8 Ex-Dividend Stocks With Buy Ratings

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The following stocks go ex-dividend Tuesday, meaning an investor must purchase the shares Monday to qualify for the next dividend payment: McDonald's ( MCD), Lockheed Martin ( LMT), Southwest Airlines ( LUV), L-3 Communications ( LLL), Loews ( L), Sara Lee ( SLE), Tyson Foods ( TSN) and Wendy's ( WEN).

Each of the stocks was rated buy at TheStreet Ratings.

McDonald's

The fast food chain earlier this month reported 6.7% global comparable sales growth in January.

"January's +6.7% global comp was higher than our/Street estimates of 5.9%," Oppenheimer analysts wrote in a Feb. 8 report. "Trends were solid across all regions driven in part by new product buzz (like Chicken McBites in the US) and favorable weather patterns. We keep our 2012E/2013E EPS estimates of $5.73/$6.30 unchanged and believe the stock's risk/reward profile remains fairly balanced."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 2.8%

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

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $124.32. The stock closed Friday at $100.32 and is down 0.01% year to date.

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

Lockheed Martin

"We still see a growth trajectory for F-35 program, but reaching just over half the level in 2015 planned 18mo ago following the most recent round of cuts," Deutsche Bank analysts wrote in a Jan. 26 report. "With the US putting the program in a holding pattern at about 30 aircraft through FY14, it's not clear that LMT's portfolio will be terribly differentiated when it comes to growth vs. peers as it may have once been seen. The focus will now be what the international buying will be in the coming years and we do expect that to pick-up, though not to the extent previously thought, either."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 4.6%

Rated "B (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's fourth-quarter gross profit margin decreased from a year earlier.

Lockheed Martin has weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.80, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth decreased 73% from the previous year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $100.98. The stock closed Friday at $89.53 and has risen 10.67% year to date.


Southwest Airlines

The airline announced Friday it is opening a base for flight attendants and pilots at the Denver International Airport, reported the Denver Business Journal.

"Southwest reported that traffic and booking trends remain strong, which should result in solid passenger revenue results in the Mar Q (e.g. calling for 7% - 8% PRASM growth for Jan/Feb)," Deutsche Bank analysts wrote in a Jan. 20 report. "After the industry pushed through a successful $20 roundtrip fare hike last week, Southwest's commentary provides further evidence that the domestic market is holding-up (likely helped by industry capacity cuts), and should be viewed a positive read-through for other carriers, in our view. With only modest fuel hedge protection for 1H 2012, Southwest, like most of its competitors, will be keenly focused on keeping revenues in line with rising fuel prices. In that regard, the company said it wasn't likely to grow the airline until 2014 with oil prices at $100/bbl."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 0.2%

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

Southwest Airlines has weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.76, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 10.26% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $11.08. The stock closed Friday at $8.68 and has risen 1.4% year to date.

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

L-3 Communications

The intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance company reported last month fourth-quarter earnings of $246 million, down from year-ago earnings of $268 million. Earnings per share in the fourth quarter were $2.74, up from year-ago earnings of $2.37.

"We continue to like L-3 as a defense story that is being overlooked and overly discounted with valuation 15% discount on P/E and 50% better free cash flow yield (16%) than other defense peers," Deutsche Bank analysts wrote in a Feb. 8 report. "We expect investors to take a second look at the name as the company progresses with the spinoff of Engility ( about 10% of L‐3 sales) through 2Q, which combined with increased confidence in the company's outlook and potential for accretive M&A could attract buyers."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 2.8%

Rated "B (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth decreased 1.81% from the previous year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $81.74. The stock closed Friday at $70.28 and has risen 5.4% year to date.


Loews

The commercial property and casual insurance company reported earlier this month fourth-quarter earnings of $268 million, or 67 cents a share, down from year-ago earnings of $466 million, or $1.12.

"The two key issues on which we believe investors should focus are: 1) Loews trades at a significant discount to a reasonable estimate of its intrinsic value; and 2) Management has positioned the company well to further grow the per-share intrinsic value of Loews over time," BGB Securities analysts wrote in a Feb. 7 report.

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 0.6%

Rated "B+ (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: TheStreet Ratings' price target is $43.97.

The stock closed Friday at $39.14 and has risen 3.96% year to date.

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

Sara Lee

The food company reported earlier this month second-quarter earnings of $177 million, or 30 cents a share, down from year-ago earnings of $198 million, or 31 cents.

"The beverage business appears poised for a much stronger 2H given the easing commodity costs," Credit Suisse analysts wrote in a Feb. 2 report. "In addition, the business should get a boost from product innovation across the category and the consumer shifting to more at-home consumption. Sara Lee made a logical case for why Senseo Lungo (light) and whole bean coffee in the Netherlands will drive higher sales. Sara Lee's coffee market share is rebounding in Netherlands, France, and Spain."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 2.3%

Rated "B (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's second-quarter gross profit margin was about the same as it was last year.

Sara Lee has average liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 1.26, which shows the company can meet its short-term cash needs.

In the second quarter, stockholders' net worth decreased 1.66% from the previous year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $25.98. The stock closed Friday at $20.27 and has risen 7.14% year to date.


Tyson Foods

The food company reported earlier this month first-quarter earnings of $156 million, or 42 cents a share, down from year-ago earnings of $294 million, or 78 cents.

"The company's chicken segment swung to a profit after losing money last quarter for the first time since early 2009," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in a Feb. 8 report.

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 0.9%

Rated "B (Buy)" by TheStreet Ratings: The company's first-quarter gross profit margin decreased from the prior year.

Tyson Foods has weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.90, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the first quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 6.17% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $25.10. The stock closed Friday at $18.99 and has dropped 7.99% year to date.

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

Wendy's

The fast food chain is scheduled to report fourth-quarter earnings on March 1. Analysts, on average, expect earnings of 3 cents a share on revenue of $609.07 million.

" Wendy's Chief Executive Officer Emil Brolick has borrowed liberally, and correctly, in our opinion from a few of the successful global growth themes from his competitors - namely McDonalds dominant 'Plan to Win' called 'Recipe to Win' at Wendy's, 'Five Star Food/Service at Three Star Prices' from Pizza Hut's China business, and even allusions to Chipotle's 'Food with Integrity' mission," JPMorgan analysts said in a Jan. 31 report. "Finally, the company is talking about its food being 'Just for You' to translate to Burger King's 'Have it Your Way' or McDonalds 'Made for You' messaging. We applaud management's willingness to learn from both the industry's success and failures, and to self-examine itself."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 1.6%

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

Wendy's has strong liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 1.64, which shows the company can meet its short-term cash needs.

In the third quarter, stockholders' net worth decreased 8.15% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $6.08. The stock closed Friday at $5.07 and has fallen 2.6% year to date.


-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Alexandra Zendrian

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to Alexandra Zendrian.