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 4 stocks with substantial yields, that ultimately, we have rated "Buy." Total (NYSE: TOT) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.40%. TOTAL S.A., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a oil and gas company worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Upstream, Refining and Chemicals, and Marketing and Services. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.16. The average volume for Total has been 1,383,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Total has a market cap of $111.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. TheStreet Ratings rates Total as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 10.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 9.7%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
- TOTAL SA 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. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past two years. However, we anticipate this trend to reverse over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, TOTAL SA reported lower earnings of $6.22 versus $7.05 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($6.44 versus $6.22).
- In its most recent trading session, TOT 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 gross profit margin for TOTAL SA is rather low; currently it is at 17.63%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 3.49% trails that of the industry average.
- You can view the full Total Ratings Report.