2 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: Total System Services ( TSS) and Xcel Energy ( XEL).

Both of the stocks received a buy rating from TheStreet Ratings.

Total System Services

The electronic payment processing company reported in late January fourth-quarter earnings of $59.9 million, or 31 cents a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $47.2 million, or 24 cents.

"Although TSS still expects margins to be around 6% in 2012 (down from 1011%in 2011) as a result of expense reallocation, it believes it can drive margins internationally to 20% over the medium term with 300-400bps of expansion annually," Wells Fargo analysts wrote in a Feb. 22 report. "Catalysts for this include: (1) streamlining the PRIME platform; (2) winning new business and building scale; and (3) potentially selling or closing unprofitable operations in select countries."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 1.8%

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

Total System Services has average liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 1.48, which shows the company can technically meet its short-term cash needs.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 4.84% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $29.11. The stock closed Friday at $22.83 and has risen 16.72% year to date.

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Xcel Energy

The electric utility reported last month fourth-quarter earnings of $140.5 million, or 29 cents a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $135.6 million, or 29 cents.

"With the mild winter continuing into Feb. these pressures remain, while XEL is works to control O&M in response," Deutsche Bank analysts said in a Feb. 12 report. "Financing-wise XEL continue to see $400M of DRIP and $800M of incremental equity between 2012 and 2016, although this could drop if sales forecasts and/or capex needscome in. While XEL does not expect to be in the market in 2012, mgmt has used forward sales in the past and would consider this option again."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 3.9%

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

Xcel Energy has very weak liquidity. Its Quick Ratio is 0.25, which demonstrates a lack of ability to meet its short-term cash needs.

In the fourth quarter, stockholders' net worth increased 3.58% from the prior year.

TheStreet Ratings' price target is $30.74. The stock closed Friday at $26.40 and has fallen 4.49% year to date.

-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian

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