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."Cedar Fair (NYSE: FUN) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.40%. Cedar Fair, L.P. owns and operates amusement and water parks in the United States and Canada. As of March 3, 2014, the company operated 11 amusement parks, 3 outdoor water parks, 1 indoor water park, and 5 hotels. The company has a P/E ratio of 26.79. The average volume for Cedar Fair has been 185,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Cedar Fair has a market cap of $2.9 billion and is part of the leisure industry. Shares are up 3.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday. TheStreet Ratings rates Cedar Fair as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity 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:
- The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 4.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 7.6%. 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.
- Compared to its closing price of one year ago, FUN's share price has jumped by 25.45%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, FUN should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
- 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 Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry and the overall market, CEDAR FAIR -LP's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- CEDAR FAIR -LP 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. 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, CEDAR FAIR -LP increased its bottom line by earning $1.94 versus $1.81 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.91 versus $1.94).
- Net operating cash flow has decreased to $7.50 million or 18.35% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow of 18.35%, CEDAR FAIR -LP is still significantly exceeding the industry average of -85.10%.
- You can view the full Cedar Fair Ratings Report.
- HCP INC has improved earnings per share by 10.9% 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, HCP INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.97 versus $1.80 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.07 versus $1.97).
- The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly 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 21.6% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $241.03 million to $293.10 million.
- Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 8.3%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.9%. 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 HCP INC is rather high; currently it is at 63.37%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 53.24% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
- 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. When compared to other companies in the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) industry and the overall market, HCP INC's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- You can view the full HCP Ratings Report.
- Compared to where it was a year ago today, the stock is now trading at a higher level, regardless of the company's weak earnings results. 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.
- The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.37, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.87 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
- 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 Oil, Gas & Consumable Fuels industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, BP PLC has underperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has exceeded that of the S&P 500.
- Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 0.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 0.2%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
- You can view the full BP Ratings Report.
- Our dividend calendar.