Top 3 Yielding Buy-Rated Stocks: DRI, TAL, BPL

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."

Darden Restaurants

Dividend Yield: 4.10%

Darden Restaurants (NYSE: DRI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.10%.

Darden Restaurants, Inc. owns and operates full service restaurants in the United States and Canada. It operates restaurants under the Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, Eddie V's Prime Seafood, and Wildfish Seafood Grille brand names. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.86.

The average volume for Darden Restaurants has been 2,131,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Darden Restaurants has a market cap of $7.1 billion and is part of the leisure industry. Shares are up 19.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Darden Restaurants as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • DRI's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.1%. 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.
  • 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.
  • Even though the current debt-to-equity ratio is 1.33, it is still below the industry average, suggesting that this level of debt is acceptable within the Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio shows mixed results, the company's quick ratio of 0.12 is very low and demonstrates very weak liquidity.
  • Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. Compared to other companies in the Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, DARDEN RESTAURANTS INC has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.

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

TAL International Group

Dividend Yield: 5.00%

TAL International Group (NYSE: TAL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.00%.

TAL International Group, Inc. engages in leasing intermodal containers and chassis worldwide. The company operates in two segments, Equipment Leasing and Equipment Trading. The company has a P/E ratio of 12.86.

The average volume for TAL International Group has been 387,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. TAL International Group has a market cap of $1.9 billion and is part of the diversified services industry. Shares are up 54.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates TAL International Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, attractive valuation levels, solid stock price performance 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:
  • TAL's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 5.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.3%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • 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 50.10% 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, TAL should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • TAL INTERNATIONAL GROUP INC has improved earnings per share by 10.8% 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, TAL INTERNATIONAL GROUP INC increased its bottom line by earning $3.87 versus $3.36 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.16 versus $3.87).
  • 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 Trading Companies & Distributors industry and the overall market, TAL INTERNATIONAL GROUP INC's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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

Buckeye Partners L.P

Dividend Yield: 6.10%

Buckeye Partners L.P (NYSE: BPL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.10%.

Buckeye Partners, L.P. owns and operates refined petroleum products pipeline systems in the United States. Its Pipelines & Terminals segment transports refined petroleum products; and provides bulk storage and terminal throughput services in the continental United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 26.46.

The average volume for Buckeye Partners L.P has been 500,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Buckeye Partners L.P has a market cap of $8.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 54.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Buckeye Partners L.P as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and solid stock price performance. 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 5.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 12.7%. 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.
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, BPL's share price has jumped by 41.43%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. We feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The other strengths this company shows, however, justify the higher price levels.
  • BUCKEYE PARTNERS LP's earnings per share declined by 17.2% 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, BUCKEYE PARTNERS LP increased its bottom line by earning $2.31 versus $1.25 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.26 versus $2.31).
  • The change in net income from the same quarter one year ago has 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 9.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $85.12 million to $77.25 million.
  • The gross profit margin for BUCKEYE PARTNERS LP is rather low; currently it is at 15.46%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the weak results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 7.09% is above that of 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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