Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks In The Top 3: HR, CTL, VTR

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 which could 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."

Healthcare Realty

Dividend Yield: 5.00%

Healthcare Realty (NYSE: HR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.00%.

Healthcare Realty Trust Incorporated is an independent real estate investment trust. The firm invests in real estate markets of the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 68.40.

The average volume for Healthcare Realty has been 462,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Healthcare Realty has a market cap of $2.3 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 13.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Healthcare Realty as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • HR's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 10.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 15.8%. 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income increased by 124.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$24.21 million to $5.97 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $42.92 million or 6.17% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, HEALTHCARE REALTY TRUST INC's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 17.00%.
  • 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.

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