Brookdale Senior Living Suspends Dividend & REITS Conserving Cash

Brookdale Senior Living Inc, (NYSE:BKD) announced on December 30th, 2008 after the markets closed that its Board of Directors has voted to suspend the Company’s quarterly cash dividend indefinitely. The company is looking to retain capital for financial flexibility. The company had been paying a quarterly dividend of 25 cents per share this year. “Given the uncertainty in today’s economic environment, the Board of Directors has decided to suspend our dividend in order to enhance the Company’s financial flexibility and strengthen our balance sheet by decreasing leverage,” said Chief Executive Bill Sheriff in the press release.

Separately, the Wall Street Journal ran an article, REIT Rebound Hinges on Credit Thaw, Recession’s Depth, that talks about 2009 being a year of survival for the industry rather than one of recovery. Cash is king according to the article for REITs and we’ll see how many other senior housing REITs or companies suspend their dividends in the first part of the new year.

For the full Brookdale press release click here.