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Consistent with its efforts to enhance stockholders’ value, Host Hotels & Resorts Inc. (HST - Analyst Report) raised its quarterly cash dividend by 10% sequentially to 11 cents per share from 10 cents. The new dividend will be paid on July 15, 2013 to shareholders of record as of Jun 28, 2013.

Host Hotels has a solid track record of increasing shareholders’ wealth and has accordingly hiked its dividend payout for the 10th consecutive quarter, since March 2011. Notably, a steady dividend payout facilitates the long-term strategy of the company to provide attractive risk-adjusted returns to stockholders.

Host Hotels is one of the leading lodging real estate investment trusts (REITs) and operates luxury and upper-upscale hotels across areas that have the potential for significant capital appreciation. In addition, the company has a strong balance sheet, which provides the financial flexibility to target high-yielding acquisitions, impressive ROI (return on investments) capital projects and steady dividend payouts.

In connection to this, recently Host Hotels acquired a Hawaii-based premium property – Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach – for $138.5 million. With the buy-out of the asset, Host Hotels now owns 104 premium properties located across the U.S. and 15 properties abroad, which consolidate its position globally for future growth.

Notably, a number of REIT firms have raised their quarterly dividend payouts recently. This includes Post Properties Inc. (PPS - Snapshot Report) and Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. (ARE - Snapshot Report) which hiked their dividends by 32% and 8% sequentially, respectively. 

Solid dividend payouts are arguably the biggest attraction for REIT investors as the U.S. law requires these companies to distribute 90% of their annual taxable income in the form of dividends to shareholders.

Host Hotels currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Another better performing lodging REIT that is worth a look is Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. (SHO - Snapshot Report), which carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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