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3 Embarrasingly Cheap Dividend Stocks

By Matthew Frankel, CFP® - Updated Feb 20, 2018 at 3:58PM

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Thanks to rising interest rates, these stocks have become ridiculously cheap. Take advantage.

Bond interest rates have recently spiked to multiyear highs, putting tremendous pressure on stocks that are income-based -- particularly real estate investment trusts, or REITs. Despite solid business fundamentals, many REITs have been beaten down and now pay huge dividend yields while trading for surprisingly cheap valuations.

With that in mind, here are three REITs in particular that could be smart additions to your portfolio now.

Jar of coins labeled dividends.

Image source: Getty Images.

Company (Stock Symbol)

Recent Share Price

Dividend Yield

P/FFO (2017)

Tanger Factory Outlet Centers (SKT 1.69%)

$22.59

6.2%

9.2

Welltower (WELL 1.04%)

$55.65

6.3%

13.2

Realty Income Corp. (O 2.77%)

$49.66

5.3%

16.3

Data sources: TD Ameritrade and company financials. Prices and dividend yields current as of 2/16/18. FFO = funds from operations. SKT FFO is based on actual data, while DOC and HCN FFO is based on most recent 2017 guidance.

Take advantage of retail weakness

That's not a typo in the chart. Tanger Factory Outlet Centers trades for just 9.2 times last year's FFO.

Despite the low valuation, Tanger's business is doing quite well. Its portfolio occupancy rate is more than 97%, and its same-center tenant sales increased in the fourth quarter -- impressive, considering the difficult environment for brick-and-mortar retailers.

Speaking of which, it's important for investors to realize that not all retail is struggling. Full-price and luxury retail businesses are having a tough time, but off-price retail, including outlets, is doing quite well. Outlet malls tend to offer some unique bargains that can't always be found online, which makes them resistant to e-commerce headwinds that are affecting so many retail businesses.

Furthermore, Tanger has lots of room to grow. The U.S. outlet market is still quite small, and Tanger is only in 22 U.S. states so far. The company is taking a bit of a breather when it comes to expansion as retail headwinds play out, but management has made it clear that there is growth on the horizon.

As far as dividends go, consider that Tanger has increased its dividend for 24 consecutive years and has one of the lowest forward payout ratios in the REIT industry, at just 56% of 2018's expected FFO.

A compelling long-term opportunity

Healthcare real estate is another area where investors can find compelling bargains right now, especially from a long-term perspective.

Simply put, older people use healthcare facilities more than the overall population. And the U.S. population is expected to age rapidly over the next few decades as the massive baby boomer generation gradually retires.

This is especially true in the oldest age groups. The 85-and-older population is expected to roughly double over the next 20 years.

Here's why I like Welltower so much. The company primarily invests in senior housing properties, and the key demographic that uses these properties is growing rapidly. Plus, most of Welltower's properties derive their revenue from private-pay sources, as opposed to Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement. Furthermore, unlike most REITs, many of Welltower's senior housing investments are structured as partnerships, not just landlord-tenant arrangements. So if healthcare costs keep rising faster than general inflation, Welltower will directly benefit.

To be clear, this is a play for the long haul, and investors who have the time horizon to allow the advantageous demographic trends to play out are the ones who should consider Welltower.

One of the most reliable dividend stocks in the market?

Realty Income is the most highly valued stock on this list, which may seem odd, considering its primary focus is retail properties. However, I can confidently say that you'll get what you pay for.

While its portfolio is primarily retail-oriented, Realty Income invests only in specific types of retail properties. For starters, most are single-tenant properties, leased to tenants on a net-lease basis. That means tenants sign long-term leases that shift the burdens of property taxes, building insurance, and maintenance to them.

Also, the vast majority of Realty Income's retail tenants fit into one of three categories of retail that make them e-commerce resistant, recession-resistant, or both. These include discount-oriented retailers like dollar stores and warehouse clubs, service-based retailers like fitness clubs and auto service centers, and non-discretionary businesses like drugstores and gas stations.

Because its business model is geared toward steady and growing income, it's tough to find a more reliable dividend stock in the market. Realty Income has declared 571 consecutive monthly dividend payments and has increased the payout 95 times since the company's 1994 New York Stock Exchange listing. And because REITs are designed to produce growth as well as income, Realty Income has generated 16.3% annualized total returns since that time.

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Stocks Mentioned

Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, Inc. Stock Quote
Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, Inc.
SKT
$14.46 (1.69%) $0.24
Realty Income Corporation Stock Quote
Realty Income Corporation
O
$70.15 (2.77%) $1.89
Welltower Inc. Stock Quote
Welltower Inc.
WELL
$83.21 (1.04%) $0.86

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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