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Are you looking for mid-sized companies that still have room to grow, and that can also pay out decent dividends, due to their profitability? Do you prefer investing in stocks that analysts have weighed in on, as a yardstick for general analyst sentiment? If so, here are a few ideas to start your search.

EPS growth (earnings per share growth) illustrates the growth of earnings per share over time. EPS growth rates help investors identify stocks that are increasing or decreasing in profitability. This profitability metric is generally a key driver in the price of the stock as it directly correlates to the profitability of the company as a whole.

The Operating Profit Margin is a profitability ratio that measures the effectiveness of the company's operating efficiency. This metric allows investors to see how much profit is left after all variable costs are covered. If the company's margin is increasing over time this means that it's earning more per dollar of sales. Finding trends in the Operating Profit Margin helps investors identify companies that are improving profitability over time and managing the economic landscape better than competitors.

We first looked for mid cap dividend stocks. Next, we then screened for businesses that analysts rate as "Buy" (2 < mean recommendation < 3). We next screened for businesses that have posted strong earnings growth for shareholders over an extended period of time (1-year fiscal EPS growth rate>10%)(1-year operating margin>15%). We did not screen out any sectors.

Do you think these mid-cap stocks have a positive future in store? Please use our list to assist with your own analysis.

1) Mid-America Apartment Communities Inc. (MAA)

Sector:Financial
Industry:REIT - Residential
Market Cap:$2.74B
Beta:1.02

Mid-America Apartment Communities Inc. has a Dividend Yield of 3.95% and Payout Ratio of 239.99% and Analysts' Rating of 2.10 and Earnings Per Share Growth Rate of 79.68% and Operating Profit Margin of 22.96%. The short interest was 3.87% as of 05/29/2012. Mid-America Apartment Communities, Inc. is an independent real estate investment trust. The company invests in the real estate markets of the United States. It is engaged in acquisition, redevelopment, new development, property management, and disposition of multifamily apartment communities.

2) Linn Energy, LLC (LINE)

Sector:Basic Materials
Industry:Independent Oil & Gas
Market Cap:$7.18B
Beta:0.71

Linn Energy, LLC has a Dividend Yield of 8.05% and Payout Ratio of 57.07% and Analysts' Rating of 1.60 and Earnings Per Share Growth Rate of 413.15% and Operating Profit Margin of 55.74%. The short interest was 1.03% as of 05/29/2012. Linn Energy, LLC, an independent oil and natural gas company, engages in the acquisition and development of oil and gas properties.

The company's properties are primarily located in the Mid-Continent, the Permian Basin, Michigan, California, and the Williston Basin in the United States. As of December 31, 2011, it had proved reserves of 3,370 billion cubic feet equivalent of oil and gas, and natural gas liquids, as well as operated 7,759 gross productive wells.

3) National Fuel Gas Co. (NFG)

Sector:Utilities
Industry:Gas Utilities
Market Cap:$3.61B
Beta:1.01

National Fuel Gas Co. has a Dividend Yield of 3.27% and Payout Ratio of 55.46% and Analysts' Rating of 2.40 and Earnings Per Share Growth Rate of 16.50% and Operating Profit Margin of 25.46%. The short interest was 1.90% as of 05/29/2012. National Fuel Gas Company operates as a diversified energy company in the United States.

The company's Utility segment sells natural gas or provides natural gas transportation services to approximately 731,600 customers in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and Jamestown, New York; and Erie and Sharon, Pennsylvania.

The company's Pipeline and Storage segment provides interstate natural gas transportation and storage services through an integrated gas pipeline system extending from southwestern Pennsylvania to the New York-Canadian border, and eastward to Ellisburg and Leidy, Pennsylvania; and owns and operates 27 underground natural gas storage fields, as well as operates 4 other underground natural gas storage fields jointly with other interstate gas pipeline companies. This segment also transports natural gas for distribution corporation and other utilities, industrial customers, and power producers in New York state.

4) MarkWest Energy Partners LP (MWE)

Sector:Basic Materials
Industry:Oil & Gas Drilling & Exploration
Market Cap:$3.69B
Beta:0.98

MarkWest Energy Partners LP has a Dividend Yield of 6.11% and Payout Ratio of 159.32% and Analysts' Rating of 1.70 and Earnings Per Share Growth Rate of 6353.29% and Operating Profit Margin of 21.93%. The short interest was 0.61% as of 05/29/2012. Markwest Energy Partners, L.P., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the gathering, processing, and transportation of natural gas in the southwest, Gulf Coast, and northeast regions of the United States.

5) Digital Realty Trust Inc. (DLR)

Sector:Financial
Industry:REIT - Office
Market Cap:$7.83B
Beta:1.06

Digital Realty Trust Inc. has a Dividend Yield of 4.11% and Payout Ratio of 206.53% and Analysts' Rating of 2.40 and Earnings Per Share Growth Rate of 94.57% and Operating Profit Margin of 28.77%. The short interest was 10.81% as of 05/29/2012. Digital Realty Trust, Inc., a real estate investment trust (REIT), through its controlling interest in Digital Realty Trust, L.P., engages in the ownership, acquisition, development, redevelopment, and management of technology-related real estate.

6) Maxim Integrated Products Inc. (MXIM)

Sector:Technology
Industry:Semiconductor - Broad Line
Market Cap:$7.46B
Beta:1.13

Maxim Integrated Products Inc. has a Dividend Yield of 3.45% and Payout Ratio of 68.88% and Analysts' Rating of 2.30 and Earnings Per Share Growth Rate of 299.33% and Operating Profit Margin of 23.78%. The short interest was 0.67% as of 05/29/2012. Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. engages in designing, developing, manufacturing, and marketing various linear and mixed-signal integrated circuits worldwide. The company also provides various high-frequency process technologies and capabilities for use in custom designs. It primarily serves industrial, communications, consumer, and computing markets.

7) Macerich Co. (MAC)

Sector:Financial
Industry:REIT - Retail
Market Cap:$7.68B
Beta:2.53

Macerich Co. has a Dividend Yield of 3.80% and Payout Ratio of 118.47% and Analysts' Rating of 2.50 and Earnings Per Share Growth Rate of 595.78% and Operating Profit Margin of 30.33%. The short interest was 5.49% as of 05/29/2012. The Macerich Company is an independent real estate investment trust.

The company invests in the real estate markets of the United States. It primarily engages in acquisition, ownership, development, redevelopment, management and leasing of regional and community shopping centers located throughout the United States. The Macerich Company was founded in 1964 and is headquartered in Santa Monica, California.

8) Alliance Holdings GP, L.P. (AHGP)

Sector:Basic Materials
Industry:Nonmetallic Mineral Mining
Market Cap:$2.59B
Beta:0.74

Alliance Holdings GP, L.P. has a Dividend Yield of 6.17% and Payout Ratio of 67.36% and Analysts' Rating of 2.00 and Earnings Per Share Growth Rate of 22.83% and Operating Profit Margin of 21.39%. The short interest was 0.51% as of 05/29/2012. Alliance Holdings GP, L.P., through its subsidiaries, produces and markets coal primarily to utilities and industrial users in the United States. It produces a range of steam coal with varying sulfur and heat contents. The company operates nine underground mining complexes in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, and West Virginia.

9) American Campus Communities Inc. (ACC)

Sector:Financial
Industry:REIT - Residential
Market Cap:$3.28B
Beta:0.78

American Campus Communities Inc. has a Dividend Yield of 3.07% and Payout Ratio of 225.18% and Analysts' Rating of 2.30 and Earnings Per Share Growth Rate of 65.09% and Operating Profit Margin of 25.26%. The short interest was 4.05% as of 05/29/2012. American Campus Communities, Inc. , a real estate investment trust (REIT), engages in the acquisition, design, finance, development, lease, and management of student housing properties in the United States.

As of July 12, 2005, the company owned and managed 25 student housing properties, containing approximately 16,300 beds, as well as managed 44 student housing properties, representing 27,600 beds. ACC also provides construction management and development services for student housing properties owned by colleges and universities, charitable foundations, and others.

*Company profiles were sourced from Finviz. Financial data was sourced from Finviz and Yahoo Finance.

Source: 9 Mid Cap Dividend Stocks Bringing In Profits And Rated As 'Buys'