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Best Of The Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks: Top 3 Companies: ETP, NS, RDS.B

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 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."

Energy Transfer Partners

Dividend Yield: 6.50%

Energy Transfer Partners (NYSE: ETP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.50%.

Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. is engaged in the natural gas midstream, and intrastate transportation and storage businesses in the United States.

The average volume for Energy Transfer Partners has been 1,054,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Energy Transfer Partners has a market cap of $18.7 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Energy Transfer Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year, increase in net income and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 3.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 12.7%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The stock has risen over the past year as investors have generally rewarded the company for its earnings growth and other positive factors like the ones we have cited in this report. 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 significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 28.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $322.00 million to $415.00 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 93.20% to $682.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, ENERGY TRANSFER PARTNERS -LP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 16.72%.
  • ENERGY TRANSFER PARTNERS -LP has improved earnings per share by 15.0% 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, ENERGY TRANSFER PARTNERS -LP swung to a loss, reporting -$0.24 versus $5.76 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.66 versus -$0.24).

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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