4 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 4 stocks with substantial yields, that ultimately, we have rated "Buy."

Suburban Propane Partners

Dividend Yield: 8.20%

Suburban Propane Partners (NYSE: SPH) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.20%.

Suburban Propane Partners, L.P., through its subsidiaries, engages in the retail marketing and distribution of propane, fuel oil, and refined fuels. The company has a P/E ratio of 97.34. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Suburban Propane Partners a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Suburban Propane Partners has been 199,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Suburban Propane Partners has a market cap of $2.4 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 9.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Suburban Propane Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • SPH's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 3.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 63.6%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Gas Utilities industry. The net income increased by 157.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $23.23 million to $59.79 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 343.00% to $61.54 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, SUBURBAN PROPANE PRTNRS -LP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 38.61%.
  • SUBURBAN PROPANE PRTNRS -LP reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. 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, SUBURBAN PROPANE PRTNRS -LP reported lower earnings of $0.48 versus $3.22 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.21 versus $0.48).
  • Even though the current debt-to-equity ratio is 1.28, it is still below the industry average, suggesting that this level of debt is acceptable within the Gas Utilities industry. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 1.07 is sturdy.

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Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance

Dividend Yield: 9.30%

Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance (NYSE: ARI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.30%.

Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance, Inc. operates as a commercial real estate finance company in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.46. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance has been 469,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance has a market cap of $481.2 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 5.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins, increase in stock price during the past year and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The gross profit margin for APOLLO COMMERCIAL RE FIN INC is currently very high, coming in at 75.60%. Regardless of ARI's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, ARI's net profit margin of 65.11% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry average. The net income increased by 3.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $8.67 million to $8.97 million.
  • ARI, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 16.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 5.5%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • APOLLO COMMERCIAL RE FIN INC's earnings per share declined by 35.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, APOLLO COMMERCIAL RE FIN INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.68 versus $1.34 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 4.8% in earnings ($1.60 versus $1.68).

New From TheStreet: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys dividend stocks that have the potential for a 3% to 4% yield and 10% growth. Get his best picks for less than $50/year.

Mesabi

Dividend Yield: 8.30%

Mesabi (NYSE: MSB) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.30%.

Mesabi Trust operates as a royalty trust in the United States. The company produces iron ore pellets. It holds interests the Peter Mitchell mine located at the eastern end of the Mesabi Iron Range, near Babbitt, Minnesota. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.59. Currently there are no analysts that rate Mesabi a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 1 rates it a hold.

The average volume for Mesabi has been 87,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Mesabi has a market cap of $308.2 million and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are down 8.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Mesabi as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • MSB has no debt to speak of therefore resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of zero, which we consider to be a relatively favorable sign. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.16, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Metals & Mining industry and the overall market, MESABI TRUST's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 24291.66% to $14.64 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, MESABI TRUST has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -44.49%.
  • The gross profit margin for MESABI TRUST is currently very high, coming in at 100.00%. MSB has managed to maintain the strong profit margin since the same quarter of last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, MSB's net profit margin of 98.39% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • MSB, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 6.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 15.4%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.

New From TheStreet: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys dividend stocks that have the potential for a 3% to 4% yield and 10% growth. Get his best picks for less than $50/year.

Intersections

Dividend Yield: 7.20%

Intersections (NASDAQ: INTX) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.20%.

Intersections Inc. provides subscription based consumer protection services and other consumer products and services primarily in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Consumer Products and Services, Online Brand Protection, and Bail Bonds Industry Solutions. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.62. Currently there are no analysts that rate Intersections a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and none rate it a hold.

The average volume for Intersections has been 52,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Intersections has a market cap of $198.8 million and is part of the diversified services industry. Shares are up 16.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Intersections as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • INTERSECTIONS INC has improved earnings per share by 25.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. During the past fiscal year, INTERSECTIONS INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.97 versus $0.81 in the prior year.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Commercial Services & Supplies industry. The net income increased by 22.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $4.62 million to $5.66 million.
  • INTX's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.02 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. To add to this, INTX has a quick ratio of 1.86, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • The gross profit margin for INTERSECTIONS INC is rather high; currently it is at 68.70%. Regardless of INTX's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 6.53% trails the industry average.

New From TheStreet: Jim Cramer's Protégé, Dave Peltier, only buys dividend stocks that have the potential for a 3% to 4% yield and 10% growth. Get his best picks for less than $50/year.

Other helpful dividend tools from TheStreet:

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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