NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It's time for report cards! No, not the ones that my kids get each semester, but the annual progress reports that provide a written evaluation of the best and worst companies across the land.Of course in REIT-dom, we investors are looking for the best landlords who have a proficiency in one subject matter: paying out dividends. After all, the best kids are generally the ones that have the highest grades and also maintain them consistently. That's why I wanted to brag about some of the more exceptional REITs -- ones that have earned a reputation for paying out nice fat dividends north of 5% -- and also for producing consistency in the classroom. For the combined attributes of high returns and repeatable income is what I believe "intelligent REIT investing" is all about. Let's take a look at the hard-working bunch.
For the full year, HTA reported normalized FFO of 61 cents per share, or $135.3 million, an increase of nine cents per share, or 17.3%, compared to 2011. In addition, HTA announced that Same Property Cash NOI was $172.6 million, an increase of $3.4 million, or 2.0%, compared to 2011. For the year, HTA acquired $294.9 million of high quality on-campus or aligned medical office buildings. The acquisitions totaled over 1.3 million square feet and were over 99% occupied at acquisition. HTA's current occupancy rate is 91.1% of the company's gross leasable area (GLA). HTA has a market capitalization of $2.447 billion and shares are trading at $11.40 per share. The current dividend yield is 5.04% and the year-over-year total return (partial-year) is 17.91%.
STAG Industrial ( STAG): Boston-based STAG Industrial continues to turn in straight A's. The tier-2 (B-market) Industrial REIT recently announced that its fourth-quarter FFO was $14.0 million compared to $5.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2011, an increase of 163%. During the fourth quarter, STAG closed on 40 properties for a total cost of around $212.8 million with an average cap rate of 9%. STAG's year ending occupancy increased 190 basis points to 95.1% from 93.2% for the year ended 2011. Also STAG declared a fourth-quarter dividend of 27 cents per share, an annualized rate of 6.0% on the quarter ended share price of $17.97. STAG has a market capitalization of $881 million, and its shares are trading at $20.87. The current dividend yield is 5.17%, and the year-over-year total return is 81.32%. Source for Data: SNL Financial At the time of publication the author had no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Follow @swan_investor This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.