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 5 stocks with substantial yields, that ultimately, we have rated "Buy." Lorillard (NYSE: LO) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.40%. Lorillard, Inc. manufactures and sells cigarettes in the United States. The company operates through two segments, Cigarettes and Electronic Cigarettes. The Cigarettes segment manufactures and sells cigarettes. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.62. Currently there are 4 analysts that rate Lorillard a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold. The average volume for Lorillard has been 3,581,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Lorillard has a market cap of $15.6 billion and is part of the tobacco industry. Shares are up 4.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. TheStreet Ratings rates Lorillard as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- LO's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 7.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.5%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
- LORILLARD INC's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, LORILLARD INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.81 versus $2.67 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.09 versus $2.81).
- Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $529.00 million or 7.73% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow of 7.73%, LORILLARD INC is still growing at a significantly lower rate than the industry average of 67.68%.
- The gross profit margin for LORILLARD INC is rather high; currently it is at 54.10%. Regardless of LO's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, LO's net profit margin of 25.57% compares favorably to the industry average.
- LO has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 9.11% from its price level of one year ago. Looking ahead, although the push and pull of the overall market trend could certainly make a critical difference, we do not see any strong reason stemming from the company's fundamentals that would cause a continuation of last year's decline. In fact, the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings.
- You can view the full Lorillard Ratings Report.