3 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks To Check Out: PAA, VTR, NHI

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 3 stocks with substantial yields, that ultimately, we have rated "Buy."

Plains All American Pipeline

Dividend Yield: 4.60%

Plains All American Pipeline (NYSE: PAA) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.60%.

Plains All American Pipeline, L.P., through its subsidiaries, engages in the transportation, storage, terminalling, and marketing of crude oil and refined products in the United States and Canada. The company operates in three segments: Transportation, Facilities, and Supply and Logistics. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.17.

The average volume for Plains All American Pipeline has been 1,098,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Plains All American Pipeline has a market cap of $19.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Plains All American Pipeline as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, notable return on equity and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

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 12.6%. 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.
  • 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, PLAINS ALL AMER PIPELNE -LP has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • PAA's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further.
  • The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has significantly 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 3.4% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $320.00 million to $309.00 million.

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

Ventas

Dividend Yield: 4.60%

Ventas (NYSE: VTR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.60%.

Ventas, Inc. is a publicly owned real estate investment trust. The firm engages in investment, management, financing, and leasing of properties in the healthcare industry. It invests in the real estate markets of the United States and Canada. The company has a P/E ratio of 38.66.

The average volume for Ventas has been 1,808,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Ventas has a market cap of $18.4 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 7.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • VTR's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 6.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.7%. 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 $327.74 million or 31.88% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, VENTAS INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -56.67%.
  • VENTAS INC has improved earnings per share by 10.3% 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, VENTAS INC reported lower earnings of $1.04 versus $1.41 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.59 versus $1.04).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 5.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $111.88 million to $118.30 million.

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

National Health Investors

Dividend Yield: 5.00%

National Health Investors (NYSE: NHI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.00%.

National Health Investors, Inc., a real estate investment trust (REIT), invests in health care properties, primarily in the long-term care industry in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.26.

The average volume for National Health Investors has been 254,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. National Health Investors has a market cap of $2.0 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 9.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates National Health Investors as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and impressive record of earnings per share growth. 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 revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 6.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 31.3%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, NATIONAL HEALTH INVESTORS's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for NATIONAL HEALTH INVESTORS is currently very high, coming in at 82.60%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 133.69% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $26.49 million or 21.15% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, NATIONAL HEALTH INVESTORS has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -56.67%.
  • NATIONAL HEALTH INVESTORS 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, NATIONAL HEALTH INVESTORS increased its bottom line by earning $2.68 versus $2.64 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.71 versus $2.68).

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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