Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks In The Top 3: HR, ED, MPW

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

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: 4.70%

Healthcare Realty (NYSE: HR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.70%.

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 79.03.

The average volume for Healthcare Realty has been 694,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Healthcare Realty has a market cap of $2.5 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 7.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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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 compelling growth in net income, revenue growth and notable return on equity. We feel its 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income increased by 45.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $12.38 million to $18.07 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 8.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.0%. 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.
  • HEALTHCARE REALTY TRUST INC's earnings per share declined by 10.0% 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, HEALTHCARE REALTY TRUST INC turned its bottom line around by earning $0.35 versus -$0.16 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.44 versus $0.35).
  • 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 on the basis of return on equity, HEALTHCARE REALTY TRUST INC underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has declined marginally to $47.72 million or 2.32% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow HEALTHCARE REALTY TRUST INC is still fairing well by exceeding its industry average cash flow growth rate of -51.19%.

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Consolidated Edison

Dividend Yield: 4.30%

Consolidated Edison (NYSE: ED) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.30%.

Consolidated Edison, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in regulated electric, gas, and steam delivery businesses in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.33.

The average volume for Consolidated Edison has been 2,380,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Consolidated Edison has a market cap of $17.9 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 7.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Consolidated Edison as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.92, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 114.28% to $480.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, CONSOLIDATED EDISON INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 31.39%.
  • CONSOLIDATED EDISON INC's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. 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, CONSOLIDATED EDISON INC increased its bottom line by earning $3.71 versus $3.61 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.91 versus $3.71).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Multi-Utilities industry average. The net income increased by 2.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $361.00 million to $370.00 million.

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Medical Properties

Dividend Yield: 6.40%

Medical Properties (NYSE: MPW) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.40%.

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 44.45.

The average volume for Medical Properties has been 1,880,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Medical Properties has a market cap of $2.9 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are unchanged year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Medical Properties as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, expanding profit margins, increase in net income, growth in earnings per share and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 8.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 30.9%. 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 395.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $7.24 million to $35.90 million.
  • The gross profit margin for MEDICAL PROPERTIES TRUST is rather high; currently it is at 66.39%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 37.40% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • MEDICAL PROPERTIES TRUST 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, MEDICAL PROPERTIES TRUST reported lower earnings of $0.28 versus $0.58 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.03 versus $0.28).
  • In its most recent trading session, MPW has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. 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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