Buy These Top 5 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks Today: HCP, HIW, OHI, WPZ, ORI

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."

HCP

Dividend Yield: 5.50%

HCP (NYSE: HCP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.50%.

HCP, Inc. is an independent hybrid real estate investment trust. The fund invests in real estate markets of the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.81.

The average volume for HCP has been 2,813,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. HCP has a market cap of $17.6 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 6.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates HCP 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, good cash flow from operations 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:
  • HCP's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 9.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 15.9%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • HCP INC has improved earnings per share by 9.1% 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, HCP INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.79 versus $1.27 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.02 versus $1.79).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry average. The net income increased by 19.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $196.11 million to $233.76 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $272.08 million or 14.60% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, HCP INC has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 8.60%.
  • The gross profit margin for HCP INC is rather high; currently it is at 59.33%. Regardless of HCP's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, HCP's net profit margin of 41.90% 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.

Highwoods Properties

Dividend Yield: 4.50%

Highwoods Properties (NYSE: HIW) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.50%.

Highwoods Properties, Inc. is a real estate investment trust. The trust engages in leasing, management, development, construction, and other customer-related services for its properties and for third parties. It invests in the real estate markets of United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 50.51.

The average volume for Highwoods Properties has been 656,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Highwoods Properties has a market cap of $3.4 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 2.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Highwoods Properties 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, reasonable valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • HIW's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 9.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 15.0%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • HIGHWOODS PROPERTIES INC 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 year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, HIGHWOODS PROPERTIES INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.53 versus $0.41 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.30 versus $0.53).
  • 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 58.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $33.98 million to $53.98 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 55.70% to $69.59 million when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 8.60%.

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

Omega Healthcare Investors

Dividend Yield: 6.10%

Omega Healthcare Investors (NYSE: OHI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.10%.

Omega Healthcare Investors, Inc. is a real estate investment firm. The firm invests in the real estate markets of United States. It invests in healthcare facilities, primarily in long-term healthcare facilities in order to create its portfolio. Omega Healthcare Investors, Inc. The company has a P/E ratio of 23.13.

The average volume for Omega Healthcare Investors has been 1,178,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Omega Healthcare Investors has a market cap of $3.9 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 7.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Omega Healthcare Investors 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 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:
  • OHI's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 9.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 18.6%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, this stock has enjoyed a nice rise of 27.74% 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, OHI should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • OMEGA HEALTHCARE INVS INC has improved earnings per share by 18.5% 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, OMEGA HEALTHCARE INVS INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.11 versus $0.46 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.41 versus $1.11).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry average. The net income increased by 26.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $30.12 million to $38.14 million.
  • The gross profit margin for OMEGA HEALTHCARE INVS INC is rather high; currently it is at 61.30%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 36.91% 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.

Williams Partners

Dividend Yield: 6.90%

Williams Partners (NYSE: WPZ) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.90%.

Williams Partners L.P., an energy infrastructure company, focuses on connecting North America's hydrocarbon resource plays to growing markets for natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGL). It operates in two segments, Gas Pipeline and Midstream Gas & Liquids. The company has a P/E ratio of 28.96.

The average volume for Williams Partners has been 667,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Williams Partners has a market cap of $22.4 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are up 0.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Williams Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its 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:
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $482.00 million or 33.14% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 2.54%.
  • 39.53% is the gross profit margin for WILLIAMS PARTNERS LP which we consider to be strong. Regardless of WPZ's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, WPZ's net profit margin of 17.59% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • WPZ, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 5.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 7.6%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • WILLIAMS PARTNERS LP has improved earnings per share by 36.8% in the most recent quarter compared to 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, WILLIAMS PARTNERS LP reported lower earnings of $1.94 versus $3.68 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 12.4% in earnings ($1.70 versus $1.94).
  • The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income has decreased by 3.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $290.00 million to $279.00 million.

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

Old Republic International

Dividend Yield: 4.30%

Old Republic International (NYSE: ORI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.30%.

Old Republic International Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in underwriting insurance products primarily in the United States and Canada. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.54.

The average volume for Old Republic International has been 1,418,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Old Republic International has a market cap of $4.4 billion and is part of the insurance industry. Shares are down 4.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Old Republic International as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 9.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • ORI's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.15 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 700.00% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 46.50% 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.
  • OLD REPUBLIC INTL CORP 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 year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, OLD REPUBLIC INTL CORP continued to lose money by earning -$0.27 versus -$0.55 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.10 versus -$0.27).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Insurance industry. The net income increased by 790.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$14.90 million to $102.90 million.

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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