Best Of The Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks: Top 3 Companies: AB, NTLS, EXLP

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."

AllianceBernstein Holding L.P

Dividend Yield: 8.30%

AllianceBernstein Holding L.P (NYSE: AB) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.30%.

AllianceBernstein Holding L.P. provides investment management and related services in the United States and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.15.

The average volume for AllianceBernstein Holding L.P has been 411,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. AllianceBernstein Holding L.P has a market cap of $2.1 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 13.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

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 56.64% 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. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 7.84%.

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

NTELOS Holdings

Dividend Yield: 11.00%

NTELOS Holdings (NASDAQ: NTLS) shares currently have a dividend yield of 11.00%.

NTELOS Holdings Corp., through its subsidiaries, provides digital wireless communications services to consumers and businesses primarily in Virginia and West Virginia, as well as parts of Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Kentucky. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.60.

The average volume for NTELOS Holdings has been 195,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. NTELOS Holdings has a market cap of $328.1 million and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are up 23.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates NTELOS Holdings 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 shows low profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • NTLS's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 1.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.4%. 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 Wireless Telecommunication Services industry. The net income increased by 67.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $5.61 million to $9.39 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 97.50% to $34.18 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, NTELOS HOLDINGS CORP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -11.17%.
  • 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.
  • NTELOS HOLDINGS CORP 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, NTELOS HOLDINGS CORP reported lower earnings of $0.87 versus $1.04 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.93 versus $0.87).

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

Exterran Partners L.P

Dividend Yield: 7.70%

Exterran Partners L.P (NASDAQ: EXLP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.70%.

Exterran Partners, L.P., together with its subsidiaries, provides natural gas contract operations services to customers in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.62.

The average volume for Exterran Partners L.P has been 143,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Exterran Partners L.P has a market cap of $1.3 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 35% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Exterran Partners L.P 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, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. 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 4.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 29.1%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • EXTERRAN PARTNERS 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, EXTERRAN PARTNERS LP increased its bottom line by earning $0.14 versus $0.07 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.28 versus $0.14).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Energy Equipment & Services industry. The net income increased by 246.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$19.05 million to $27.90 million.
  • 47.38% is the gross profit margin for EXTERRAN 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 22.23% is above that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 83.75% to $46.51 million when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow of 83.75%, EXTERRAN PARTNERS LP is still growing at a significantly lower rate than the industry average of 187.92%.

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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