NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Since listing as a REIT in 2004, Digital Realty ( DLR) has grown to dominate the REIT data sector, with assets at around $9.2 billion. In addition to becoming a fortress REIT, compared to the smaller peers -- Coresite Realty ( COR), CyrusOne ( CONE) and DuPont Fabros Technology ( DFT) -- Digital Realty has evolved into a stalwart brand and dividend payer.
Like most REITs these days, share prices have eroded. Many REITs (like Digital) have seen gains completely wiped out over the last 12 months and many (like Digital) have broken through their recent lows. For example, Digital shares traded at $76.60 a year ago and today the San Francisco-based REIT is down (year over year) to $52.30 -- a 32% drop in share value. However, Digital's dividend yield has sky-rocketed to around 5.97%, making for a very compelling yield, given the well-covered dividend, strong balance sheet, solid growth prospects and high-quality portfolio. Recently, I caught up with Digital's CEO Mike Foust to discuss some of the drivers for the company's platform and more specifically, whether Digital can sustain its impressive growth. Digital Realty's share price is $52.30 ($6.861 billion market capitalization) with a healthy dividend yield of 5.97%. I have Digital in my SWAN (sleep well at night) portfolio and I recently featured the REIT in the August edition of my newsletter (The Intelligent REIT Investor). For more information, check out my newsletter, The Intelligent REIT Investor. At the time of publication, Thomas was long DLR. Follow @swan_investor This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.