Finding a stock with a yield as high as 5% can be a pretty precarious thing. When dividend yields reach that high, it can sometimes mean the business is in trouble, or there are some other extenuating circumstances. If you want to dig, though, there are certainly stocks with high yields that are worth buying. Three companies that stand out today with high yields, stable foundations, and room to grow are STAG Industrial (NYSE:STAG), HCP, Inc. (NYSE:HCP), and Cheniere Energy Partners (NYSEMKT:CQP). Here's a quick rundown of why each stock should be on your radar.
Misunderstood and mis-priced
When you hear the term "real estate," you probably think of houses, condos, and glitzy buildings that can be sold at high prices. For real estate investment trust STAG Industrial, the focus is the exact opposite: industrial buildings and warehouses. STAG seeks out these kinds of properties because they are much more likely to be overlooked by typical real estate owners and developers, and as a result they tend to be undervalued.
That's because they don't usually fit the mold of a prototypical real estate asset for a REIT. Most of them are single-tenant facilities versus a residential development or commercial buildings with multiple tenants. Those multi-tenant properties help to lower the risk of default on that single asset. STAG, on the other hand, worries less about default risk at an individual asset and instead looks to spread that risk across its portfolio of assets. It makes sense, too, since the company's properties have high occupancy rates, as well as decently strong retention rates.
As a result, the company is able to acquire properties at favorable capitalization rates, and coupled with its investment grade credit rating, it can generate rather significant cash flows. The team at STAG has also been rather adept at managing its portfolio, as evidenced by recent sales. In November, the company sold six industrial buildings in the southeast at a capitalization rate of 6.9%, while those same properties were acquired at an aggregate capitalization rate of 9.2% (in real estate, you want to buy at high capitalization rates and sell at low ones).
STAG may have only gone public a few years ago, and rising interest rates will likely lower the spread between its capitalization rate and its cost of borrowing. That being said, it has some of the traits you want to see in a strong dividend-paying stock. With a dividend yield of 5.9%, this is looking like a great addition to a portfolio.
Making a couple of moves to improve the long-term future
Like Stag, HCP is vulnerable to rising interest rates, as real estate is a business that relies heavily on debt financing. At the same time, though, HCP is in its own unique niche of real estate that makes it a rather interesting dividend investment: healthcare facilities.
HCP has made a lot of interesting moves lately, but they all are things that investors looking at the long term should celebrate. The first was spinning off its nursing and post-acute care facilities into Quality Care Properties (NYSE:QCP). This leaves HCP with a stable of properties that mostly entail senior and assisted living facilities, medical offices, and life science business parks. Unlike acute care and nursing facilities, these are mostly private payer properties that are more stable tenants, thus lowering default rate risk.
The other recent move was selling 64 of those senior living faciltiies to Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE:BKD) for $1.125 billion. Brookdale is one of HCP's largest clients. Prior to the deal, 64% of HCP's senior living properties were rented by Brookdale, so by unloading these facilities, it has the double effect of raising cash to pay down debt, as well as reducing its high exposure to a single tenant.
With a decent chunk of cash to lower its debt load and get back to a BBB+ credit rating; a strong suite of properties with high occupancy rates; and a demographic trend in the US that is going to put greater demand on the healthcare industry, HCP and its current dividend of 5% look like a pretty compelling dividend investment.
Well-positioned for the future of natural gas in America
I can completely understand one's apprehension over buying shares of Cheniere Energy Partners as a dividend investment. For years, the company kept trying to reinvent itself and only a few years ago started on its current iteration as an exporter of liquefied natural gas from the United States. There is also the fact that the company is still in construction mode, and the payout it is giving to investors is fueled almost entirely by debt. These sorts of things would make the company's current distribution yield of 5.8% look rather tenuous.
To understand why this makes a decent dividend investment, you have to look a few years beyond this current growth phase to when the partnership's Sabine Pass LNG facility is fully operational, and consider the strucutre of its sales contracts. Cheniere's parent company Cheniere Energy (NYSEMKT:LNG) signed 20-year supply contracts with customers that ensure all commodity price risk is taken on by the customer. Cheniere's real revenue comes from fixed fees that are both annual payments and per-volume payments.
Close to 90% of the Sabine Pass facility's production capacity is contracted under these fixed-fee contracts, which will ensure a very steady stream of cash to support its current payment. It will even give it room to grow, as more production is brought online and debts that were taken on to build the facility are paid down. If investors are willing to look past Cheniere Energy Partners' recent past, then they could be looking at a great high-yield stock for the future.
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