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Alexandria Real Estate Equities

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New Dividend: 51 cents quarterly (per share)

Dividend Percent Increase: 4.1%

Current Yield: 2.89%

Lab space REIT Alexandria Real Estate Equities (ARE) is another name that hiked its dividend payouts, increasing its quarterly dividend by 2 cents to 51 cents per share.

Many investors think of real estate investment trusts as ways to play the real estate market, but in reality, they're basically tailor-made to generate income. Most commercial REITs sport long-term triple-net leases that effectively take all of the insurance, tax, and maintenance costs off of the REIT and put them onto tenants. The result is a consistent, predictable income flow that isn't beholden to the ebb and flow of the real estate market.

I'm a big fan of niche REITs that focus on specific types of real estate -- as Alexandria does with lab space. Still, as welcome as ARE's dividend increase may be, this firm is one of the lower-yielding niche REITs out there. For a core income holding, I think there are better options out there.

To see these dividend plays in action, check out the Dividend Stocks for the Week portfolio on Stockpickr.

And if you haven't already done so, join Stockpickr today to create your own dividend portfolio.

-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.

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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Jonas Elmerraji is the editor and portfolio manager of the Rhino Stock Report, a free investment advisory that returned 15% in 2008. He is a contributor to numerous financial outlets, including Forbes and Investopedia, and has been featured in Investor's Business Daily, in Consumer's Digest and on MSNBC.com.
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