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." Legacy Reserves (NASDAQ: LGCY) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.50%. 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 23.85. The average volume for Legacy Reserves has been 225,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Legacy Reserves has a market cap of $1.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 13.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. TheStreet Ratings rates Legacy Reserves as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth 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:
- The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 8.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 37.8%. 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 gross profit margin for LEGACY RESERVES LP is rather high; currently it is at 54.10%. Regardless of LGCY's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, LGCY's net profit margin of -6.99% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.
- 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.
- LEGACY RESERVES LP 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. Earnings per share have declined over the last year. We anticipate that this should continue 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. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 42.0% in earnings ($0.83 versus $1.43).
- The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 190.7% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $7.39 million to -$6.71 million.
- You can view the full Legacy Reserves Ratings Report.