3 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks: MO, PEG, CLMT

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."

Altria Group

Dividend Yield: 5.00%

Altria Group (NYSE: MO) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.00%.

Altria Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes, smokeless products, and wine in the United States and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.38

The average volume for Altria Group has been 9,667,500 shares per day over the past 30 days Altria Group has a market cap of $71.1 billion and is part of the tobacco industry Shares are up 12.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday

TheStreet Ratings rates Altria Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins, attractive valuation levels and increase in stock price during the past year. 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:
  • ALTRIA GROUP INC has improved earnings per share by 16.9% 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, ALTRIA GROUP INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.06 versus $1.64 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.40 versus $2.06).
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Tobacco industry and the overall market, ALTRIA GROUP INC's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for ALTRIA GROUP INC is rather high; currently it is at 68.50%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 34.86% is above that of the industry average.
  • MO, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 7.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 0.5%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.

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Public Service Enterprise Group

Dividend Yield: 4.50%

Public Service Enterprise Group (NYSE: PEG) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.50%.

Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated, through its subsidiaries, operates as an energy company primarily in the northeastern and mid Atlantic United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.61

The average volume for Public Service Enterprise Group has been 2,773,300 shares per day over the past 30 days Public Service Enterprise Group has a market cap of $16.1 billion and is part of the utilities industry Shares are up 4.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday

TheStreet Ratings rates Public Service Enterprise Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in stock price during the past year. 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 debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.76, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Despite the fact that PEG's debt-to-equity ratio is low, the quick ratio, which is currently 0.55, displays a potential problem in covering short-term cash needs.
  • PEG, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 3.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 3.1%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • In its most recent trading session, PEG 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. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • 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 Multi-Utilities industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, PUBLIC SERVICE ENTRP GRP INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

Calumet Specialty Products Partners

Dividend Yield: 7.40%

Calumet Specialty Products Partners (NASDAQ: CLMT) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.40%.

Calumet Specialty Products Partners, L.P. produces and sells specialty hydrocarbon and fuel products in North America. It operates in two segments, Specialty Products and Fuel Products. The company has a P/E ratio of 11.47

The average volume for Calumet Specialty Products Partners has been 472,700 shares per day over the past 30 days Calumet Specialty Products Partners has a market cap of $2.5 billion and is part of the energy industry Shares are up 20.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday

TheStreet Ratings rates Calumet Specialty Products Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 13.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 12.7%. 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, CLMT's share price has jumped by 55.96%, 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, CLMT should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • 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, CALUMET SPECIALTY PRODS -LP's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • CALUMET SPECIALTY PRODS -LP's earnings per share declined by 31.9% 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, CALUMET SPECIALTY PRODS -LP increased its bottom line by earning $3.53 versus $0.89 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 10.8% in earnings ($3.15 versus $3.53).
  • The gross profit margin for CALUMET SPECIALTY PRODS -LP is currently extremely low, coming in at 12.40%. Regardless of CLMT's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 3.48% trails the industry average.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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