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." ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.30%. ConocoPhillips explores for, produces, transports, and markets crude oil, bitumen, natural gas, liquefied natural gas, and natural gas liquids on a worldwide basis. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.31. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate ConocoPhillips a buy, 4 analysts rate it a sell, and 5 rate it a hold. The average volume for ConocoPhillips has been 6,982,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. ConocoPhillips has a market cap of $74.4 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 3.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. TheStreet Ratings rates ConocoPhillips as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins, notable return on equity and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- COP's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 2.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
- 37.40% is the gross profit margin for CONOCOPHILLIPS which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 9.15% is above that of the industry average.
- The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, CONOCOPHILLIPS has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
- CONOCOPHILLIPS reported significant earnings per share improvement 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 year. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, CONOCOPHILLIPS increased its bottom line by earning $5.87 versus $5.09 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 6.6% in earnings ($5.48 versus $5.87).
- You can view the full ConocoPhillips Ratings Report.