Buy These Top 4 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks Today: NYCB, IEP, CLNY, SDRL

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 4 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 15.91.

The average volume for New York Community Bancorp has been 2,020,900 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 Tuesday.

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 solid stock price performance. 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 55.30%.
  • 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.
  • NYCB's share price has surged by 26.10% over the past year, reflecting the market's general trend, despite their weak earnings growth during the last quarter. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, NYCB should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • The revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 106.4%. 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.

Icahn

Dividend Yield: 4.60%

Icahn (NASDAQ: IEP) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.60%.

Icahn Enterprises L.P. engages in the investment, automotive, gaming, railcar, food packaging, metals, real estate, and home fashion businesses in the United States and internationally. Its Investment segment provides investment advisory, and administrative and back office services. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.07.

The average volume for Icahn has been 415,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Icahn has a market cap of $12.4 billion and is part of the conglomerates industry. Shares are down 0.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Icahn as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance, attractive valuation levels, expanding profit margins and compelling growth in net income. 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:
  • IEP's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 10.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 20.6%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 400.00% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 88.13% 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, IEP should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Auto Components industry. The net income increased by 461.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $84.00 million to $472.00 million.
  • 35.09% is the gross profit margin for ICAHN ENTERPRISES LP which we consider to be strong. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 8.37% 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.

Colony Financial

Dividend Yield: 6.60%

Colony Financial (NYSE: CLNY) shares currently have a dividend yield of 6.60%.

Colony Financial, Inc. operates as a real estate investment and finance company in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.39.

The average volume for Colony Financial has been 795,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Colony Financial has a market cap of $1.6 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are up 5.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Colony Financial as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • CLNY's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 9.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 79.3%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • The gross profit margin for COLONY FINANCIAL INC is currently very high, coming in at 81.33%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 54.54% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 98.32% to $32.77 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, COLONY FINANCIAL INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 8.60%.
  • 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 70.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $15.56 million to $26.45 million.
  • COLONY FINANCIAL INC has improved earnings per share by 6.7% 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, COLONY FINANCIAL INC reported lower earnings of $1.34 versus $1.48 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.38 versus $1.34).

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

Seadrill

Dividend Yield: 9.50%

Seadrill (NYSE: SDRL) shares currently have a dividend yield of 9.50%.

Seadrill Limited provides offshore drilling services to the oil and gas industry worldwide. The company operates in three segments: Floaters, Jack-up Rigs, and Tender Rigs. The company has a P/E ratio of 8.43.

The average volume for Seadrill has been 2,634,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Seadrill has a market cap of $18.8 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are down 0.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Seadrill as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, notable return on equity, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations 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:
  • SDRL's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 9.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 17.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • 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. Compared to other companies in the Energy Equipment & Services industry and the overall market, SEADRILL LTD's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • 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 52.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $188.00 million to $286.00 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $533.00 million or 29.05% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, SEADRILL LTD's average is still marginally south of the industry average growth rate of 30.43%.
  • 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.

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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