Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks In The Top 3: HME, SFL, PACW

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."

Home Properties

Dividend Yield: 4.10%

Home Properties (NYSE: HME) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.10%.

Home Properties, Inc. is an independent real estate investment trust. The firm invests in the real estate markets of the United States. It is engaged in the ownership, management, acquisition, rehabilitation and development of residential apartment communities. The company has a P/E ratio of 32.56.

The average volume for Home Properties has been 636,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Home Properties has a market cap of $4.3 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 12.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period. Although other factors naturally played a role, the company's strong earnings growth was key. 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.
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly outperformed against the S&P 500 and exceeded that of the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry average. The net income increased by 25.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $45.79 million to $57.36 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 8.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $89.97 million or 14.63% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 0.89%.

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