3 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks: ED, EPD, TOT

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."

Consolidated Edison

Dividend Yield: 4.10%

Consolidated Edison (NYSE: ED) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.10%.

Consolidated Edison, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in regulated electric, gas, and steam delivery businesses. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.88.

The average volume for Consolidated Edison has been 1,972,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Consolidated Edison has a market cap of $17.7 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 8.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Consolidated Edison as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • ED's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 3.4%. 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.
  • 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 Multi-Utilities industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, CONSOLIDATED EDISON INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • CONSOLIDATED EDISON INC's earnings per share declined by 30.9% 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, CONSOLIDATED EDISON INC increased its bottom line by earning $3.86 versus $3.57 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 1.6% in earnings ($3.80 versus $3.86).
  • Even though the current debt-to-equity ratio is 1.01, it is still below the industry average, suggesting that this level of debt is acceptable within the Multi-Utilities industry. Despite the fact that ED's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 0.52 is low and demonstrates weak liquidity.

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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