Tanger uses limited floating rate exposure (36% variable) and the premium brand maintains manageable debt maturity expirations. Tanger's exceptional financial stewardship has resulted in a risk-control strategy that delivers investors premium performance. Premium Performance Tanger reported first-quarter funds from operations available to common shareholders increased 20.3% to $35.6 million, or $0.36 per share, as compared to $29.6 million, or $0.32, a year earlier. As Chief Executive Officer Steven B. Tanger said: "The first quarter was quite robust, as our industry continues to grow. This year is off to a strong start with healthy renewals and retenanting of space, as evidenced by the strong percentage gains posted in this quarter. Our expansion into the Canadian marketplace, with our joint venture partner RioCan, continues with the announcement of a strategic alliance with the Orlando Corp. to development an outlet center on land within the Heartland Town Centre, located in the western Greater Toronto Area." According to Tanger's recent investment presentation, the premium REIT was "ranked #1 among mall REITs in total return for the five-year (81%) and 10-year (831%) categories. In addition, Tanger was "ranked #2 among all REITs in 15-year total return (as of March 31)." Crown Jewel Perhaps Warren Buffett was referring to his mentor Ben Graham when he spoke about a "premium brand that delivers something special." Accordingly, Graham wrote about select, high-quality brands in his classic book The Intelligent Investor: "One of the most persuasive tests of high-quality is an uninterrupted record of dividend payments going back over many years. We think that a record of continuous dividend payments for the last 20 years or more is an important plus factor in the company's quality rating." Tanger has not only paid consecutive dividends for over 19 years but it also consistently increased its dividend for the same period. In addition, Tanger increased its dividend by 5% in 2012 (to $.84 per share annually from $.80 per share).