4-Star Stocks Poised to Pop: MFA Financial

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Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, mortgage REIT MFA Financial (NYS: MFA) has earned a respected four-star ranking.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at MFA's business and see what CAPS investors are saying about the stock right now.

MFA facts

Headquarters (Founded)New York (1997)
Market Cap$2.44 billion
IndustryMortgage REIT
Trailing-12-Month Revenue$338 million
ManagementChairman/CEO Stewart Zimmerman (since 1997)
CFO Stephen Yarad (since 2010)
Return on Equity (Average, Past 3 Years)12.9%
Debt/Equity Ratio344.9%
Dividend Yield14.6%
CompetitorsAnnaly Capital Management (NYS: NLY)
Capstead Mortgage (NYS: CMO)

Sources: S&P Capital IQ and Motley Fool CAPS.

On CAPS, 90% of the 340 members who have rated MFA believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include badducky and All-Star fcfroic, who is ranked in the top 5% of our community.

Just last week, badducky tapped the stock as a timely income opportunity: "Real Estate didn't stop holding fundamental value just because of the bubble. Now that the bubble has popped, REIT's like MFA offers attractive entry points for dividend investors, and MFA seems to be one of the stronger ones."

Over the past three years, MFA has even grown its top line at a brisk rate of 37% annually. That's much faster than industry peers like Annaly (7%) and Capstead (8%), let alone Redwood Trust (NYS: RWT) and its average revenue decline of -8%.

CAPS All-Star fcfroic expands on the MFA outperform argument:

This is a mortgage REIT which has both agency MBS's and non-agency MBS's. This is a unique hybrid strategy. The agency MBS provide an opportunity to access liquidity if needed. ... The non-agency exposure provides higher returns but also higher risks. ...

Trading below book value, I expect that this will trade at a slight premium (perhaps 120% of BV) with a growing dividend stream.

What do you think about MFA, or any other stock for that matter? If you want to retire rich, you need to put together the best portfolio you can. Owning exceptional stocks is a surefire way to secure your financial future, and on Motley Fool CAPS, thousands of investors are working every day to find them. CAPS is 100% free, so get started!

Want to see how well (or not so well) the stocks in this series are performing? Follow the newTrackPoisedToCAPS account.

At the time this article was published Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Annaly. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Annaly. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.

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