However, there are exceptions as some companies offer the best of both worlds: High growth and a high dividend yield. Two companies that stand out for their combination of growth and income are NextEra Energy Partners (NEP 2.30%) and Medical Properties Trust (MPW 1.53%). That one-two punch should enable them to produce attractive total returns.
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NextEra Energy Partners' dividend currently clocks in at 3.4%. That's more than double that of the average stock in the S&P 500.
However, what stands out even more about NextEra is its growth profile. The clean energy infrastructure company has grown its dividend by 253% since its formation in 2014. Powering the company's growth has been a steady stream of acquisitions, mainly renewable energy assets and natural gas pipelines. It focuses on acquiring infrastructure secured by long-term, fixed-rate contracts because they generate steady cash flow to support its dividend. This strategy has paid big dividends for investors, enabling it to double the total return of the S&P 500 since its formation.
NextEra Energy Partners sees a lot more growth ahead. The company expects to grow its dividend at a 12% to 15% annual rate through at least 2024. Supporting that plan is the expectation that it will continue acquiring cash flowing clean energy infrastructure. The company currently has about $2.2 billion of cash and borrowing capacity to fund its growth initiatives, giving it the financial firepower it needs to deliver on its bold expansion strategy and continue generating strong returns for investors.
A healthy growth profile
Medical Properties Trust offers an attractive dividend yield of 5.5%. Usually, a yield that high is a sign of slow growth. However, that's not the case for this hospital-focused real estate investment trust (REIT).
The healthcare REIT has grown its asset base at a 31% compound annual rate over the last decade by completing a steady stream of hospital acquisitions. That rapidly expanding portfolio has paid big dividends for investors. Medical Properties has increased its payout in each of the last eight years, growing it at a 5% annul rate. That's helped the REIT generate a more than 550% total return since its IPO in 2005, well ahead of the S&P 500's roughly 390% total return during that timeframe.
Meanwhile, it hasn't slowed a bit over the past year. It closed nearly $3.6 billion of hospital-related real estate investments last year, which helped grow its its normalized FFO per share by 21%. Meanwhile, it has gotten 2021 off to a strong start. It had already secured more than $3.6 billion of investment by mid-year, which have it on track to grow its normalized FFO per share by a mid-teens rate for 2021.
Medical Properties Trust still has plenty of room to grow. While it's the second-largest non-governmental owner of hospitals in the world, its $21.4 billion portfolio is a small fraction of the global hospital real estate market. More hospital systems and governments are realizing that it's not in their best interests to own this real estate. They can better serve patients by selling and then leasing back these properties and reinvesting their proceeds into improving their systems. As one of the few companies focused on hospital real estate, Medical Properties doesn't have much competition for this massive and growing market, which should allow it to continue its fast-paced expansion.
The best of both worlds
NextEra Energy Partners and Medical Properties Trust should appeal to dividend investors given their high yields. However, what makes them stand out from their peers is their above-average growth rates. That one-two combo should enable them to continue generating strong total returns, making them appealing for growth or income investors.