5 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks: GAS, WPC, EPR, LO, BCE
While plenty of high-yield opportunities exist, investors must always consider the safety of their dividend and the total return potential of their investment. It is not uncommon for a struggling company to suspend high-yielding dividends and subsequently result in precipitous share price declines.
TheStreet Ratings' stock rating model views dividends favorably, but not so much that other factors are disregarded. Our model gauges the relationship between risk and reward in several ways, including: the pricing drawdown as compared to potential profit volatility, i.e. how much one is willing to risk in order to earn profits?; the level of acceptable volatility for highly performing stocks; the current valuation as compared to projected earnings growth; and the financial strength of the underlying company as compared to its stock's valuation as compared to its stock's performance.
These and many more derived observations are then combined, ranked, weighted, and scenario-tested to create a more complete analysis. The result is a systematic and disciplined method of selecting stocks. As always, stock ratings should not be treated as gospel — rather, use them as a starting point for your own research.
The following pages contain our analysis of 5 stocks with substantial yields, that ultimately, we have rated "Buy." AGL Resources (NYSE: GAS) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.10%. AGL Resources Inc., an energy services holding company, distributes natural gas to residential, commercial, industrial, and governmental customers in Illinois, Georgia, Virginia, New Jersey, Florida, Tennessee, and Maryland. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.23. The average volume for AGL Resources has been 478,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. AGL Resources has a market cap of $5.4 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 14.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. TheStreet Ratings rates AGL Resources as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 9.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 21.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
- AGL RESOURCES INC has improved earnings per share by 18.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, AGL RESOURCES INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.31 versus $2.15 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.64 versus $2.31).
- The stock price has risen over the past year, but, despite its earnings growth and some other positive factors, it has underperformed the S&P 500 so far. Looking ahead, unless broad bear market conditions prevail, we still see more upside potential for this stock, despite the fact that it has already risen over the past year.
- The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Gas Utilities industry average. The net income increased by 18.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $130.00 million to $154.00 million.
- You can view the full AGL Resources Ratings Report.
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