I'm a very big proponent of increased regulatory oversight for some of the larger US based financial institutions. My last article, discussing the $31.6 billion dollars in overdraft fees banks such as JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Bank of America (BAC) collect each year became inspiration for this article. Individual investors need alternatives to the highly scrutinized accounts both JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America provide their customers. The 'Free' Checking and low interest savings accounts aren't very attractive, especially in today's marketplace. These three investments should satisfy not only the needs of long-term investors, but those investors who happen to like high yield quarterly distributions.
Stonemor Partners L.P. (STON) - Founded in 1999 and based in Levittown, Pennsylvania, Stonemor Partners L.P., operates cemeteries, funeral homes, burial vaults, and provides various other solutions for within the funeral industry. As the second largest owner and operator of funeral-based entities, STON's growth relies heavily on its ability to complete acquisitions.
Stonemor Partners L.P., currently yields 9.5% and trades in the middle of the 52-week range at roughly $25/share. With earnings for STON right around the corner, analysts are calling for Stonemore to post an EPS loss of -$0.14/share on revenue of $55.36 million. I think the numbers are going to be much better than expected, and an EPS profit may be closer than we think. STON is currently in the works to name a new CFO, as their current CFO is set to retire. This could mean a more aggressive acquisition strategy moving forward, and the continuation of distribution increases for their investors.
Newcastle Investment Corp (NCT) - Founded in 1998 and based in New York City, this diversified Real Estate Investment Trust [REIT] focuses on commercial real estate properties and senior unsecured notes issued by other property REITs. It also focuses on investments in various grades of mortgage loans and pools of mortgage loans.
NCT is yielding 12.1% and currently trades at a P/E ratio of 2.1, that's right, it has a double digit yield and a single digit P/E fewer than 5. This stock is very attractive by the standards of many investors. The great thing about NCT is that it can act as an alternative to Annaly Capital (NLY) and Chimera Investment (CIM). Unlike Annaly and Chimera, the management is very strong, and since NCT has reinstated its dividend in 2011, the management has increased the distribution twice.
With earnings due out in mid-June, NCT is expected to report an EPS of $0.29/share on revenue of $75.1 million dollars for the March quarter. Investors should consider acquiring a position in NCT not only because of its yield, but because NCT should beat earnings handily this quarter, paving the way for what may be another increased distribution. Based on my estimates, NCT should report EPS of $0.33 - $0.37/share on revenue of $77.5 million or greater.
Telecom Corp. Of New Zealand (NZT) - Founded in 1987 and based in Auckland, New Zealand, NZT provides telecommunications and telecom solutions to customers in both Australia and New Zealand. The company serves approximately 3.8 million customers in New Zealand and 9,300 businesses in Australia.
As a regular distributor of dividends since 1994, NZT currently yields 12.6% and trades with a P/E ratio of 4.79, making it a stellar choice amongst fixed income investors. The stock has underperformed the other companies in its industry, and even with the attractive dividend yield, investors must be cautious on its performance moving forward. Investors should also keep in mind that NZT recently spun off Chorus in an effort to focus its 3G Mobile and Fixed-Line solutions. I believe the spin-off allows New Zealand Telecom to focus on what it does best, and master their Fixed-Line solutions in an effort to attract more residential and commercial business in the upcoming quarters.