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3 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks: PEG, BPL, CXW

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

TheStreet Ratings' stock model projects a stock's total return potential over a 12-month period including both price appreciation and dividends. Our Buy, Hold or Sell ratings designate how we expect these stocks to perform against a general benchmark of the equities market and interest rates.

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 3 stocks with substantial yields, that ultimately, we have rated "Buy."

Public Service Enterprise Group

Dividend Yield: 4.20%

Public Service Enterprise Group (NYSE: PEG) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.20%.

Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated, through its subsidiaries, operates as an energy company primarily in the northeastern and mid Atlantic United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.81.

The average volume for Public Service Enterprise Group has been 2,675,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Public Service Enterprise Group has a market cap of $17.4 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 12.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Public Service Enterprise Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.76, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Despite the fact that PEG's debt-to-equity ratio is low, the quick ratio, which is currently 0.55, displays a potential problem in covering short-term cash needs.
  • PEG, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 0.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 3.1%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • In its most recent trading session, PEG has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Multi-Utilities industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, PUBLIC SERVICE ENTRP GRP INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has decreased to $877.00 million or 19.39% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow of 19.39%, PUBLIC SERVICE ENTRP GRP INC is in line with the industry average cash flow growth rate of -20.55%.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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