5 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks: MPW, ACMP, EPR, CLNY, WPC

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

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: 5.30%

Medical Properties (NYSE: MPW) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.30%.

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 22.34.

The average volume for Medical Properties has been 1,356,000 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 24.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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:
  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 12.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 42.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 157.14% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 56.50% 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 $0.56 versus $0.13 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.83 versus $0.56).
  • 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 147.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $10.56 million to $26.16 million.
  • The gross profit margin for MEDICAL PROPERTIES TRUST is currently very high, coming in at 71.03%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 44.38% significantly outperformed against 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.

Access Midstream Partners

Dividend Yield: 4.10%

Access Midstream Partners (NYSE: ACMP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.10%.

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 51.75.

The average volume for Access Midstream Partners has been 346,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Access Midstream Partners has a market cap of $5.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 41.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Access Midstream Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • ACMP's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 10.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 53.2%. 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.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry average. The net income increased by 13.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $52.37 million to $59.54 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $80.13 million or 19.21% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -26.07%.
  • The gross profit margin for ACCESS MIDSTREAM PARTNERS LP is rather high; currently it is at 65.07%. 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 25.12% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, ACMP's share price has jumped by 64.72%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. We feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The other strengths this company shows, however, justify the higher price levels.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

EPR Properties

Dividend Yield: 6.20%

EPR Properties (NYSE: EPR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.20%.

EPR Properties, a real estate investment trust (REIT), develops, owns, leases, and finances entertainment and related properties in the United States and Canada. Its properties include megaplex theatres, entertainment retail centers, and destination recreational and specialty properties. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.38.

The average volume for EPR Properties has been 379,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. EPR Properties has a market cap of $2.4 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 11.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates EPR Properties as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, expanding profit margins, increase in stock price during the past year and notable return on equity. We feel these 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 12.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.4%. 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.
  • The gross profit margin for EPR PROPERTIES is rather high; currently it is at 68.73%. Regardless of EPR's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, EPR's net profit margin of 38.63% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • EPR PROPERTIES's earnings per share declined by 12.7% 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, EPR PROPERTIES increased its bottom line by earning $2.30 versus $1.62 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.80 versus $2.30).

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

Colony Financial

Dividend Yield: 6.70%

Colony Financial (NYSE: CLNY) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.70%.

Colony Financial, Inc. operates as a real estate investment and finance company in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.61.

The average volume for Colony Financial has been 1,210,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Colony Financial has a market cap of $1.3 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 5.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Colony Financial as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, compelling growth in net income and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • CLNY's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 12.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 53.9%. 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.
  • The gross profit margin for COLONY FINANCIAL INC is currently very high, coming in at 73.74%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 57.78% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 84.82% to $26.93 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, COLONY FINANCIAL INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -19.11%.
  • 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 55.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $12.47 million to $19.41 million.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

W. P. Carey

Dividend Yield: 4.80%

W. P. Carey (NYSE: WPC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.80%.

W. P. Carey Inc. is an independent equity real estate investment trust. The firm also provides long-term sale-leaseback and build-to-suit financing for companies. It invests in the real estate markets across the globe. The company has a P/E ratio of 66.54.

The average volume for W. P. Carey has been 363,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. W. P. Carey has a market cap of $4.8 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 35.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates W. P. Carey as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations 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:
  • WPC's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 12.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 66.0%. 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.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, WPC's share price has jumped by 48.34%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, WPC 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 greatly outperformed compared to the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry average. The net income increased by 15.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $12.29 million to $14.18 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 530.41% to $17.48 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, W P CAREY INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -19.11%.
  • The gross profit margin for W P CAREY INC is currently very high, coming in at 79.60%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, WPC's net profit margin of 12.50% significantly trails 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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