4 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks: AI, AB, 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 4 stocks with substantial yields, that ultimately, we have rated "Buy."

Arlington Asset Investment

Dividend Yield: 14.60%

Arlington Asset Investment (NYSE: AI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 14.60%.

Arlington Asset Investment Corp., an investment firm, acquires mortgage-related and other assets. The company has a P/E ratio of 1.36.

The average volume for Arlington Asset Investment has been 193,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Arlington Asset Investment has a market cap of $384.9 million and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 16.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Arlington Asset Investment as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins, compelling growth in net income and increase in stock price during the past year. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • AI's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 12.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 61.7%. 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 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 Capital Markets industry and the overall market, ARLINGTON ASSET INVESTMENT's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for ARLINGTON ASSET INVESTMENT is rather high; currently it is at 67.04%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 26.85% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Capital Markets industry average. The net income increased by 49.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $2.14 million to $3.19 million.
  • In its most recent trading session, AI 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. 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.

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

AllianceBernstein Holding L.P

Dividend Yield: 7.40%

AllianceBernstein Holding L.P (NYSE: AB) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.40%.

AllianceBernstein Holding L.P. provides investment management and related services in the United States and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 27.15.

The average volume for AllianceBernstein Holding L.P has been 429,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. AllianceBernstein Holding L.P has a market cap of $2.4 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 25.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates AllianceBernstein Holding L.P as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and good cash flow from operations. 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:
  • AB's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 12.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 63.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 90.47% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 81.12% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, AB should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • ALLIANCEBERNSTEIN HOLDING 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 year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, ALLIANCEBERNSTEIN HOLDING LP turned its bottom line around by earning $0.50 versus -$0.95 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.60 versus $0.50).
  • 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 88.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $21.34 million to $40.28 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $40.28 million or 42.79% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, ALLIANCEBERNSTEIN HOLDING LP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -68.98%.

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: 11.40%

Natural Resources Partners L.P (NYSE: NRP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 11.40%.

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 10.56.

The average volume for Natural Resources Partners L.P has been 223,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Natural Resources Partners L.P has a market cap of $2.1 billion and is part of the metals & mining industry. Shares are up 6.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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 and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

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.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 10.2%. 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.
  • The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income has decreased by 6.6% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $51.31 million to $47.91 million.
  • 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 17.8% in earnings ($1.62 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: 7.90%

AmeriGas Partners (NYSE: APU) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.90%.

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 25.27.

The average volume for AmeriGas Partners has been 266,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. AmeriGas Partners has a market cap of $3.9 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 10% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates AmeriGas Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in stock price during the past year, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, growth in earnings per share 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:
  • 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.
  • 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 61.3% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$89.38 million to -$34.60 million.
  • APU's revenue growth trails the industry average of 17.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • AMERIGAS 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, 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 ($2.27 versus -$0.05).
  • 38.42% is the gross profit margin for AMERIGAS PARTNERS -LP which we consider to be strong. Regardless of APU's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -5.94% 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.

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