Outside The Box Yield Plays

 |  Includes: BMR, HRZN, PDH
by: Bret Jensen

"Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow - that is patience." - Anonymous

Thanks to the Federal Reserve's various Quantitative Easing initiatives over the past few years finding good yield opportunities at reasonable values has been as hard as finding an atheist in a foxhole during war time.

Yields on traditional income instruments like certificates of deposit are minimal. In addition, valuations in traditional dividend paying sectors like Utilities, Consumer Staples and Telecom appear stretched.

As an example, an investor would have to pay 18x trailing earnings to get a 3.1% yield through a traditional dividend stock like General Mills (NYSE:GIS) which is growing revenues just 2% to 3% annually.

In order to generate income by investing in equities with reasonable valuations takes creativity and some 'outside the box' thinking. Here are a few of these unique yield plays outside the traditional dividend paying areas of the market. All sell for significantly less than the overall market multiple, have good growth prospects and have very solid yields.

Horizon Technology Finance Corporation (NASDAQ:HRZN) is a leading provider of secured loans to venture capital backed, development stage companies. The company targets four broad technology markets, including information technology, life science, healthcare information and services, and clean-tech.

Horizon issues secured loans with strong current pay yields, and they receive warrants on these transactions. These warrants allow the company to participate in the upside when these young companies succeed. A good thing to have in the current strong market for IPOs and acquisitions.

The shares yield almost ten percent (9.7%). Horizon makes payouts monthly. Insiders have been frequent and consistent buyers of the shares for a year. HRZN sells for just a little less than book value, is seeing revenue growth of better than 20% in FY2013 and the stock sells for less than 10x forward earnings.

PetroLogistics LP (NYSE:PDH) owns and operates a propane dehydrogenation facility that processes propane into propylene in North America. The entity has only been public since May 2012 and only five analysts cover the shares.

PetroLogistics is unusual is it makes varying quarterly payouts which have ranged from 21 cents a share to 67 cents a share in 2013. The total distribution payouts made in FY2013 totaled $1.60 a share in the just completed year giving the shares a 12.2% distribution yield based on 2013's payouts.

After being flat in FY2013, revenue should show a ~10% gain in FY2014. Despite its large yield, PDH goes for less than 10x forward earnings. PetroLogistics is a unique asset as it operates the only U.S. propane dehydrogenation facility producing propylene from propane.

BioMed Realty Trust (NYSE:BMR) operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT) that focuses on providing real estate to the biotech & life science industry in the United States. The company has a well-diversified portfolio with emphasis in the life science centers of Boston and San Francisco which account for ~45% of its overall holdings.

The stock was one of a couple of life science REITs just called out in Barron's as good picks in 2014. The article mentions that BioMed Realty and other life science real estate plays "should benefit from benign trends like solid R&D spending, a red-hot biotech market, and the most drug approvals in 16 years last year".

Other analysts also have favorable views on BioMed. The median price target on BMR by the 10 analysts that cover the shares is $22.50 a share, ~20% above its current price. The shares yield 4.6% and BioMed has more than doubled its payout since emerging from the financial crisis. BMR goes for a reasonable 13x forward FFO (Funds From Operations).

Disclosure: I am long BMR, HRZN, PDH. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.