Jay Whitehurst, president and CEO of National Retail Properties, Inc. (NYSE: NNN), participated in a video interview during Nareit’s CEO Forum & Advocacy Day at The Hay-Adams hotel in Washington, D.C.
Whitehurst discussed National Retail Properties’ record annual results for 2018, noting that the REIT produced core funds from operations (FFO) per-share growth of 5.2 percent.
“We also increased our dividend in 2018 for the 29th consecutive year,” he said. “We’re one of only three REITs and less than 90 public companies that have that enviable track record of annual dividend increases.”
Whitehurst attributed National Retail Properties’ 2018 portfolio occupancy of 98.2 percent to doing business with large regional and national retailers.
“Our top 25 tenants operate over 1,000 units each, so these are large companies, and they are focused on e-commerce-resistant businesses, and customer services businesses,” he said.
Whitehurst said that the REIT’s convenience store tenants, which include national chains like 7-Eleven and Circle K, are a part of the company’s larger strategy to build relationships with strong regional and national retailers.
“[Convenience stores have] great access, great signage, great visibility. They are fungible for other uses,” he said. “So, the convenience store real estate we find to be some of the safest that we can invest in.”