7 Top-Rated Dividend Stocks Worth a Hard Look

Stocks to buy

Not every dividend stock is a slam-dunk choice. And not every great dividend stock comes to mind when you start looking for yield because top-rated dividend stocks sometimes hide in out-of-the-way places.

If you’ve followed my portfolio for a while, you know the major names that typically make up the lists of top dividend stocks. And those names are fine. But if you want to diversify your portfolio, you need to take a hard look at some other names with which you may not be as familiar.

That’s where the Dividend Grader comes in. You can use this free tool to screen for top-rated dividend stocks and then do a deeper dive to learn more about the company, its goals and successes. Then you can decide if it’s a good stock for your portfolio.

Keep this in mind, though, the Dividend Grader is a guide that helps you make an investment decision, but it’s not a guarantee of a stock’s future performance.

However, tools like the Dividend Grader and the Portfolio Grader do a great job of giving you an objective look at a stock and screening out the names you should avoid.

Here are seven top-rated dividend stocks that are worth your attention.

Green Plains Partners (GPP)

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Green Plains Partners (NASDAQ:GPP) is a master limited partnership based in Nebraska. The company has a focus on biofuel storage, terminal and transportation services.

As a master limited partnership, Green Plains Partners enjoys the benefits of private partnerships and the liquidity of publicly traded companies. Because of the partnership structure, income from MLPs isn’t taxed twice the way dividends are. That typically results in higher yields than you can get from dividend stocks or bonds.

Green Plains Partners was formed by Green Plains (NASDAQ:GPRE) in 2015. It has biofuel storage facilities in 29 locations in Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Tennessee and Virginia, which collectively have 25.9 million gallons of capacity to store and load railcars and tanker trucks.

Earnings for the second quarter included revenue of $857.6 million, or a loss of 89 cents per share, compared to revenue of $1.01 billion and a profit of 73 cents per share for the same period a year ago.

The company’s plant in Wood River, Nebraska, was down for most of the quarter following an April explosion that killed one employee. Several other plants had planned and unplanned downtime that affected results.

Despite this, GPP stock is up 6% this year and offers a dividend yield of 13.5%. It has an “A” rating in the Dividend Grader.

OFS Capital (OFS)

6 Monthly Dividend Stocks to Buy

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OFS Capital (NASDAQ:OFS) is a business development company that invests in senior secured, floating rate loans to middle market borrowers in the U.S.

Business development companies typically work with growing or financially troubled firms, so there’s a tremendous opportunity for growth if the company picks the right kind of investments.

OFS has a wide variety of investments, including deals for refinancing, recapitalization, buyouts, debt purchases, growth capital and acquisition financing. It has an investment portfolio of $495 million, diversified loans across 15 sectors.

The company’s second-quarter report included revenue of $14.5 million and a net loss of 53 cents per share. However, the company is generous with its dividends, paying out a yield of 13.3%.

That helps OFS stock get an “A” rating in the Dividend Grader.

Seven Hills Realty Trust (SEVN)

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Seven Hills Realty Trust (NASDAQ:SEVN) is a real estate investment trust, or REIT, based in Newton, Massachusetts.

The company originates and invests in first mortgage loans secured by middle market and transitional commercial real estate companies.

REITs also have an interesting structure that income investors highly value. REITs are required to return 90% of earnings back to shareholders through payouts, so the yields are often outsized compared to a typical dividend stock.

Seven Hills is managed by Tremont Realty Capital, an affiliate of RMR Group (NASDAQ:RMR). The company has more than $37 billion in assets under management.

Second-quarter earnings included revenue of $9.3 million, beating analysts’ estimates of $8.7 million. Earnings were 39 cents per share, beating estimates for 33 cents per share. SEVN also has a great dividend yield of 12.45%, giving it an “A” rating in the Dividend Grader.

American Financial Group (AFG)

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Based in Cincinnati, American Financial Group (NYSE:AFG) is a financial services company in the insurance and investment fields. It offers commercial insurance products for businesses and is affiliated with Great American Insurance Group.

It’s working to expand the business, and recently completed a deal to purchase American International Group’s (NYSE:AIG) crop risk services business for $240 million.

The company also oversees an investment portfolio of $15 billion.

American Financial’s second-quarter report included $1.74 billion in revenue, up 16% from a year ago, and net income of $200 million, an increase of nearly 20%. EPS came in at $2.34.

AFG also pays a dividend yield of 2.2% and has increased it for the last 17 years. It gets an “A” rating in the Dividend Grader.

APA Corporation (APA)

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APA Corporation (NASDAQ:APA) is the holding company for Apache Corporation, which is in the hydrocarbon exploration business.

The Houston-based company has operations in the U.S., the U.K., Egypt and offshore Suriname.

Hydrocarbon exploration involves seeking oil and natural gas reserves underneath the earth’s crust. The challenge in investing in a hydrocarbon company is that it involves exploratory drilling, which can be an expensive process without a guaranteed return.

APA expects to maintain drilling in the U.S. and Egypt at current levels through the end of the year, and to complete its appraisal program in Suriname.

It suspended its U.K. drilling operations in the North Sea on June 9, citing high taxes.

APA, however, is doing well. It produced 399,000 barrels of oil equivalent in the second quarter and generated net revenue of $1 billion. Net income was $381 million, or $1.23 per share.

APA stock is up 33% in the last three months and offers a dividend yield of 2.3%. It gets an “A” rating in the Dividend Grader.

Bloomin’ Brands (BLMN)

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Bloomin’ Brands (NASDAQ:BLMN) is a restaurant company that has casual dining chains, including Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar and Outback Steakhouse (where the Bloomin’ Onion is a popular appetizer).

The company has more than 1,450 restaurants in 47 states and 13 countries. Outback Steakhouse, in particular, is hugely popular in Brazil.

While you’ll get plenty of hills and valleys with Bloomin’ stock, the price is up 28% this year. Earnings for the second quarter were solid, with $1.15 billion in revenue, up slightly from a year ago, and EPS of 70 cents beating expectations of 64 cents EPS.

Bloomin’ also offers a surprisingly high dividend of 3.3%. It gets an “A” rating in the Dividend Grader.

CubeSmart (CUBE)

In this photo illustration CubeSmart logo of a real estate investment trust (CUBE) is seen on a mobile phone and a computer screen.

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CubeSmart (NYSE:CUBE) is a self-storage company capitalizing on the fact that Americans have a lot of stuff.

Whether you’re downsizing or putting items in storage as parents move into assisted living, people always need to keep their things other than where they’re living.

There are more than 51,000 self-storage units in the U.S. alone, and the space is worth $29 billion in annual revenue. CubeSmart has more than 1,280 self-storage properties, operating in 154 markets and 39 states.

Q2 earnings were $261.6 million in revenue and EPS of 43 cents, beating the bottom line but narrowly missing the top line. The stock is up only 4% this year after having a roller-coaster start to 2023, but CUBE also pays a dividend yield of nearly 5%.

CUBE stock is a reliable pick with an “A” rating in the Dividend Grader.

On the date of publication, Louis Navellier had a long position in CUBE. Louis Navellier did not have (either directly or indirectly) any other positions in the securities mentioned in this article.

The InvestorPlace Research Staff member primarily responsible for this article did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.

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