Buy These Top 5 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks Today: MPW, PVR, PSEC, PPL, CVI

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: 6.90%

Medical Properties (NYSE: MPW) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.90%.

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 17.71.

The average volume for Medical Properties has been 1,053,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Medical Properties has a market cap of $2.0 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 3.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Medical Properties as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, 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:
  • MPW's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 9.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 13.7%. 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $45.32 million or 49.63% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 8.47%.
  • The gross profit margin for MEDICAL PROPERTIES TRUST is rather high; currently it is at 67.69%. Regardless of MPW's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, MPW's net profit margin of 41.84% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • MEDICAL PROPERTIES TRUST's earnings per share declined by 5.9% 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, 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 ($0.75 versus $0.56).
  • 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, MEDICAL PROPERTIES TRUST'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.

PVR Partners

Dividend Yield: 8.90%

PVR Partners (NYSE: PVR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.90%.

PVR Partners, L.P. engages in the gathering and processing of natural gas; and management of coal and natural resource properties in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Eastern Midstream, Midcontinent Midstream, and Coal and Natural Resource Management.

The average volume for PVR Partners has been 586,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. PVR Partners has a market cap of $2.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 4.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates PVR Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, 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:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 5.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 15.6%. 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $74.09 million or 12.00% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 1.10%.
  • 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.
  • PVR PARTNERS LP has experienced 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, PVR PARTNERS LP swung to a loss, reporting -$1.60 versus $1.40 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.29 versus -$1.60).
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, PVR PARTNERS LP's return on equity significantly trails 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.

Prospect Capital Corporation

Dividend Yield: 11.80%

Prospect Capital Corporation (NASDAQ: PSEC) shares currently have a dividend yield of 11.80%.

Prospect Capital Corporation is a business development company. It specializes in middle market, mature, mezzanine finance, later stage, emerging growth, buyouts, recapitalizations, turnaround, growth capital, development, cash flow term loans, and bridge transactions. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.29.

The average volume for Prospect Capital Corporation has been 2,980,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Prospect Capital Corporation has a market cap of $3.2 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Prospect Capital Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. 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 greatly exceeded the industry average of 8.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 30.2%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving 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 Capital Markets industry. The net income increased by 69.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $47.25 million to $79.90 million.
  • The gross profit margin for PROSPECT CAPITAL CORP is rather high; currently it is at 68.15%. Regardless of PSEC's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, PSEC's net profit margin of 49.61% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 50.05% to -$245.45 million when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow of 50.05%, PROSPECT CAPITAL CORP is still growing at a significantly lower rate than the industry average of 269.25%.

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

PPL

Dividend Yield: 5.00%

PPL (NYSE: PPL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.00%.

PPL Corporation, an energy and utility holding company, engages in the generation, transmission, distribution, and sale of electricity to wholesale and retail customers in the United States and the United Kingdom. The company operates in four segments: Kentucky Regulated, U.K. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.73.

The average volume for PPL has been 4,475,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. PPL has a market cap of $18.5 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 3.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates PPL as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins, attractive valuation levels and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 1.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 30.1%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $1,276.00 million or 11.24% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, PPL CORP has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 3.19%.
  • 37.43% is the gross profit margin for PPL CORP which we consider to be strong. Regardless of PPL'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 13.11% trails the industry average.
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Electric Utilities industry average. The net income increased by 15.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $355.00 million to $410.00 million.

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

CVR Energy

Dividend Yield: 7.40%

CVR Energy (NYSE: CVI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.40%.

CVR Energy, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in petroleum refining and nitrogen fertilizer manufacturing activities in the United States. The company operates through two segments, Petroleum and Nitrogen Fertilizer. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.18.

The average volume for CVR Energy has been 566,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. CVR Energy has a market cap of $3.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 14.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates CVR Energy as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, reasonable valuation levels 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:
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. When compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, CVR ENERGY INC's return on equity exceeds that of the industry average and significantly exceeds that of the S&P 500.
  • Despite currently having a low debt-to-equity ratio of 0.53, it is higher than that of the industry average, inferring that management of debt levels may need to be evaluated further. Despite the fact that CVI's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 1.97 is high and demonstrates strong liquidity.
  • CVI, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 5.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 17.9%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • CVR ENERGY INC has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, CVR ENERGY INC increased its bottom line by earning $4.33 versus $3.94 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 15.4% in earnings ($3.67 versus $4.33).

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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