Shares of VEREIT (VER) are up over 30 percent thus far in 2016, far outpacing the 11.5 percent return of the iShares U.S. Real Estate ETF (IYR) . The company's CEO Glenn Rufrano said the soaring share price reflects the success of VEREIT's turnaround plan in the wake of the 2014 accounting scandal that tarnished its reputation and damaged its credit rating. 'I came on in April 2015 and put a brand new board and management in place, and with that leadership we then put a business plan in place last August with four very simple points: cull the portfolio and make it better, reestablish our investment management brand, get back our investment grade rating and put a sustainable dividend in place,' said Rufrano. 'All those points were put in place and we are executing.' Nearly a quarter of VEREIT's more than $16 billion in property are in restaurants with Red Lobster being the largest tenant in it its portfolio. VEREIT bought $1.6 billion in Red Lobster plots in 2014, financing it in a transaction with the restaurant's previous owner Darden (DRI) . The seafood chain was originally 12 percent of the company's revenue, but Rufrano has pared that down to around 9 percent and is still in the process of diversifying his holdings.
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