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Stocks with high dividend yields are particularly appealing for long term buy & hold, because the cash payout by itself provides a good margin of safety for the investment. When investing in mature companies, reinvest dividend is a commonly adopted strategy to increase long term returns. If timed correctly, investors can enjoy both share price increase as well as dividend payout.

On the technical side, stocks making 52-week highs usually have the market on their back, further lowering the investment risk. Given the combination of good dividend payout (at least 8%), close to 52-week high (with in 5% price range), and positive operating cash flow, these companies can be attractive for active long term investors.

American Capital Agency Corp. (AGNC) is a residential REIT. It has a market cap of $9.76 billion. This company pays out a nice dividend of 15.40%. It has just past its ex-dividend date on 6-19-2012. American Capital Agency invests in residential mortgage pass-through securities and collateralized mortgage obligations for which the principal and interest payments are guaranteed by government-sponsored entities or by the United States government agency. At a P/E ratio of 4.87, the stock appears fairly cheap in valuation. Its price/book ratio is 1.11. Both its revenue and earnings grew in double digits over the latest quarter, by 362.80% and 378.40%, respectively. The trading volume is relatively normal. This month, 7.89 million shares are being shorted. Comparing to 5.63 million shares shorted over the previous month, the shared short has increased by 40%. The short ratio of American Capital Agency is 1.30, accounting for 3.50% of floating shares. Not much of a concern.

Apollo Residential Mortgage, Inc. (AMTG) is a residential REIT. It has a market cap of $473.00 million. This company pays a handsome dividend of 15.30%. Its ex-dividend date is tomorrow, 6/27. Apollo Residential Mortgage invests in residential mortgage assets in the United States. It offers agency and non-agency residential mortgage-backed securities. Its P/E ratio of 18.77 is on the expensive side. Its price/book ratio is 0.92, close enough to 1, hence a neutral number. The company has $54.21 million cash on its balance sheet. Its debt burden is $1.18 billion. The high debt burden is typical for this type of REITs.

Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance, Inc. (ARI) is a diversified REIT. It has a market cap of $336.73 million. The dividend is generous at 9.80%. Its ex-dividend date is tomorrow 6-27-2012. Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance originates, acquires, invests in, and manages performing commercial first mortgage loans, commercial mortgage-backed securities, mezzanine financings, and other commercial real estate-related debt investments. It has a reasonable P/E ratio of 11.02. Its price/book ratio is 0.98. Both its revenue and earnings grew in double digits over the latest quarter, by 47.20% and 75.50%, respectively. The company has $78.89 million cash on its balance sheet. Its debt burden is $355.74 million, fairly light. The short ratio of Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance is 8.40, accounting for 5.50% of floating shares.

Capstead Mortgage Corp. (CMO) is a diversified REIT. It has a market cap of $1.31 billion. This company pays out a nice dividend of 11.40%. Its ex-dividend date is tomorrow, 6-27-2012. Capstead Mortgage operates as a self-managed real estate investment trust. It invests in leveraged portfolio of residential mortgage pass-through securities consisting of adjustable-rate mortgage securities issued and guaranteed by government-sponsored enterprises or by an agency of the federal government. Given that its price is only 1.89% lower than its 52-week high, the overall market sentiment appears positive. At a P/E ratio of 7.88, the stock appears fairly cheap in valuation. However, the high PEG ratio suggests that the market expectation may be too high to become reality. Both its revenue and earnings grew in double digits over the latest quarter, by 28.30% and 30.20%, respectively.

Dynex Capital Inc. (DX) is a mortgage investment company. It has a market cap of $545.61 million. This company pays out a nice dividend of 11.20%. Dynex Capital invests in residential and commercial mortgage-backed securities issued or guaranteed by a federally chartered corporation, non-agency mortgage-backed securities, and securitized mortgage loans, as well as unsecuritized single-family and commercial mortgage loans. At a P/E ratio of 9.36, the stock appears fairly cheap in valuation. Both its revenue and earnings grew in double digits over the latest quarter, by 58.10% and 60.30%, respectively. The short ratio of Dynex Capital Inc. is 8.00, accounting for 6.70% of floating shares.

Ellington Financial LLC (EFC) is a mortgage investment company. It has a market cap of $346.04 million. The dividend is generous at 13.30%. Its price shows near term strength, close to 52-week high (only 4.15% lower). It has a reasonable P/E ratio of 11.40. Its profit margin was 55.37% over the past year. I like Ellington Financial's operating margin of 79.76%, a good sign for the company's financial health. Its revenue declined by 2.80%, and its net income improved by 188.60% during the most recent quarter.

Hatteras Financial Corp (HTS) is a residential REIT. It has a market cap of $2.84 billion. This company pays a handsome dividend of 12.40%. Its ex-dividend date is tomorrow, 6/27. Hatteras Financial invests in fixed-rate and adjustable-rate single-family residential mortgage pass-through securities guaranteed or issued by the United States Government agency or by the United States Government-sponsored entity, and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. At a P/E ratio of 7.48, the stock appears fairly cheap in valuation. Both its revenue and earnings grew in double digits over the latest quarter, by 17.80% and 21.10%, respectively.

Starwood Property Trust, Inc. (STWD) is a diversified REIT. It has a market cap of $1.97 billion. This company pays out a nice dividend of 8.30%. Its ex-dividend date is tomorrow, 6/27. Starwood Property Trust engages in originating, investing in, financing, and managing commercial mortgage loans, other commercial real estate debt investments, commercial mortgage-backed securities, and other commercial real estate-related debt investments. Both its revenue and earnings grew in double digits over the latest quarter, by 109.70% and 59.50%, respectively. The company has $142.02 million cash on its balance sheet. Its debt burden is $1.38 billion, or approximately 76.89 in debt/equity ratio, not bad.

Whitestone REIT (WSR) is a diversified REIT. It has a market cap of $160.46 million. This company pays out a nice dividend of 8.50%. Whitestone engages in the investment and operation of retail, office, and warehouse properties located in the Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Phoenix metropolitan areas. Whitestone REIT has an enterprise value / EBITDA ratio of 18.30. The valuation is a little too expensive for my taste. The company had an EBITDA of $15.65 million on a revenue of $37.26 million. Both its revenue and earnings grew in double digits over the latest quarter, by 28.90% and 328.60%, respectively. It operating cash flow is 8.09 million, and its free cash flow is 10.32 million. Trading is fairly active with this company lately, reflected in elevated volume.

Source: High Yield Companies Making 52-Week Highs