Hersha Hospitality Trust, of Philadelphia and Harrisburg, said today that it is raising the dividend on its common stock to 6 cents a share from 5 cents. The dividend is payable July 15 to shareholders on June 30.

Two years ago, in the midst of the country's real estate meltdown, Hersha lowered its dividend from 18 cents; the increase next month will be the first since then.

In that period, the company has posted net losses in five of the eight quarters, including a $13.4 million loss in the first quarter this year.

Hersha is a real estate investment trust with stakes in 79 hotels, mostly between Boston and Washington.    -Paul Schweizer