3 Ex-Dividend Stocks With Buy Ratings

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The following stocks go ex-dividend Friday, meaning an investor must purchase the shares Thursday to qualify for the next dividend payment: Wisconsin Energy ( WEC), Mine Safety Appliances ( MSA) and CA ( CA).

The three stocks received a buy rating from TheStreet Ratings.

See the complete Dividend Calendar.

Wisconsin Energy

The electric utility last week reported fourth-quarter earnings of $114.1 million, or 49 cents a share, down from year-earlier earnings of $125.6 million, or 53 cents.

"WEC shares offer a 3.4% current return on the $1.20 annual dividend, 11% annual near-term dividend growth and 4-6% annual EPS growth," Gabelli analysts wrote in a report on Wednesday. "Shares trade at 15.6X, and 14.9X our 2012 and 2013 earnings estimates, which compares to peer group multiples of 14.5X and 13.5X. Given earnings growth, strong credit profile, top-tier management and low-risk, WEC deserves a multiple premium. Our 2012 and 2013 PMV estimates are $35 and $37 per share using a 9.5X enterprise value-to-EBITDA earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization ratio."

Wisconsin Energy has an estimated price-to-earnings ratio for next year of 14.63; the average among multi-utilities is 14.66. For comparison, Duke Energy ( DUK) has a forward P/E of 15.03 and Sempra Energy's ( SRE) is 13.01.

Of the 19 analysts who cover Wisconsin Energy, 14 rated the company a hold; five gave it a buy rating.

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 3.5%

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

Wisconsin Energy has very weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.30, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 4.2% from the previous year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $39.74.

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Mine Safety Appliances

The safety products company is scheduled to report fourth-quarter earnings on Feb. 15. Analysts, on average, expect earnings of 59 cents a share on revenue of $308.25 million.

Mine Safety Appliance's forward P/E is 15.41; the average among industrial machinery companies is 16.16. For comparison, Kadant ( KAI) and Robbins & Myers ( RBN) both have lower forward P/Es of 11.72 and 14.42, respectively.

Of the six analysts who cover Mine Safety Appliances, four rated it a buy. One analyst gave it a hold and one rated it a sell.

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 2.9%

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

Mine Safety Appliances has strong liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 1.51, which demonstrates the company can meet its short-term cash needs.

In the third quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 6.51% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $43.56.


CA

The software company last month reported third-quarter earnings of $263 million, or 54 cents a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $200 million, or 39 cents a share.

"The renewal portfolio opportunity is expected to trough in FY13; setting up FY14 as a recovery year," Jefferies analysts wrote in a report on Monday. "We believe the company will look to shorten duration of renewals from five to three-year deals which will help to smooth renewal growth over the long run."

CA has a forward P/E of 10.7; the average among software firms is 31.63. For comparison, Intuit ( INTU) has a forward P/E of 17.34 and Adobe's ( ADBE) is 12.04.

Of the 15 analysts who cover CA, nine rated the stock a hold and six gave it a buy rating.

CA's stock hit a 52-week high on Feb. 3 of $26.78. The stock's 52-week low of $18.60 was set on Aug. 19.

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 3.8%

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

CA has weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 1.00, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the third quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 4.81% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $30.38.

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player