Kimco Realty (KIM) affirmed BBB+/Stable by Fitch.

Fitch Ratings has affirmed its 'BBB+/Stable' rating for Kimco Realty Corp. (KIM).  The agency cited KIM's large and diversified real estate portfolio and diversified tenant base, which generated same-property NOI growth of 2.9% in 2018.  Use of asset sale proceeds (approximately $900 million in 2018) to reduce debt was viewed as a credit positive, and Fitch anticipates that eventual monetization of the investment in grocer Albertsons ($400 million) in the 2020-2021 time frame will again be used to reduce leverage.

Certain credit metrics were said to be tight for the rating category, particularly the ratio of unencumbered assets to unsecured debt (UA/UD) at 2.0x using a stressed 8% cap rate.  Fitch also noted that KIM's dividend payout ratio of 100% for 2018 is elevated relative to the typical 75%-80% range for rated REITs.