5 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 5 stocks with substantial yields, that ultimately, we have rated "Buy."

Lorillard

Dividend Yield: 5.10%

Lorillard (NYSE: LO) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.10%.

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 13.79.

The average volume for Lorillard has been 3,358,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Lorillard has a market cap of $16.2 billion and is part of the tobacco industry. Shares are up 9.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Lorillard as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, increase in net income, revenue growth, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • LORILLARD INC 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 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 ($3.10 versus $2.81).
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly outperformed against the S&P 500 and exceeded that of the Tobacco industry average. The net income increased by 47.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $223.00 million to $328.00 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 6.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 5.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for LORILLARD INC is rather high; currently it is at 64.50%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 29.23% is above that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $699.00 million or 1.30% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -24.04%.

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.

Health Care REIT

Dividend Yield: 4.10%

Health Care REIT (NYSE: HCN) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.10%.

Health Care REIT, Inc. is an independent equity real estate investment trust. The firm engages in acquiring, planning, developing, managing, repositioning and monetizing of real estate assets. It primarily invests in the real estate markets of the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 76.50.

The average volume for Health Care REIT has been 1,752,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Health Care REIT has a market cap of $19.6 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 22.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Health Care REIT as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 16.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 29.7%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • HEALTH CARE REIT INC has improved earnings per share by 46.1% 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. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, HEALTH CARE REIT INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.47 versus $0.34 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.17 versus $0.47).
  • 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 140.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $44.52 million to $107.18 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $254.66 million or 49.28% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 36.21%.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 46.15% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 31.21% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. We feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The other strengths this company shows, however, justify the higher price levels.

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.

Royal Dutch Shell

Dividend Yield: 4.90%

Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS.B) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.90%.

Royal Dutch Shell plc operates as an independent oil and gas company worldwide. The company explores for and extracts crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.83.

The average volume for Royal Dutch Shell has been 1,260,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Royal Dutch Shell has a market cap of $220.0 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 1.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Royal Dutch Shell as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, increase in net income and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. 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.B's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.7%. 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.
  • 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. In addition, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 0.00%.
  • RDS.B'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. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.74 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.

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.

Atlas Pipeline Partners

Dividend Yield: 6.50%

Atlas Pipeline Partners (NYSE: APL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.50%.

Atlas Pipeline Partners, L.P. operates in the gathering and processing segments of the midstream natural gas industry. The company operates in two segments, Gathering and Processing; and Transportation, Treating, and Other. The company has a P/E ratio of 41.77.

The average volume for Atlas Pipeline Partners has been 604,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Atlas Pipeline Partners has a market cap of $2.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 15.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Atlas Pipeline Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • APL's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.5%. 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 121.14% to $49.12 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, ATLAS PIPELINE PARTNER LP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 0.00%.
  • APL's debt-to-equity ratio of 0.77 is somewhat low overall, but it is high when compared to the industry average, implying that the management of the debt levels should be evaluated further. Regardless of the somewhat mixed results with the debt-to-equity ratio, the company's quick ratio of 0.73 is weak.
  • ATLAS PIPELINE PARTNER LP's earnings per share declined by 46.7% in the most recent quarter compared to 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, ATLAS PIPELINE PARTNER LP reported lower earnings of $0.97 versus $5.22 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.94 versus $0.97).
  • In its most recent trading session, APL 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. The stock's price rise over the last year has driven it to a level which is somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.

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.

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners

Dividend Yield: 5.90%

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (NYSE: KMP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.90%.

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. operates as a pipeline transportation and energy storage company in North America. The company has a P/E ratio of 41.14.

The average volume for Kinder Morgan Energy Partners has been 910,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners has a market cap of $22.4 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 7.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Kinder Morgan Energy Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. 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:
  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 0.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 44.0%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • KINDER MORGAN ENERGY -LP 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 two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, KINDER MORGAN ENERGY -LP turned its bottom line around by earning $1.64 versus -$0.33 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.63 versus $1.64).
  • 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 280.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $206.00 million to $783.00 million.
  • 46.80% is the gross profit margin for KINDER MORGAN ENERGY -LP which we consider to be strong. Regardless of KMP's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, KMP's net profit margin of 29.42% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • 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, KINDER MORGAN ENERGY -LP has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.

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.

null

More from Markets

Canopy Growth Lets Down Eager Pot Investors; PayPal Keeps Dominating -- ICYMI

Canopy Growth Lets Down Eager Pot Investors; PayPal Keeps Dominating -- ICYMI

Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Tumble After Trump Calls Off North Korea Summit

Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Tumble After Trump Calls Off North Korea Summit

Inside Carnival's Mind Blowing New Horizon Cruise Ship (Video)

Inside Carnival's Mind Blowing New Horizon Cruise Ship (Video)

3 Must Reads on the Market From TheStreet's Top Columnists

3 Must Reads on the Market From TheStreet's Top Columnists

Automakers Slump as Trump Tariffs Threaten Both Manufacturers and Consumers

Automakers Slump as Trump Tariffs Threaten Both Manufacturers and Consumers