3 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks: LMT, RDS.B, KMP

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

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."

Lockheed Martin Corporation

Dividend Yield: 4.10%

Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.10%.

Lockheed Martin Corporation, a security and aerospace company, engages in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration, and sustainment of advanced technology systems and products for defense, civil, and commercial applications in the United States and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.00.

The average volume for Lockheed Martin Corporation has been 1,840,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Lockheed Martin Corporation has a market cap of $36.1 billion and is part of the aerospace/defense industry. Shares are up 23.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Lockheed Martin Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations 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:
  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 30.23% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, LMT should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • LOCKHEED MARTIN CORP has improved earnings per share by 15.3% 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, LOCKHEED MARTIN CORP increased its bottom line by earning $8.34 versus $7.86 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($9.00 versus $8.34).
  • 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 Aerospace & Defense industry and the overall market, LOCKHEED MARTIN CORP's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 355.24% to $2,085.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, LOCKHEED MARTIN CORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 0.97%.
  • LMT, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 4.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.0%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.

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

Royal Dutch Shell

Dividend Yield: 5.10%

Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS.B) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.10%.

Royal Dutch Shell plc operates as an independent oil and gas company worldwide. The company explores for and extracts crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.86.

The average volume for Royal Dutch Shell has been 1,116,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Royal Dutch Shell has a market cap of $222.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 0.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Royal Dutch Shell as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • RDS.B's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.20 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.85 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • 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 5.9%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC's earnings per share declined by 7.8% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past year. However, we anticipate this trend reversing over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC reported lower earnings of $8.50 versus $9.94 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($16.46 versus $8.50).
  • The gross profit margin for ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC is rather low; currently it is at 17.51%. Regardless of RDS.B'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 7.24% 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: 6.00%

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (NYSE: KMP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.00%.

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 40.05.

The average volume for Kinder Morgan Energy Partners has been 1,419,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners has a market cap of $26.4 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 8.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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 ($2.70 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 -25.59%.
  • 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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