5 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks To Check Out: AINV, SCG, PVR, ETP, TOT

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."

Apollo Investment

Dividend Yield: 9.30%

Apollo Investment (NASDAQ: AINV) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.30%.

Apollo Investment Corporation is business development company and operates as a closed-end management investment company. The company invests in middle market companies. It provides direct equity capital, mezzanine and senior secured loans, and subordinated debt and loans. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.44.

The average volume for Apollo Investment has been 1,513,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Apollo Investment has a market cap of $1.9 billion and is part of the financial services industry. Shares are up 1.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

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

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 8.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.8%. 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 APOLLO INVESTMENT CORP is currently very high, coming in at 71.56%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 81.55% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 125.03% to $92.74 million when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow of 125.03%, APOLLO INVESTMENT CORP is still growing at a significantly lower rate than the industry average of 267.67%.
  • APOLLO INVESTMENT CORP's earnings per share declined by 5.7% 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, APOLLO INVESTMENT CORP turned its bottom line around by earning $0.49 versus -$0.45 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.89 versus $0.49).

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

SCANA

Dividend Yield: 4.40%

SCANA (NYSE: SCG) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.40%.

SCANA Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, distribution, and sale of electricity to retail and wholesale customers in South Carolina. It owns nuclear, coal, hydro, oil and gas, and biomass generating facilities. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.38.

The average volume for SCANA has been 776,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. SCANA has a market cap of $6.5 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 0.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates SCANA as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, growth in earnings per share, notable return on equity and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • SCG's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.1%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • SCANA CORP's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. 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, SCANA CORP increased its bottom line by earning $3.14 versus $2.99 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.38 versus $3.14).
  • 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 Multi-Utilities industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, SCANA CORP has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Multi-Utilities industry average. The net income increased by 7.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $122.00 million to $131.00 million.

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

PVR Partners

Dividend Yield: 8.40%

PVR Partners (NYSE: PVR) shares currently have a dividend yield of 8.40%.

PVR Partners, L.P. engages in the gathering and processing of natural gas; and management of coal and natural resource properties in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Eastern Midstream, Midcontinent Midstream, and Coal and Natural Resource Management.

The average volume for PVR Partners has been 481,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. PVR Partners has a market cap of $2.7 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 3.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates PVR Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations 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:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 5.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 15.6%. 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $74.09 million or 12.00% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, PVR PARTNERS LP has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 2.81%.
  • PVR PARTNERS LP has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past two years. However, we anticipate this trend to reverse over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, PVR PARTNERS LP swung to a loss, reporting -$1.60 versus $1.40 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.29 versus -$1.60).
  • Current return on equity exceeded its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of strength within the company. Compared to other companies in the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market, PVR PARTNERS LP's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for PVR PARTNERS LP is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 33.98%. Regardless of PVR's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, PVR's net profit margin of 6.51% compares favorably to 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.

Energy Transfer Partners L.P

Dividend Yield: 6.70%

Energy Transfer Partners L.P (NYSE: ETP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.70%.

Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. engages in the natural gas midstream, and intrastate transportation and storage businesses in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 37.38.

The average volume for Energy Transfer Partners L.P has been 952,600 shares per day over the past 30 days. Energy Transfer Partners L.P has a market cap of $20.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 5.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Energy Transfer Partners L.P as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, increase in net income, growth in earnings per share 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:
  • ETP's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 5.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 560.5%. 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 886.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $36.00 million to $355.00 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 70.78% to $578.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, ENERGY TRANSFER PARTNERS -LP has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 2.81%.
  • ENERGY TRANSFER 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. However, we anticipate underperformance relative to this pattern in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ENERGY TRANSFER PARTNERS -LP increased its bottom line by earning $5.76 versus $2.17 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 59.4% in earnings ($2.34 versus $5.76).
  • 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 stock's price rise over the last year has driven it to a level which is somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that other strengths this company displays justify these 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.

Total

Dividend Yield: 4.60%

Total (NYSE: TOT) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.60%.

TOTAL S.A., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a oil and gas company worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Upstream, Refining and Chemicals, and Marketing and Services. The company has a P/E ratio of 7.16.

The average volume for Total has been 1,016,300 shares per day over the past 30 days. Total has a market cap of $133.6 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 2.9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Friday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Total as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, attractive valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, increase in stock price during the past year and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • TOT's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 5.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 2.0%. 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.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $9,802.00 million or 43.04% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 2.81%.
  • 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.
  • TOTAL SA' 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, TOTAL SA reported lower earnings of $6.18 versus $7.05 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($6.51 versus $6.18).

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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