3 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

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

Home Properties

Dividend Yield: 4.30%

Home Properties (NYSE: HME) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.30%.

Home Properties, Inc. is an independent real estate investment trust. The firm invests in the real estate markets of the United States. It is engaged in the ownership, management, acquisition, rehabilitation and development of residential apartment communities. The company has a P/E ratio of 49.25.

The average volume for Home Properties has been 431,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Home Properties has a market cap of $3.4 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 6.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Home Properties as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, reflecting both the market's overall trend during that period and the fact that the company's earnings growth has been robust. Looking ahead, unless broad bear market conditions prevail, we still see more upside potential for this stock, despite the fact that it has already risen over the past year.
  • 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 400.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $13.93 million to $69.77 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 16.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 12.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $69.99 million or 34.84% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, HOME PROPERTIES INC's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 38.58%.

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Access Midstream Partners

Dividend Yield: 4.30%

Access Midstream Partners (NYSE: ACMP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.30%.

Access Midstream Partners, L.P. owns, operates, develops, and acquires natural gas, natural gas liquids and oil gathering systems, and other midstream energy assets in the United States. It focuses on natural gas and natural gas liquids gathering operations. The company has a P/E ratio of 37.69.

The average volume for Access Midstream Partners has been 561,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Access Midstream Partners has a market cap of $4.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 24.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Access Midstream Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, ACMP's share price has jumped by 41.91%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Looking ahead, the stock's sharp rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
  • The gross profit margin for ACCESS MIDSTREAM PARTNERS LP is rather high; currently it is at 63.30%. Regardless of ACMP's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, ACMP's net profit margin of 16.34% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • ACCESS MIDSTREAM PARTNERS LP has exprienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past two years. However, we anticipate this trend to reverse over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ACCESS MIDSTREAM PARTNERS LP reported lower earnings of $1.13 versus $1.36 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.58 versus $1.13).
  • ACMP, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 1.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 12.3%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • ACMP's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.68 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 0.77 is weak.

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Senior Housing Properties

Dividend Yield: 5.50%

Senior Housing Properties (NYSE: SNH) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.50%.

Senior Housing Properties Trust, a real estate investment trust (REIT), primarily invests in senior housing properties in the United States. The trust invests in hospitals, nursing homes, senior apartments, independent living properties, and assisted living properties. The company has a P/E ratio of 35.29.

The average volume for Senior Housing Properties has been 1,878,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Senior Housing Properties has a market cap of $5.3 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 20.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Senior Housing Properties as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, solid stock price performance, increase in net income and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 16.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 41.7%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 28.62% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, SNH should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry average. The net income increased by 15.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $38.60 million to $44.64 million.
  • 38.10% is the gross profit margin for SENIOR HOUSING PPTYS TRUST which we consider to be strong. Regardless of SNH'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 22.96% trails the industry average.

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Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.
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