Don't Miss Out: Top 5 Yielding Buy-Rated Stocks: MAA, CTL, PDLI, O, PCG

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."

Mid-America Apartment Communities

Dividend Yield: 4.40%

Mid-America Apartment Communities (NYSE: MAA) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.40%.

Mid-America Apartment Communities, Inc. is an independent real estate investment trust. The firm invests in the real estate markets of the United States. It is engaged in acquisition, redevelopment, new development, property management, and disposition of multifamily apartment communities. The company has a P/E ratio of 36.36.

The average volume for Mid-America Apartment Communities has been 500,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Mid-America Apartment Communities has a market cap of $2.7 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 3.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Mid-America Apartment Communities as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • MAA's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 10.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 12.7%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • MID-AMERICA APT CMNTYS INC has improved earnings per share by 5.5% 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, MID-AMERICA APT CMNTYS INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.55 versus $0.88 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.76 versus $1.55).
  • 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 109.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $28.15 million to $59.05 million.
  • The gross profit margin for MID-AMERICA APT CMNTYS INC is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 28.60%. Regardless of MAA's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, MAA's net profit margin of 44.00% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, MID-AMERICA APT CMNTYS INC's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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

CenturyLink

Dividend Yield: 6.50%

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.50%.

CenturyLink, Inc. operates as an integrated telecommunications company in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.66.

The average volume for CenturyLink has been 5,454,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. CenturyLink has a market cap of $20.0 billion and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are down 7% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates CenturyLink as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, impressive record of earnings per share growth and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Diversified Telecommunication Services industry. The net income increased by 263.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $74.00 million to $269.00 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $1,469.00 million or 20.80% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -1.93%.
  • CENTURYLINK INC reported significant earnings per share improvement 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, CENTURYLINK INC reported lower earnings of $1.24 versus $1.29 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.71 versus $1.24).
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 2.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 1.9%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.

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

PDL BioPharma

Dividend Yield: 7.40%

PDL BioPharma (NASDAQ: PDLI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.40%.

PDL BioPharma, Inc. engages in intellectual property asset management and patent portfolio and related assets investment activities. The company has a P/E ratio of 5.06.

The average volume for PDL BioPharma has been 1,876,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. PDL BioPharma has a market cap of $1.1 billion and is part of the drugs industry. Shares are up 15.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates PDL BioPharma as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations 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:
  • PDLI's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 9.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 14.1%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • PDL BIOPHARMA INC has improved earnings per share by 19.2% 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, PDL BIOPHARMA INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.47 versus $1.15 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.73 versus $1.47).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Biotechnology industry average. The net income increased by 27.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $73.50 million to $93.74 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $109.85 million or 4.72% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -19.77%.
  • The gross profit margin for PDL BIOPHARMA INC is currently very high, coming in at 95.28%. Regardless of PDLI's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, PDLI's net profit margin of 65.27% significantly outperformed against the industry.

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

Realty Income Corporation

Dividend Yield: 5.40%

Realty Income Corporation (NYSE: O) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.40%.

Realty Income Corporation is a publicly traded real estate investment trust. It invests in the real estate markets of the United States. The firm makes investments in commercial real estate. Realty Income Corporation was founded in 1969 and is based in Escondido, California. The company has a P/E ratio of 50.22.

The average volume for Realty Income Corporation has been 2,233,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Realty Income Corporation has a market cap of $8.0 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 0% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • O's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 10.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 62.9%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displaying stagnant earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 56.39% to $165.16 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, REALTY INCOME CORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 5.77%.
  • 49.51% is the gross profit margin for REALTY INCOME CORP which we consider to be strong. Despite the high profit margin, it has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, O's net profit margin of 29.65% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • REALTY INCOME CORP reported flat earnings per share in the most recent quarter. 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, REALTY INCOME CORP reported lower earnings of $0.74 versus $0.96 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.26 versus $0.74).
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed compared to the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry average, but is greater than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 25.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $43.41 million to $54.67 million.

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

PG&E

Dividend Yield: 4.40%

PG&E (NYSE: PCG) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.40%.

PG&E Corporation, through its subsidiary, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, operates as a public utility company in northern and central California. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.77.

The average volume for PG&E has been 2,851,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. PG&E has a market cap of $18.5 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 3.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates PG&E as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, compelling growth in net income, reasonable valuation levels, impressive record of earnings per share growth and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • PCG's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 2.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Multi-Utilities industry. The net income increased by 38.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $239.00 million to $332.00 million.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Multi-Utilities industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, PG&E CORP has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • PG&E CORP has improved earnings per share by 34.5% 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, PG&E CORP reported lower earnings of $1.91 versus $2.10 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.65 versus $1.91).

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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