3 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

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 and 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."

Starwood Property

Dividend Yield: 6.20%

Starwood Property (NYSE: STWD) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.20%.

Starwood Property Trust, Inc. engages in originating, investing in, financing, and managing commercial mortgage loans, other commercial real estate debt investments, commercial mortgage-backed securities, and other commercial real estate-related debt investments. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.20. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate Starwood Property a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

The average volume for Starwood Property has been 1,276,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Starwood Property has a market cap of $3.9 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 23.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Starwood Property as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 16.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 47.8%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, STWD's share price has jumped by 35.90%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, STWD should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in 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 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income increased by 37.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $41.03 million to $56.33 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 308.55% to $34.13 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, STARWOOD PROPERTY TRUST INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 32.95%.
  • STARWOOD PROPERTY TRUST INC' earnings per share from the most recent quarter came in slightly below the year earlier quarter. 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, STARWOOD PROPERTY TRUST INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.78 versus $1.41 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.95 versus $1.78).

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DineEquity

Dividend Yield: 4.20%

DineEquity (NYSE: DIN) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.20%.

DineEquity, Inc., through its subsidiaries, develops, franchises, and operates full-service restaurant chains in the United States and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.70. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate DineEquity a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

The average volume for DineEquity has been 173,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. DineEquity has a market cap of $1.4 billion and is part of the leisure industry. Shares are up 5.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates DineEquity as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, reasonable valuation levels, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, DIN's share price has jumped by 34.73%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, DIN should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • The gross profit margin for DINEEQUITY INC is rather high; currently it is at 59.50%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 11.86% trails the industry average.
  • The revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 2.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 34.5%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. Compared to other companies in the Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry and the overall market, DINEEQUITY INC's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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Royal Dutch Shell

Dividend Yield: 5.20%

Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS.A) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.20%.

Royal Dutch Shell plc operates as an oil and gas company worldwide. The company explores for and extracts crude oil and natural gas. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.38.

The average volume for Royal Dutch Shell has been 2,394,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Royal Dutch Shell has a market cap of $208.7 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 4.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Royal Dutch Shell as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • RDS.A's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 3.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.1%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • RDS.A's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.20 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry average. The net income increased by 2.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $6,500.00 million to $6,671.00 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 53.33% to $9,913.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 28.97%.

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Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.
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