IRVING, Texas, Dec. 20 /PRNewswire/ — FelCor Lodging Trust Incorporated
(NYSE: FCH), one of the nation's largest hotel real estate investment trusts (REITs), today announced its fourth quarter dividends. FelCor will pay a dividend of $0.05 per share on its Common Stock. The total 2001 common dividends, including the $0.05 declared today, is $1.70 per share. FelCor also will pay a dividend in the amount of $0.4875 per share on its $1.95 Series A Cumulative Convertible Preferred Stock and $0.5625 per depositary share evidencing its 9% Series B Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock. This represents an annualized dividend of $1.95 and $2.25, respectively. The fourth quarter dividends will each be payable on January 31, 2002, to shareholders of record on December 31, 2001.
The Company anticipates that the RevPAR decline for the month of December will improve compared to the 23 percent decline in RevPAR for November. FelCor anticipates that its fourth quarter RevPAR decline will be in the middle of its previous guidance of 20 to 25 percent, and operating margins will be better than the previously forecasted margin decrease of 500 to 700 basis points, compared to the prior year. In the third quarter earnings release, the Company provided FFO guidance of $0.10 to $0.25 per share for the fourth quarter of 2001. FelCor currently anticipates that FFO will be at the middle-to-high end of its FFO guidance.
FelCor also reported that based upon current projections, its 2002 portfolio RevPAR will be flat to a negative five percent relative to 2001. Based on this guidance and the Company's estimate of operating margins, FFO is currently estimated to be in the range of $2.10 to $2.60 per share for 2002.
The Company's decision to pay its common dividend will be determined each quarter based upon the operating results of that quarter, economic conditions, and other operating trends. During FelCor's fourth quarter earnings call, the Company's management team will provide updated earnings guidance upon completion of its hotel level budgeting process with its brand partners.
We recognize the importance of the dividend to our shareholders as part of their total return. With FelCor's moderate leverage, it is able to pay higher common dividends than some of its peers. We currently anticipate that FelCor should be able to pay an aggregate of $1.00 in dividends per common share during 2002, based on the low end of our current FFO guidance, said Thomas J. Corcoran, Jr., FelCor's President and CEO.
As we have stated previously, the weakness in the economy, the events of September 11, and the decline in lodging demand, required us to re-evaluate our common dividend, Mr. Corcoran added. FelCor's common dividend declared is based on anticipated fourth quarter financial results, which historically has been our weakest quarter of the year. However, we remain positive about the future and are confident that operations will continue to improve.
FelCor's hotel portfolio consists of 183 hotels with approximately 50,000 rooms and suites and is concentrated primarily in the upscale and full-service segments. FelCor is the owner of the largest number of Embassy Suites(R), Crowne Plaza(R), Holiday Inn(R) and independently owned Doubletree(R)-branded hotels. Other leading hotel brands under which FelCor's hotels are operated include Sheraton Suites(R), Sheraton(R) and Westin(R). FelCor has a current market capitalization of approximately $3.1 billion. Additional information can be found on the Company's website at www.felcor.com .
With the exception of historical information, the matters discussed in this news release include forward looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws that are qualified by cautionary statements contained herein and in FelCor's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.