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When the future of the global economy is uncertain, finding a smart REIT investment can seem like finding a needle in a haystack. Today we aim to find those needles by focusing in on REITs that have a few key traits: strong track records of earnings, and votes of confidence from industry analysts. We came up with a pretty interesting list.

The Net Margin is a profitability metric that illustrates, by percentage, how much of every dollar earned gets turned into a bottom line profit. This is just one of many profitability metrics used by investors and analysts to better understand what the company is being left with at the end of the day. Generally, a firm that can expand its net profit margins over a period of time will see its stock price rise as well due to the trend of increasing profitability. Net Margin = Net Income/Total Revenue

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 reit stocks. Next, we then screened for businesses with strong profitability (Net Margin [TTM] >10%)(1-year operating margin>15%). We then looked for businesses that analysts rate as "Buy" (2 < mean recommendation < 3). We did not screen out any market caps.

Do you think these stocks are worth more than the market currently says? Use our list to help with your own analysis.

1) One Liberty Properties Inc. (NYSE:OLP)

Sector:Financial
Industry:REIT - Diversified
Market Cap:$278.50M
Beta:1.98

One Liberty Properties Inc. has a Net Margin of 28.80%, a Operating Profit Margin of 58.35%, and a Analysts' Rating of 2.00. The short interest was 2.81% as of 07/01/2012. One Liberty Properties, Inc., a real estate investment trust (REIT), engages in the acquisition, ownership, and management of commercial real estate properties in the United States. The company's property portfolio includes retail furniture stores, as well as industrial, office, flex, health and fitness, and other properties. As of March 31, 2008, it owned 67 properties; holds a 50% tenancy in common interest in 1 property; and owns 4 properties through joint ventures.

2) National Retail Properties, Inc. (NYSE:NNN)

Sector:Financial
Industry:REIT - Diversified
Market Cap:$3.03B
Beta:0.86

National Retail Properties, Inc. has a Net Margin of 35.13%, a Operating Profit Margin of 61.94%, and a Analysts' Rating of 2.00. The short interest was 10.54% as of 07/01/2012. National Retail Properties, Inc. is a publicly owned equity real estate investment trust. The firm acquires, owns, manages, and develops retail properties in the United States. It provides complete turn-key and built-to-suit development services including market analysis, site selection and acquisition, entitlements, permitting, and construction management.

3) Starwood Property Trust, Inc. (NYSE:STWD)

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

Starwood Property Trust, Inc. has a Net Margin of 57.24%, a Operating Profit Margin of 60.05%, and a Analysts' Rating of 1.60. The short interest was 4.08% as of 07/01/2012. Starwood Property Trust, Inc. 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. It also invests in residential mortgage loans and residential mortgage-backed securities, as well as commercial properties subject to net leases. SPT Management, LLC serves as the manager of Starwood Property Trust, Inc.

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

Source: 3 REITs With Solid Earnings Trends That Analysts Love