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."

Navios Maritime Partners L.P

Dividend Yield: 11.70%

Navios Maritime Partners L.P (NYSE: NMM) shares currently have a dividend yield of 11.70%.

Navios Maritime Partners L.P. engages in the ownership and operation of dry cargo vessels in Europe, Asia, North America, and Australia. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.79.

The average volume for Navios Maritime Partners L.P has been 418,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Navios Maritime Partners L.P has a market cap of $991.0 million and is part of the transportation industry. Shares are up 23.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Navios Maritime Partners L.P 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, notable return on equity 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:
  • NMM's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 2.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.8%. 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.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.36, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. To add to this, NMM has a quick ratio of 2.31, which demonstrates the ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • 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 Marine industry and the overall market, NAVIOS MARITIME PARTNERS LP's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for NAVIOS MARITIME PARTNERS LP is currently very high, coming in at 93.80%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 32.31% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • NAVIOS MARITIME PARTNERS LP's earnings per share declined by 22.6% 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, NAVIOS MARITIME PARTNERS LP increased its bottom line by earning $1.64 versus $1.19 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 50.6% in earnings ($0.81 versus $1.64).

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Legacy Reserves

Dividend Yield: 8.30%

Legacy Reserves (NASDAQ: LGCY) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.30%.

Legacy Reserves LP, an independent oil and natural gas limited partnership, engages in the acquisition and development of oil and natural gas properties primarily located in the Permian Basin, Mid-Continent, and Rocky Mountain regions of the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.86.

The average volume for Legacy Reserves has been 246,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Legacy Reserves has a market cap of $1.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 16.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Legacy Reserves as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income, expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • LGCY's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 0.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 264.6%. 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 103.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$58.52 million to $1.87 million.
  • 46.10% is the gross profit margin for LEGACY RESERVES LP which we consider to be strong. 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 1.97% trails the industry average.
  • LEGACY RESERVES 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, LEGACY RESERVES LP reported lower earnings of $1.43 versus $1.71 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.46 versus $1.43).
  • In its most recent trading session, LGCY has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. 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.

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.

CreXus Investment

Dividend Yield: 7.70%

CreXus Investment (NYSE: CXS) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.70%.

CreXus Investment Corp., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a commercial real estate company. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.33.

The average volume for CreXus Investment has been 798,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. CreXus Investment has a market cap of $998.5 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 6.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates CreXus Investment as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, 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:
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, CXS's share price has jumped by 25.14%, 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, CXS should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 93.99% to $18.23 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, CREXUS INVESTMENT CORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 36.21%.
  • The gross profit margin for CREXUS INVESTMENT CORP is currently very high, coming in at 74.50%. Despite the high profit margin, it has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, CXS's net profit margin of 84.39% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • CREXUS INVESTMENT CORP has exprienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past year. However, we anticipate this trend reversing over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, CREXUS INVESTMENT CORP reported lower earnings of $0.85 versus $1.59 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.97 versus $0.85).
  • CXS, with its very weak revenue results, has greatly underperformed against the industry average of 16.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues plummeted by 54.7%. 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.

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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