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."

TAL International Group

Dividend Yield: 6.40%

TAL International Group (NYSE: TAL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.40%.

TAL International Group, Inc. engages in leasing intermodal containers and chassis worldwide. The company operates in two segments, Equipment Leasing and Equipment Trading. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.32.

The average volume for TAL International Group has been 469,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. TAL International Group has a market cap of $1.4 billion and is part of the diversified services industry. Shares are up 9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates TAL International Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and expanding profit margins. 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:
  • TAL's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 4.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 12.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • TAL INTERNATIONAL GROUP INC has improved earnings per share by 14.3% 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, TAL INTERNATIONAL GROUP INC increased its bottom line by earning $3.87 versus $3.36 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.49 versus $3.87).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Trading Companies & Distributors industry average. The net income increased by 13.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $32.93 million to $37.52 million.
  • 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 Trading Companies & Distributors industry and the overall market, TAL INTERNATIONAL GROUP INC's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for TAL INTERNATIONAL GROUP INC is currently very high, coming in at 86.20%. Regardless of TAL's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, TAL's net profit margin of 24.03% significantly outperformed against the industry.

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Starwood Property

Dividend Yield: 6.40%

Starwood Property (NYSE: STWD) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.40%.

Starwood Property Trust, Inc. engages in originating, investing in, financing, and managing commercial mortgage loans, other commercial real estate debt investments, commercial mortgage-backed securities, and other commercial real estate-related debt investments. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.62.

The average volume for Starwood Property has been 2,067,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Starwood Property has a market cap of $4.5 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 18% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Starwood Property as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 16.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 47.8%. 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.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, STWD's share price has jumped by 34.41%, 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, STWD should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • 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 37.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $41.03 million to $56.33 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 308.55% to $34.13 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, STARWOOD PROPERTY TRUST INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 36.21%.
  • STARWOOD PROPERTY TRUST INC' earnings per share from the most recent quarter came in slightly below the year earlier quarter. 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, STARWOOD PROPERTY TRUST INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.78 versus $1.41 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.97 versus $1.78).

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.

Geo Group

Dividend Yield: 5.30%

Geo Group (NYSE: GEO) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.30%.

The GEO Group, Inc. provides government-outsourced services specializing in the management of correctional, detention, and re-entry facilities, and the provision of community based services and youth services in the United States, Australia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and Canada. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.80.

The average volume for Geo Group has been 983,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Geo Group has a market cap of $2.7 billion and is part of the diversified services industry. Shares are up 31.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Geo Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • 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 335.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $18.74 million to $81.61 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 16.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, GEO GROUP INC's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 453.57% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 81.66% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, GEO should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.

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.

Telefonica Brasil S.A

Dividend Yield: 5.80%

Telefonica Brasil S.A (NYSE: VIV) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.80%.

Telefonica Brasil S.A. provides fixed-line telecommunications services to residential and commercial customers in Brazil. The company has a P/E ratio of 6.48.

The average volume for Telefonica Brasil S.A has been 1,145,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Telefonica Brasil S.A has a market cap of $29.9 billion and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are up 10.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Telefonica Brasil S.A 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, attractive valuation levels and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • VIV's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.18 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.13, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
  • The gross profit margin for TELEFONICA BRASIL SA is currently very high, coming in at 85.20%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 16.67% is above that of the industry average.
  • VIV, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 2.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 6.6%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Diversified Telecommunication Services industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, TELEFONICA BRASIL SA has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to 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.

Colony Financial

Dividend Yield: 6.30%

Colony Financial (NYSE: CLNY) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.30%.

Colony Financial, Inc. operates as a real estate investment and finance company in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.89.

The average volume for Colony Financial has been 769,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Colony Financial has a market cap of $1.4 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 13% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Colony Financial as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • CLNY's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 16.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 70.3%. 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.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, CLNY's share price has jumped by 31.93%, 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, CLNY should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • 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 70.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $11.07 million to $18.88 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 169.04% to $24.83 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, COLONY FINANCIAL INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 36.21%.
  • The gross profit margin for COLONY FINANCIAL INC is currently very high, coming in at 72.50%. Regardless of CLNY's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, CLNY's net profit margin of 57.79% significantly outperformed against the industry.

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.

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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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