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5 REITs Paying Over 5 Percent

Stocks in this article: O ARCP STAG MPW HTA

American Realty Capital Properties (ARCP), yet another Triple-Net REIT, is not defined so much by its track record, but more so by the attractive 6.63 percent dividend yield. ARCP went public ( NASDAQ) in September 2011, and since that time the company has carved out an impressive niche by investing in high-quality stand alone properties.

A few weeks ago, ARCP announced that it was merging with American Realty Capital Trust III (ARCT III), a non-traded REIT affiliated with some of the key principles of ARCP. ARCT III has a much larger portfolio than ARCP and the proposed merger will bring ARCP some very a attractive "blue chip" tenants including FedEx (FDX), Walgreens (WAG), CVS (CVS), O'Reilly Auto Parts (ORLY), Family Dollar (FDO), Dollar General (DG), Advance Auto Parts (AAP), and Tractor Supply (TSCO).

STAG Industrial (STAG) has returned almost 79% during the last year. The Boston-based REIT has a strategy of focusing on big box industrial properties in smaller markets, where competition is less fierce. The $858-million (market cap) REIT pays a current dividend yield of 5.31 percent and the company recently announced a new common stock offering (6,284,152 shares at $18.30 apiece) that should enable investors to keep growing its brand and dividend.

Medical Properties Trust (MPW), a Cramer pick with a market cap of $1.85 billion, is the only "pure play" hospital-focused REIT in the nation. The Birmingham-based health care REIT has a current dividend yield of 5.87 percent and the demographics for the sector remain strong. MPW was formed in 2004 and the company recent surpassed $2 billion in assets owned.

Healthcare Trust of America (HTA), also a Cramer pick, has a current market cap of around $2.313 billion. The Scottsdale-based health care REIT listed on the NYSE last year and now analysts are starting to uncover the value in the focused medical office building landlord. Wells Fargo recently issued an outperform rating on the REIT with shares now trading at $10.79. The current dividend yield is 5.33%.

Remember, income investors, there are some intelligent REIT options today and outstanding investors should seek out companies that are differentiated by durable and hardy dividends. As the legendary investor and author, Ben Graham, explained: "Paying out a dividend does not guarantee great results, but it does improve the return of the typical stock by yanking at least some cash out of the manager's hands before they can squander it or squirrel it away."

At the time of publication the author had no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

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