3 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks To Check Out: ED, EPD, GEO

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 which could 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."

Consolidated Edison

Dividend Yield: 4.80%

Consolidated Edison (NYSE: ED) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.80%.

Consolidated Edison, Inc. is engaged in regulated electric, gas, and steam delivery businesses in the United States. The company has a P/E ratio of 15.07.

The average volume for Consolidated Edison has been 2,365,500 shares per day over the past 30 days. Consolidated Edison has a market cap of $15.4 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 4.7% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Consolidated Edison as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share 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:
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $1,314.00 million or 36.73% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -2.82%.
  • CONSOLIDATED EDISON INC has improved earnings per share by 12.9% 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, CONSOLIDATED EDISON INC reported lower earnings of $3.61 versus $3.86 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.74 versus $3.61).
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 2.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 1.2%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • 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 greatly underperformed compared to the Multi-Utilities industry average. The net income increased by 13.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $207.00 million to $234.00 million.

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

Enterprise Products Partners

Dividend Yield: 4.10%

Enterprise Products Partners (NYSE: EPD) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.10%.

Enterprise Products Partners L.P. provides midstream energy services to producers and consumers of natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGLs), crude oil, petrochemicals, and refined products in the United States and internationally. The company has a P/E ratio of 24.40.

The average volume for Enterprise Products Partners has been 1,013,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Enterprise Products Partners has a market cap of $64.4 billion and is part of the energy industry. Shares are up 4.3% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Enterprise Products Partners as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 7.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 18.3%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • ENTERPRISE PRODS PRTNRS -LP has improved earnings per share by 10.3% 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 year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, ENTERPRISE PRODS PRTNRS -LP increased its bottom line by earning $2.82 versus $2.71 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.00 versus $2.82).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 13.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $615.50 million to $698.90 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $1,499.30 million or 17.58% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -23.54%.
  • The stock has risen over the past year as investors have generally rewarded the company for its earnings growth and other positive factors like the ones we have cited in this report. 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.

Geo Group

Dividend Yield: 7.30%

Geo Group (NYSE: GEO) shares currently have a dividend yield of 7.30%.

The GEO Group, Inc. provides government-outsourced services specializing in the management of correctional, detention, and re-entry facilities, and the provision of community based services and youth services in the United States, Australia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and Canada. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.49.

The average volume for Geo Group has been 497,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Geo Group has a market cap of $2.3 billion and is part of the real estate industry. Shares are down 2.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Geo Group as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth and reasonable valuation levels. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 6.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.3%. 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.
  • GEO GROUP INC 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 year. However, we anticipate this trend reversing over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, GEO GROUP INC reported lower earnings of $1.64 versus $2.37 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.80 versus $1.64).
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, GEO GROUP INC has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • The share price of GEO GROUP INC has not done very well: it is down 10.49% and has underperformed the S&P 500, in part reflecting the company's sharply declining earnings per share when compared to the year-earlier quarter. 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.

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