Zacks Highlights Mortgage Stocks

Zacks growth and income profit track, a strategy that looks for companies with unusually high-dividend yields, points to several mortgage and real estate stocks as strong picks for investors, the company said.

Zacks describes its growth and income profit track as a "screen oriented towards longer-term and lower-risk stocks." The group has beat the S&P 500 every year since its inception in 2001 and achieved a 19.5% return in 2004, the company said.

Four companies that meet the growth and income profit track's criteria are American Home Mortgage Investment Corp., Crescent Real Estate Equities, Novastar Financial and Thornburg Mortgage.

All pay high dividends, Zacks noted.

American Home Mortgage Investment Corp., which has a current yield of 8.11%, recently declared a $0.76 cash dividend, Zacks noted. The company reported first-quarter earnings of $1.24 per share, eclipsing last year's earnings result and exceeding the consensus estimate by about 29%.

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