3 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks: MO, BP, GEL
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 which could 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." Altria Group (NYSE: MO) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.50%. Altria Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes, smokeless products, and wine in the United States and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.88. The average volume for Altria Group has been 7,189,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Altria Group has a market cap of $85.3 billion and is part of the tobacco industry. Shares are up 13.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday. TheStreet Ratings rates Altria Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins, increase in stock price during the past year and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 3.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.9%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
- Net operating cash flow has increased to $2,125.00 million or 18.51% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -30.72%.
- ALTRIA GROUP INC's earnings per share declined by 14.5% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ALTRIA GROUP INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.26 versus $2.06 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.57 versus $2.26).
- The gross profit margin for ALTRIA GROUP INC is rather high; currently it is at 57.41%. Despite the high profit margin, it has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, MO's net profit margin of 29.31% compares favorably to the industry average.
- Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. The stock's price rise over the last year has driven it to a level which is somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
- You can view the full Altria Group Ratings Report.
- Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 107.48% to $8,231.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, BP PLC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 17.51%.
- Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. 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 current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.41, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.93 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
- Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 3.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.5%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
- You can view the full BP Ratings Report.
- GEL's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 3.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.5%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
- The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 30.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $22.85 million to $29.78 million.
- Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 173.30% to $106.09 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, GENESIS ENERGY -LP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 17.51%.
- GENESIS ENERGY -LP has improved earnings per share by 21.4% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, GENESIS ENERGY -LP reported lower earnings of $1.00 versus $1.23 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.53 versus $1.00).
- The gross profit margin for GENESIS ENERGY -LP is currently extremely low, coming in at 6.46%. Regardless of GEL's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 2.91% trails the industry average.
- You can view the full Genesis Energy Ratings Report.
- Our dividend calendar.
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