NEW YORK (TheStreet ) -- Investors love dividend stocks.
Using TheStreet Ratings. TheStreet 's proprietary stock rating tool, we found the best-rated stocks with the highest dividend yields.
TheStreet Ratings projects a stock's total return potential over a 12-month period including both price appreciation and dividends. Based on 32 major data points, TheStreet Ratings uses a quantitative approach to rating over 4,300 stocks to predict return potential for the next year. The model is both objective, using elements such as volatility of past operating revenues, financial strength, and company cash flows, and subjective, including expected equities market returns, future interest rates, implied industry outlook and forecasted company earnings.
Buying an S&P 500 stock that TheStreet Ratings rated a "buy" yielded a 16.56% return in 2014 beating the S&P 500 Total Return Index by 304 basis points. Buying a Russell 2000 stock that TheStreet Ratings rated a "buy" yielded a 9.5% return in 2014, beating the Russell 2000 index, including dividends reinvested, by 460 basis points last year.
The four stocks on the list all have a "buy" rating, with an A+ grade from TheStreet Ratings. Click through to see these best of the best stocks.
Rating: Buy, A+
YTD Return: 3.6%
Annual Dividend Yield: 4.25%
LTC Properties, Inc. operates as a health care real estate investment trust (REIT) in the United States.
TheStreet Ratings team rates LTC PROPERTIES INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate LTC PROPERTIES INC (LTC) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that
the company has had subpar growth in net income."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 0.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 14.4%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
- Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 25.89% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, LTC should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
- LTC PROPERTIES INC has improved earnings per share by 17.9% 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, LTC PROPERTIES INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.56 versus $1.54 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.93 versus $1.56).
- The gross profit margin for LTC PROPERTIES INC is rather high; currently it is at 68.69%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 57.96% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
- Net operating cash flow has increased to $24.05 million or 12.21% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, LTC PROPERTIES INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -55.11%.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: LTC Ratings Report