Stock Watch: February 6, 2013

Four health care REITs have recently increased their dividend payouts, and health care REIT yields range from 3.7% (Ventas) to 7.0% (Omega Healthcare Investors), with most between 4.5% and 5.5%. But the yield today have little to do with what an investor who bought six or 12 months ago is achieving. Take Sabra Health Care REIT as an example. Which just increased its quarterly payout by 3%, and it now yields 5.4%. But if you bought the stock 12 months ago, four months after it bottomed out in October 2011, your current yield on that investment would be about 10%, and your paper gain would be about 100%. Do you sell and book that gain? Or keep earning 10% on your investment, a yield you are not going to find elsewhere?  The shares are already up 15% this year, and the company keeps on making diversifying acquisitions. Either way you win.