5 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks: TAL, LRY, SO, BX, KMP

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: 6.30%

TAL International Group (NYSE: TAL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.30%.

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 10.50

The average volume for TAL International Group has been 369,900 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 15.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday

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, solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. 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 3.4%. 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.
  • The stock has risen over the past year as investors have generally rewarded the company for its earnings growth and other positive factors like the ones we have cited in this report. 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.
  • 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 ($4.40 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.

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

Liberty Property

Dividend Yield: 5.10%

Liberty Property (NYSE: LRY) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.10%.

Liberty Property Trust is a publicly owned real estate investment holding trust. Through its subsidiary, it provides leasing, property management, development, acquisition, and other tenant-related services for a portfolio of industrial and office properties. The company has a P/E ratio of 36.04

The average volume for Liberty Property has been 837,200 shares per day over the past 30 days Liberty Property has a market cap of $4.5 billion and is part of the real estate industry Shares are up 3.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday

TheStreet Ratings rates Liberty Property as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

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 92.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $37.09 million to $71.24 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 12.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.2%. 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.
  • LIBERTY PROPERTY TRUST's earnings per share declined by 10.7% 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, LIBERTY PROPERTY TRUST increased its bottom line by earning $1.05 versus $0.99 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.42 versus $1.05).
  • In its most recent trading session, LRY 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.

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

Southern

Dividend Yield: 4.70%

Southern (NYSE: SO) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.70%.

The Southern Company, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a public electric utility company. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.55

The average volume for Southern has been 4,477,100 shares per day over the past 30 days Southern has a market cap of $37.8 billion and is part of the utilities industry Shares are up 0.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday

TheStreet Ratings rates Southern as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • SO's revenue growth trails the industry average of 18.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.1%. 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 increased to $737.00 million or 29.75% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, SOUTHERN CO has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 25.00%.
  • SOUTHERN CO 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. 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, SOUTHERN CO increased its bottom line by earning $2.67 versus $2.55 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.75 versus $2.67).
  • The gross profit margin for SOUTHERN CO is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 34.15%. Regardless of SO'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 2.48% trails the industry average.
  • The share price of SOUTHERN CO has not done very well: it is down 6.65% and has underperformed the S&P 500, in part reflecting the company's sharply declining earnings per share when compared to the year-earlier quarter. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it is one of the factors that makes this stock an attractive investment.

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

Blackstone Group

Dividend Yield: 5.90%

Blackstone Group (NYSE: BX) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.90%.

The Blackstone Group L.P., together with its subsidiaries, provides alternative asset management and financial advisory services worldwide. It operates in five segments: Private Equity, Real Estate, Hedge Fund Solutions, Credit Businesses, and Financial Advisory. The company has a P/E ratio of 34.76

The average volume for Blackstone Group has been 5,025,100 shares per day over the past 30 days Blackstone Group has a market cap of $11.4 billion and is part of the financial services industry Shares are up 33.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday

TheStreet Ratings rates Blackstone Group 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 expanding profit margins. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 5.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 30.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • BLACKSTONE GROUP 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, BLACKSTONE GROUP LP turned its bottom line around by earning $0.40 versus -$0.33 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.29 versus $0.40).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Capital Markets industry. The net income increased by 187.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $58.33 million to $167.64 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 722.70% to $1,104.30 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, BLACKSTONE GROUP LP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -283.76%.
  • 37.01% is the gross profit margin for BLACKSTONE GROUP 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 13.44% 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.

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners

Dividend Yield: 6.10%

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (NYSE: KMP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.10%.

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 39.84

The average volume for Kinder Morgan Energy Partners has been 1,276,300 shares per day over the past 30 days Kinder Morgan Energy Partners has a market cap of $22.1 billion and is part of the energy industry Shares are up 6.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday

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, good cash flow from operations 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:
  • The revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 10.7%. 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 ($2.68 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $746.00 million or 13.37% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -25.63%.
  • 46.82% 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.

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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