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Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!
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5 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks: MAA, MPW, SO, DFT, HIW

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

TheStreet Ratings' stock model projects a stock's total return potential over a 12-month period including both price appreciation and dividends. Our Buy, Hold or Sell ratings designate how we expect these stocks to perform against a general benchmark of the equities market and interest rates.

While plenty of high-yield opportunities exist, investors must always consider the safety of their dividend and the total return potential of their investment. It is not uncommon for a struggling company to suspend high-yielding dividends and subsequently result in precipitous share price declines.

TheStreet Ratings' stock rating model views dividends favorably, but not so much that other factors are disregarded. Our model gauges the relationship between risk and reward in several ways, including: the pricing drawdown as compared to potential profit volatility, i.e. how much one is willing to risk in order to earn profits?; the level of acceptable volatility for highly performing stocks; the current valuation as compared to projected earnings growth; and the financial strength of the underlying company as compared to its stock's valuation as compared to its stock's performance.

These and many more derived observations are then combined, ranked, weighted, and scenario-tested to create a more complete analysis. The result is a systematic and disciplined method of selecting stocks. As always, stock ratings should not be treated as gospel — rather, use them as a starting point for your own research.

The following pages contain our analysis of 5 stocks with substantial yields, that ultimately, we have rated "Buy."

Mid-America Apartment Communities

Dividend Yield: 4.10%

Mid-America Apartment Communities (NYSE:MAA) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.10%.

Mid-America Apartment Communities, Inc. is an independent real estate investment trust. The firm invests in the real estate markets of the United States. It is engaged in acquisition, redevelopment, new development, property management, and disposition of multifamily apartment communities. The company has a P/E ratio of 39.94.

The average volume for Mid-America Apartment Communities has been 484,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Mid-America Apartment Communities has a market cap of $2.9 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 5.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Mid-America Apartment Communities as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • MAA's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 12.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 14.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • MID-AMERICA APT CMNTYS INC has improved earnings per share by 35.1% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, MID-AMERICA APT CMNTYS INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.57 versus $0.88 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.85 versus $1.57).
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $42.12 million or 9.96% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -14.13%.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, MID-AMERICA APT CMNTYS INC's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income has decreased by 11.3% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $23.89 million to $21.18 million.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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