Top 3 Yielding Buy-Rated Stocks: RAI, SSS, WPC

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."

Reynolds American

Dividend Yield: 5.40%

Reynolds American (NYSE: RAI) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.40%.

Reynolds American Inc., through its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarette and other tobacco products in the United States. The company operates through RJR Tobacco, American Snuff, and Santa Fe segments. The company has a P/E ratio of 16.42.

The average volume for Reynolds American has been 2,085,700 shares per day over the past 30 days. Reynolds American has a market cap of $25.4 billion and is part of the tobacco industry. Shares are down 5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Reynolds American as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins, growth in earnings per share 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:
  • RAI's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 2.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.8%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • 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 Tobacco industry and the overall market, REYNOLDS AMERICAN INC's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for REYNOLDS AMERICAN INC is rather high; currently it is at 54.05%. 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 21.40% trails the industry average.
  • REYNOLDS AMERICAN INC has improved earnings per share by 13.5% 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, REYNOLDS AMERICAN INC reported lower earnings of $2.24 versus $2.41 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.23 versus $2.24).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Tobacco industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 8.8% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $420.00 million to $457.00 million.

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

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