5 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 5 stocks with substantial yields, that ultimately, we have rated "Buy."

Medical Properties

Dividend Yield: 5.00%

Medical Properties (NYSE: MPW) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.00%.

Medical Properties Trust, Inc. operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT) in the United States. It acquires, develops, and invests in healthcare facilities; and leases healthcare facilities to healthcare operating companies and healthcare providers. The company has a P/E ratio of 28.57.

The average volume for Medical Properties has been 2,167,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Medical Properties has a market cap of $2.2 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 33.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Medical Properties as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and expanding profit margins. 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:
  • MPW's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 16.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 66.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 260.00% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 86.71% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Turning to the future, naturally, any stock can fall in a major bear market. However, in almost any other environment, the stock should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed nice gains in the past year.
  • MEDICAL PROPERTIES TRUST reported significant earnings per share improvement 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, MEDICAL PROPERTIES TRUST increased its bottom line by earning $0.57 versus $0.13 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.84 versus $0.57).
  • 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 125.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $12.69 million to $28.56 million.
  • The gross profit margin for MEDICAL PROPERTIES TRUST is rather high; currently it is at 69.40%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 51.22% significantly outperformed against the industry average.

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