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Agree Realty Bestowed Investment Grade Rating by Moody's

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Ushering in good news for its shareholders, Agree Realty Corporation (ADC - Free Report) announced that it has received investment grade rating from Moody's Investors Service. Particularly, the rating agency has assigned a Baa2 issuer rating to the company, with a stable outlook.

Agree Realty cited that the rating agency’s Baa2 issuer rating highlights the company’s enduring operating history, adherence to conservative leverage policy, solid balance-sheet strength with sufficient liquidity for growth, as well as a well-laddered debt maturity schedule.

The rating agency also recognized the company’s considerable investment grade tenant roster, large pool of unencumbered asset, a healthy net lease portfolio having long-term leases and nominal lease expirations in the near term.

The conferring of this investment grade credit rating to Agree Realty boosts the company's creditworthiness in the market and is likely to enhance investors' confidence in the stock. In fact, such moves provide companies an opportunity to enjoy favorable costs on debts and solid access to capital, and are therefore encouraging.

With the ownership and operation of a portfolio of 468 properties across 44 states, Agree Realty primarily deals with properties net leased to industry-leading retail tenants. Recently, the company announced a hike in its quarterly cash dividend. It will now pay a dividend of 54 cents per share, marking a 3.8% increase from the prior dividend payout. The raised dividend will be paid on Jul 13, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on Jun 29, 2018.

Notably, retail REITs have been displaying a lackluster performance as traffic at their properties continues to suffer due to the rapid shift in consumers’ shopping preferences toward e-retail. In fact, with e-commerce grabbing market share from the brick-and-mortar stores, retailers are compelled to reconsider their footprint and eventually opt for store closures in recent years while others unable to cope with competition have been filing bankruptcies. As a result even industry stalwarts like Simon Property Group Inc. (SPG - Free Report) , GGP Inc. and Kimco Realty Corp. (KIM - Free Report) have been affected.

However, with focus on retailers having omni-channel strategy, a value-oriented business model, or a service base component, Agree Realty remains well poised to navigate through the broader market blues. It currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Moreover, the company’s shares have appreciated 9.8% in the past three months, outperforming its industry’s growth of 3.2%.

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