3 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks: NNN, PEG, LXP

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."

National Retail Properties

Dividend Yield: 4.30%

National Retail Properties (NYSE: NNN) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.30%.

National Retail Properties, Inc. is a publicly owned equity real estate investment trust. The firm acquires, owns, manages, and develops retail properties in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 36.12.

The average volume for National Retail Properties has been 1,350,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. National Retail Properties has a market cap of $4.4 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 18.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates National Retail Properties as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, revenue growth and expanding profit margins. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, this stock has enjoyed a nice rise of 28.40% which was in line with the performance of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, NNN should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • NATIONAL RETAIL PROPERTIES has improved earnings per share by 13.6% 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, NATIONAL RETAIL PROPERTIES increased its bottom line by earning $0.98 versus $0.90 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.05 versus $0.98).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and greatly outperformed compared to the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry average. The net income increased by 14.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $29.83 million to $34.07 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 12.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.2%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for NATIONAL RETAIL PROPERTIES is rather high; currently it is at 59.33%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 36.66% is above that of the industry average.

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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