Don't Miss Out: Top 5 Yielding Buy-Rated Stocks: STWD, EPD, DUK, AEE, VZ

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 5 stocks with substantial yields, that ultimately, we have rated "Buy."

Starwood Property

Dividend Yield: 6.50%

Starwood Property (NYSE: STWD) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.50%.

Starwood Property Trust, Inc. engages in originating, investing in, financing, and managing commercial mortgage loans, other commercial real estate debt investments, commercial mortgage-backed securities, and other commercial real estate-related debt investments. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.79.

The average volume for Starwood Property has been 1,710,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Starwood Property has a market cap of $5.5 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 1.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Starwood Property as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • STWD's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 9.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 117.1%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • STARWOOD PROPERTY TRUST INC has improved earnings per share by 20.9% 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, STARWOOD PROPERTY TRUST INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.78 versus $1.41 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.02 versus $1.78).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry. The net income increased by 78.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $50.21 million to $89.72 million.
  • 46.15% is the gross profit margin for STARWOOD PROPERTY TRUST INC which we consider to be strong. Despite the high profit margin, it has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, STWD's net profit margin of 56.03% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • The stock price has risen over the past year, but, despite its earnings growth and some other positive factors, it has underperformed the S&P 500 so far. 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.

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

Enterprise Products Partners

Dividend Yield: 4.30%

Enterprise Products Partners (NYSE: EPD) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.30%.

Enterprise Products Partners L.P. provides midstream energy services to producers and consumers of natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGLs), crude oil, refined products, and petrochemicals in the United States and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 23.55.

The average volume for Enterprise Products Partners has been 1,140,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Enterprise Products Partners has a market cap of $60.5 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Enterprise Products Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, increase in net income 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 5.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 15.5%. 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 net income growth 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 increased by 0.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $586.80 million to $592.00 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 201.00% to $835.30 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, ENTERPRISE PRODS PRTNRS -LP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 0.96%.
  • ENTERPRISE PRODS PRTNRS -LP' earnings per share from the most recent quarter came in slightly below the year earlier quarter. 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, ENTERPRISE PRODS PRTNRS -LP increased its bottom line by earning $2.71 versus $2.37 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.79 versus $2.71).
  • EPD's share price has surged by 25.82% over the past year, reflecting the market's general trend, despite their weak earnings growth during the last quarter. 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.

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

Duke Energy Corporation

Dividend Yield: 4.60%

Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE: DUK) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.60%.

Duke Energy Corporation operates as an energy company in the United States and Latin America. The company operates in three segments: U.S. Franchised Electric and Gas, Commercial Power, and International Energy. The U.S. The company has a P/E ratio of 20.44.

The average volume for Duke Energy Corporation has been 3,025,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Duke Energy Corporation has a market cap of $48.4 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 1.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Duke Energy Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share and attractive valuation levels. 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 Electric Utilities industry. The net income increased by 69.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $594.00 million to $1,004.00 million.
  • 38.00% is the gross profit margin for DUKE ENERGY CORP which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 15.02% is above that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $2,147.00 million or 8.59% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, DUKE ENERGY CORP has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 4.41%.
  • DUKE ENERGY 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, DUKE ENERGY CORP reported lower earnings of $3.06 versus $3.84 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.30 versus $3.06).
  • DUK, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 2.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 0.6%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.

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

Ameren

Dividend Yield: 4.40%

Ameren (NYSE: AEE) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.40%.

Ameren Corporation operates as a public utility holding company in the United States. The company is engaged in rate-regulated electric generation, transmission, and distribution businesses; and rate-regulated natural gas transmission and distribution businesses.

The average volume for Ameren has been 1,502,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Ameren has a market cap of $8.8 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 0.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ameren as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures 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:
  • 45.30% is the gross profit margin for AMEREN CORP which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 18.43% is above that of the industry average.
  • 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.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.92, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.23 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.
  • AMEREN CORP' earnings per share from the most recent quarter came in slightly below the year earlier quarter. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past year. However, we anticipate this trend reversing over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, AMEREN CORP swung to a loss, reporting -$2.67 versus $2.14 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.10 versus -$2.67).
  • AEE, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 0.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 4.2%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.

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

Verizon Communications

Dividend Yield: 4.30%

Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.30%.

Verizon Communications Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides communications, information and entertainment products and services to consumers, businesses, and governmental agencies worldwide. The company has a P/E ratio of 64.87.

The average volume for Verizon Communications has been 11,515,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. Verizon Communications has a market cap of $141.0 billion and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are down 1.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Verizon Communications as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • VZ's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 3.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.4%. 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 Diversified Telecommunication Services industry. The net income increased by 40.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $1,593.00 million to $2,232.00 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $11,239.00 million or 18.46% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -7.59%.
  • The gross profit margin for VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC is rather high; currently it is at 63.80%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 7.37% trails the industry average.
  • VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC has improved earnings per share by 39.3% 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, VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC reported lower earnings of $0.31 versus $0.86 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.82 versus $0.31).

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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