6 Ex-Dividend Stocks With Buy Ratings

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- These stocks go ex-dividend Wednesday, meaning an investor must purchase the shares Tuesday to qualify for the next dividend payment: Pfizer ( PFE), Coca-Cola Bottling ( COKE), American Water Works ( AWK), Calumet Specialty Products ( CLMT), Norfolk Southern ( NSC) and Plains All American Pipeline ( PAA).

Each of these stocks received a buy rating from TheStreet Ratings.

Pfizer

The drugmaker Tuesday reported fourth-quarter adjusted earnings of $3.86 billion, or 50 cents a share, topping the estimates of analysts by 3 cents.

"Nothing in the qtr or guidance changes our positive outlook," UBS analysts wrote in a report on Tuesday. "Mgt. continues to execute well, including the pipeline (recent approvals of Axitinib and Prevnar 13 Adult), cost cutting, share buyback, as well as diversified performance on many fronts. We continue to see value here and see the next catalysts as Tofa and the strategic actions for Animal Health and Nutrition."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 4.1%

Rated "A- (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's third-quarter gross profit margin was about the same as a year earlier.

Pfizer has strong liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 1.61, which demonstrates an ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the third quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 2.75% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $25.12. The stock closed Monday at $21.58.

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Coca-Cola Bottling

"We believe positive pricing should give a boost to COKE's revenue growth, but a weak macro environment coupled with higher commodity levels will likely continue to pressure the company's results," Citi analysts wrote in a report in November.

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 1.6%

Rated "B (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's third-quarter gross profit margin remained about the same as a year ago.

Coca-Cola Bottling has average liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 1.08, which shows that it can technically meet its short-term cash needs.

In the third quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 2.93% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $69.67. The stock closed Monday at $60.12.


American Water Works

The water and waste-water services company announced earlier in January that anticipates 2012 earnings per share of $1.90 to $2.

"Turnaround story ongoing; AWK continues to make progress through rate relief, regulatory mechanisms, and cost efficiencies, but there is still room to improve and close gap between earned (7.4%) and allowed (~10.1%) returns," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in a report on Jan. 18.

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 2.7%

Rated "B+ (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings The company's third-quarter gross profit margin was flat with a year earlier.

American Water Works has weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.21, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the third quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 3.08% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $43.84. The stock closed Monday at $33.57.

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Calumet Specialty Products

Calumet is a hydrocarbon products company. It raised its quarterly dividend 6% to 53 cents a share for the quarter ended Dec. 31.

"Following completion of its latest refinery acquisition (Superior in Oct 2011), a route to distribution growth has been secured," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst wrote in a Dec. 2 report. "However, it has yet to quantify future capital plans and given current fragility of the US economy, the combination may prove an unfortunate reminder of similar circumstances that led to a distribution cut 2008. Until this is addressed we don't expect significant appreciation; conversely, should a typical 'seasonal' recovery emerge across the refining sector in 2012, CLMT likely underperforms more volatile 'pure plays'."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 9.3%

Rated "B (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's third-quarter gross profit margin increased from the previous year.

Calumet has weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.55, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the third quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 32.55% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $26.28. The stock closed Monday at $22.95.


Norfolk Southern

The railroad company posted fourth-quarter net income of $480 million, or $1.42 a share, an increase from prior-year profits of $402 million, or $1.09 a share.

"In Q4 2011, NSC completed double-stacking its network which should allow NSC to continue to drive industry-leading domestic intermodal growth (up 15% y/y in Q4)," Deutsche Bank analyst wrote in a report on Jan. 24. "NSC's average intermodal train size is under 6,000 ft (with considerable variance) and it has the potential to run its intermodal network 33% longer at 8,000 ft."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 2.5%

Rated "A+ (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's fourth-quarter gross profit margin was about the same as a year ago.

Norfolk Southern has weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.78, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth decreased 7.1% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $89.34. The stock closed Monday at $73.18.

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Plains All American Pipeline

Plains All American, the energy transportation and storage company, is scheduled to report its fourth quarter earnings on Feb. 8. Analysts, on average, expect profit of $1.50 a share on $9.2 billion in revenue.

"We expect the fourth quarter to continue the trend of strong earnings for Plains," Wunderlich Securities analysts wrote in a report on Jan. 11. "The partnership previously stated that it expected adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter to exceed the midpoint of its quarterly guidance by approximately 10% to 15%. We would be surprised if the numbers did not come in above the guidance."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 5.4%

Rated "A+ (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's third-quarter gross profit margin increased markedly from the prior year.

Plains All American has weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.73, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the third quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 20.55% from the previous year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $88.99. The stock closed Monday at $77.

-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian

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