MeriStar Hospitality Corporation (NYSE: MHX), the nation`s third largest hotel real estate investment trust (REIT), today announced that the company will not pay a common share dividend for the 2002 fourth quarter.
Based on its forecasted 2002 taxable income, the company is not required to pay a dividend to maintain its REIT status. For each of the previous four quarters, the company has paid a $ 0.01 per share dividend.
“We will continue to evaluate our dividend on a quarterly basis, as we have in the past,” said Paul Whetsell, chairman and chief executive officer. “We will monitor operating levels and will reinstate the dividend when our operations and taxable income have improved to a level that permits us to do so.”
Whetsell added, “We expect our fourth-quarter FFO per share to approximate the lower end of our previous guidance range. Stronger than anticipated food and beverage revenue has helped offset somewhat softer than expected RevPAR results. RevPAR for the fourth quarter is now projected to be up four percent to five percent over fourth-quarter 2001.”
The company will provide earnings and dividend guidance for 2003 during its fourth-quarter conference call.
Washington, D.C.-based MeriStar Hospitality Corporation owns 108 principally upscale, full-service hotels in major markets and resort locations with 27,898 rooms in 27 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. The company owns hotels under such internationally known brands as Hilton, Sheraton, Marriott, Westin, Radisson and Doubletree. For more information about MeriStar Hospitality Corporation, visit the company`s Web site: www.meristar.com.