3 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks: PVR, NRP, APU

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."

PVR Partners

Dividend Yield: 7.60%

PVR Partners (NYSE: PVR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.60%.

PVR Partners, L.P. engages in the gathering and processing of natural gas; and management of coal and natural resource properties in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Eastern Midstream, Midcontinent Midstream, and Coal and Natural Resource Management.

The average volume for PVR Partners has been 405,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. PVR Partners has a market cap of $2.8 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 9.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates PVR Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year and growth in earnings per share. 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 came in higher than the industry average of 10.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • 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 106.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$110.34 million to $7.24 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 75.82% to $79.42 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, PVR PARTNERS LP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -25.84%.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. 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.
  • PVR PARTNERS LP reported significant earnings per share improvement 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, PVR PARTNERS LP swung to a loss, reporting -$1.60 versus $1.40 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.63 versus -$1.60).

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

Natural Resources Partners L.P

Dividend Yield: 10.40%

Natural Resources Partners L.P (NYSE: NRP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 10.40%.

Natural Resource Partners L.P., through its subsidiaries, engages in the ownership, management, and leasing of mineral properties in the United States. It owns coal reserves in Appalachia, the Illinois Basin, and the Western United States, as well as lignite reserves in the Gulf Coast region. The company has a P/E ratio of 10.91.

The average volume for Natural Resources Partners L.P has been 230,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Natural Resources Partners L.P has a market cap of $2.3 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are up 12.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Natural Resources Partners L.P as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins, notable return on equity 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:
  • The gross profit margin for NATURAL RESOURCE PARTNERS LP is currently very high, coming in at 93.75%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 54.88% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • 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. In comparison to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, NATURAL RESOURCE PARTNERS LP has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. Looking ahead, unless broad bear market conditions prevail, we still see more upside potential for this stock, despite the fact that it has already risen over the past year.
  • 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 5.0%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • NATURAL RESOURCE PARTNERS LP's earnings per share declined by 8.5% 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, NATURAL RESOURCE PARTNERS LP increased its bottom line by earning $1.97 versus $0.50 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 12.7% in earnings ($1.72 versus $1.97).

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

AmeriGas Partners

Dividend Yield: 7.20%

AmeriGas Partners (NYSE: APU) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.20%.

AmeriGas Partners, L.P. operates as a retail and wholesale distributor of propane gas, and related equipment and supplies in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 186.28.

The average volume for AmeriGas Partners has been 232,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. AmeriGas Partners has a market cap of $4.3 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 21.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday.

TheStreet Ratings rates AmeriGas Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. 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 net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Gas Utilities industry. The net income increased by 59.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $133.89 million to $213.21 million.
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 9.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • 47.83% is the gross profit margin for AMERIGAS PARTNERS -LP which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 18.12% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $174.66 million or 5.89% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, AMERIGAS PARTNERS -LP has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 4.41%.
  • AMERIGAS PARTNERS -LP has improved earnings per share by 23.8% 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, AMERIGAS PARTNERS -LP swung to a loss, reporting -$0.05 versus $1.51 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.36 versus -$0.05).

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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