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 which could 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 3 stocks with substantial yields, that ultimately, we have rated "Buy."

Lamar Advertising

Dividend Yield: 5.10%

Lamar Advertising

(NASDAQ:

LAMR

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.10%.

Lamar Advertising Company is a publicly owned equity real estate investment trust. The firm primarily engages in selling advertising space on billboards, buses, shelters, benches, and logo plates. Lamar Advertising Company was founded in 1902 and is headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.92.

The average volume for Lamar Advertising has been 736,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Lamar Advertising has a market cap of $6.0 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 9.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

Lamar Advertising

as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 7.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.7%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $164.18 million or 9.94% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, LAMAR ADVERTISING CO has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -68.52%.
  • LAMAR ADVERTISING CO has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, LAMAR ADVERTISING CO increased its bottom line by earning $2.71 versus $2.66 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.04 versus $2.71).
  • The gross profit margin for LAMAR ADVERTISING CO is rather high; currently it is at 65.47%. Regardless of LAMR's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 21.49% trails the industry average.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, LAMAR ADVERTISING CO's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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Weingarten Realty Investors

Dividend Yield: 4.20%

Weingarten Realty Investors

(NYSE:

WRI

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.20%.

Weingarten Realty Investors is a publically owned equity real estate investment trust. The firm invests in the real estate markets of United States. The firm engages in ownership, management, acquisition, development and redevelopment. The company has a P/E ratio of 27.27.

The average volume for Weingarten Realty Investors has been 731,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Weingarten Realty Investors has a market cap of $4.4 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 1.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

Weingarten Realty Investors

as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and expanding profit margins. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 6.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.5%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • 44.34% is the gross profit margin for WEINGARTEN REALTY INVST which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 34.36% is above that of the industry average.
  • After a year of stock price fluctuations, the net result is that WRI's price has not changed very much. Although its weak earnings growth may have played a role in this flat result, don't lose sight of the fact that the performance of the overall market, as measured by the S&P 500 Index, was essentially similar. Looking ahead, although the push and pull of the overall market trend could certainly make a critical difference, we do not see any strong reason stemming from the company's fundamentals that would cause a continuation of last year's decline. In fact, the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings.
  • WEINGARTEN REALTY INVST's earnings per share declined by 45.7% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. Earnings per share have declined over the last year. We anticipate that this should continue in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, WEINGARTEN REALTY INVST reported lower earnings of $1.29 versus $1.88 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 26.4% in earnings ($0.95 versus $1.29).
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 46.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $88.98 million to $47.28 million.

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Ventas

Dividend Yield: 5.50%

Ventas

(NYSE:

VTR

) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.50%.

Ventas, Inc. is a publicly owned real estate investment trust. The firm engages in investment, management, financing, and leasing of properties in the healthcare industry. It invests in the real estate markets of the United States and Canada. The company has a P/E ratio of 43.78.

The average volume for Ventas has been 2,939,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Ventas has a market cap of $17.9 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 4.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates

Ventas

as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, increase in net income and growth in earnings per share. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • VTR's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 6.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 15.0%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income increased by 16.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $107.19 million to $124.73 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $369.72 million or 10.40% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, VENTAS INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -73.46%.
  • VENTAS INC has improved earnings per share by 31.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, VENTAS INC reported lower earnings of $1.23 versus $1.27 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.40 versus $1.23).

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