Best Of The Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks: Top 3 Companies: STWD, RYN, T

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."

Starwood Property

Dividend Yield: 7.70%

Starwood Property (NYSE: STWD) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.70%.

Starwood Property Trust, Inc. engages in originating, investing in, financing, and managing commercial mortgage loans, other commercial real estate debt investments, commercial mortgage-backed securities, and other commercial real estate-related debt investments. The company has a P/E ratio of 13.42.

The average volume for Starwood Property has been 2,263,100 shares per day over the past 30 days. Starwood Property has a market cap of $4.7 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 13.8% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Starwood Property as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, compelling growth in net income 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:
  • STWD's very impressive revenue growth greatly exceeded the industry average of 6.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues leaped by 117.1%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • STARWOOD PROPERTY TRUST INC has improved earnings per share by 20.9% 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. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, STARWOOD PROPERTY TRUST INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.78 versus $1.41 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.99 versus $1.78).
  • 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 78.7% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $50.21 million to $89.72 million.
  • 46.15% is the gross profit margin for STARWOOD PROPERTY TRUST INC which we consider to be strong. Despite the high profit margin, it has decreased significantly from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, STWD's net profit margin of 56.03% significantly outperformed against the industry.
  • STWD has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 8.32% from its price level of one year ago. Looking ahead, although the push and pull of the overall market trend could certainly make a critical difference, we do not see any strong reason stemming from the company's fundamentals that would cause a continuation of last year's decline. In fact, the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings.

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

Rayonier

Dividend Yield: 4.20%

Rayonier (NYSE: RYN) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.20%.

Rayonier, Inc. engages in the sale and development of real estate and timberland management, as well as in the production and sale of cellulose fibers in the United States, New Zealand, and Australia. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.31.

The average volume for Rayonier has been 1,197,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. Rayonier has a market cap of $5.9 billion and is part of the materials & construction industry. Shares are up 11.1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Rayonier as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations, increase in net income 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:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 6.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 19.8%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • 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. In comparison to the other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, RAYONIER INC's return on equity significantly exceeds that of the industry average and is above that of the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 128.63% to $210.96 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, RAYONIER INC has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -76.73%.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 5.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $75.61 million to $79.70 million.
  • RAYONIER INC has improved earnings per share by 8.5% 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, RAYONIER INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.54 versus $2.13 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 25.2% in earnings ($1.90 versus $2.54).

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

AT&T

Dividend Yield: 5.70%

AT&T (NYSE: T) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.70%.

AT&T Inc. provides telecommunications services to consumers and businesses in the United States and internationally. The company operates through Wireless, Wireline, and Other segments. The company has a P/E ratio of 9.49.

The average volume for AT&T has been 26,419,900 shares per day over the past 30 days. AT&T has a market cap of $167.5 billion and is part of the telecommunications industry. Shares are down 9% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

TheStreet Ratings rates AT&T as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, compelling growth in net income, notable return on equity, expanding profit margins and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • T's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.8%. 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 Diversified Telecommunication Services industry and the overall market, AT&T INC's return on equity exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for AT&T INC is rather high; currently it is at 63.10%. It has increased significantly from the same period last year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 20.84% is above that of the industry average.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has greatly exceeded that of the S&P 500, but is less than that of the Diversified Telecommunication Services industry average. The net income increased by 279.2% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$3,857.00 million to $6,913.00 million.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.82, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Even though the company has a strong debt-to-equity ratio, the quick ratio of 0.46 is very weak and demonstrates a lack of ability to pay short-term obligations.

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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