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." Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS.B) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.60%. Royal Dutch Shell plc operates as an independent oil and gas company worldwide. The company explores for and extracts crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.95. The average volume for Royal Dutch Shell has been 1,157,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Royal Dutch Shell has a market cap of $249.1 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 5.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday. TheStreet Ratings rates Royal Dutch Shell as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, 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:
- 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.
- RDS.B's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.25 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.79 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
- ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC 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, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC reported lower earnings of $5.18 versus $8.52 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($14.43 versus $5.18).
- RDS.B, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 3.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 7.5%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
- You can view the full Royal Dutch Shell Ratings Report.