repeat business with them. I’ll tell you the story about our largest tenant, 7-Eleven, a multinational convenience store operator. We own about 140 7-Eleven stores that comprise about 5.5% of our total rent. 7-Eleven is an investment-grade credit, and their stores are highly sought after. We have done no business directly with 7-Eleven; our stores were acquired from regional operators in the Southwest and the Southeast and the Mid-Atlantic who were large, well-run regional operations that we identified as growth companies.”

Find out the complete story by reading the entire interview in the Wall Street Transcript.