What To Buy: Top 5 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks: NYCB, HIW, SIX, WPZ, BBEP

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."

New York Community Bancorp

Dividend Yield: 5.90%

New York Community Bancorp (NYSE: NYCB) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.90%.

New York Community Bancorp, Inc. operates as a multi-bank holding company for New York Community Bank and New York Commercial Bank that offer banking products and financial services in New York, New Jersey, Florida, Ohio, and Arizona. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.93.

The average volume for New York Community Bancorp has been 2,034,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. New York Community Bancorp has a market cap of $7.5 billion and is part of the banking industry. Shares are up 2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates New York Community Bancorp as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins 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:
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 371.40% to $669.88 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, NEW YORK CMNTY BANCORP INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 46.96%.
  • The gross profit margin for NEW YORK CMNTY BANCORP INC is rather high; currently it is at 69.08%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Despite the strong results of the gross profit margin, NYCB's net profit margin of 23.87% significantly trails the industry average.
  • Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. 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 revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 102.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 8.8%. 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.

Highwoods Properties

Dividend Yield: 4.70%

Highwoods Properties (NYSE: HIW) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.70%.

Highwoods Properties, Inc. is a real estate investment trust. The trust engages in leasing, management, development, construction, and other customer-related services for its properties and for third parties. It invests in the real estate markets of United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 48.95.

The average volume for Highwoods Properties has been 628,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Highwoods Properties has a market cap of $3.3 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Highwoods Properties as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, reasonable valuation levels and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • HIW's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 9.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 15.0%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • HIGHWOODS PROPERTIES INC 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, HIGHWOODS PROPERTIES INC increased its bottom line by earning $0.53 versus $0.41 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.96 versus $0.53).
  • 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 58.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $33.98 million to $53.98 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 55.70% to $69.59 million when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 8.55%.

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

Six Flags Entertainment

Dividend Yield: 5.10%

Six Flags Entertainment (NYSE: SIX) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.10%.

Six Flags Entertainment Corporation owns and operates regional theme, water, and zoological parks. The company's parks offer various state-of-the-art and traditional thrill rides, water attractions, themed areas, concerts and shows, restaurants, game venues, and retail outlets. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.90.

The average volume for Six Flags Entertainment has been 600,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Six Flags Entertainment has a market cap of $3.5 billion and is part of the leisure industry. Shares are up 1.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Six Flags Entertainment as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins, increase in stock price during the past year 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:
  • SIX's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 4.0%. 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 gross profit margin for SIX FLAGS ENTERTAINMENT CORP is rather high; currently it is at 66.10%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 23.86% 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 Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, SIX FLAGS ENTERTAINMENT CORP has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500.
  • 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.
  • SIX FLAGS ENTERTAINMENT CORP's earnings per share declined by 43.6% 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, SIX FLAGS ENTERTAINMENT CORP turned its bottom line around by earning $3.04 versus -$0.25 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 71.4% in earnings ($0.87 versus $3.04).

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

Williams Partners

Dividend Yield: 7.00%

Williams Partners (NYSE: WPZ) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.00%.

Williams Partners L.P., an energy infrastructure company, focuses on connecting North America's hydrocarbon resource plays to growing markets for natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGL). It operates in two segments, Gas Pipeline and Midstream Gas & Liquids. The company has a P/E ratio of 28.29.

The average volume for Williams Partners has been 669,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Williams Partners has a market cap of $21.8 billion and is part of the chemicals industry. Shares are down 3.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Williams Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $482.00 million or 33.14% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 0.96%.
  • 39.53% is the gross profit margin for WILLIAMS PARTNERS LP which we consider to be strong. Regardless of WPZ's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, WPZ's net profit margin of 17.59% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • WPZ, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 5.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 7.6%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • WILLIAMS PARTNERS LP has improved earnings per share by 36.8% 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, WILLIAMS PARTNERS LP reported lower earnings of $1.94 versus $3.68 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 12.4% in earnings ($1.70 versus $1.94).
  • 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 3.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $290.00 million to $279.00 million.

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

BreitBurn Energy Partners

Dividend Yield: 9.70%

BreitBurn Energy Partners (NASDAQ: BBEP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.70%.

BreitBurn Energy Partners L.P. engages in the acquisition, exploitation, and development of oil and gas properties in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 676.00.

The average volume for BreitBurn Energy Partners has been 1,074,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. BreitBurn Energy Partners has a market cap of $2.0 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 0.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates BreitBurn Energy Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. 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:
  • BBEP's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 5.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 232.8%. 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry. The net income increased by 65.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$73.00 million to -$25.01 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $69.52 million or 5.77% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, BREITBURN ENERGY PARTNERS LP has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 2.91%.
  • The gross profit margin for BREITBURN ENERGY PARTNERS LP is rather high; currently it is at 52.23%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -17.44% is in-line with 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.

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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